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Getting a Raise or Promotion Whilst Working Remotely

Working from home means you can sit on the phone to your friend for an hour and your boss won't know. The flip side is that you could be excelling in your job in every way and this could ALSO be going unnoticed.

If you want a promotion or a raise, how can you get noticed for the right reasons whilst everyone is working from home?

Added on 26.10.2020

Ever heard the saying 'Do things, tell people'? This is even more important advice for any employee now that so many of us are working from home.

You may be working remotely but that does not mean you should be remote. 

You do not want to be 'out of sight and out of mind'. You must get yourself noticed if you want that promotion or raise.

First, some questions you must answer:

  • What is your value to the company? Can you improve this?
  • What is your reputation in the company? Are you widely known and respected?
  • Are you considered a valuable team member? What would your colleagues say about you? 
  • Do you have any skills you could improve? Are there new ones you could learn that would benefit your employer?
  • What are your company's values and do you represent these?

If you think the answers to any of these could do with improving, here's what you can do about it.

Always be networking

When people are working remotely you will not have opportunities to bump into people in the usual places like the lift, coffee room or at lunch - but it's just as important to make sure that you continue to make and nurture connections throughout the business.

When it comes to getting a promotion, your manager and immediate department are not the only decision-makers or influencers. Build bridges with colleagues in other departments (marketing, accounts etc). Find good excuses to make introductions. Your colleagues could appreciate this personal touch more than you realise - it's all too easy to feel isolated currently.

Talk more, write less

Zoom or other video platforms are not just for meetings: you can check in and have a call with colleagues. Don't fall into the trap of replacing all the little chats you would normally have in the course of a day by nipping over to someone's desk or knocking on their door with email. Wherever possible arrange a quick call to:

  1. agree or discuss action points;
  2. check progress of tasks or discuss delivery of work, deadlines, etc;
  3. ask any questions you have;
  4. answer questions others have for you.

Not only are video / phone calls very often more productive than email, they also allow a little bit of shop talk and socialising. You can be seen to be friendly, open and outgoing, and you'll be remembered more for the value you bring.

One note: do make sure you arrange the call so you do not interfere with colleagues' schedules.

Be generous with praise

People can often forget this simple but very effective form of communication. It is a sure-fire way to connect with people. Do not just have flimsy flattery, but real gratitude and say it how you see it. Make some noise on behalf of a colleague if they have helped you out, or you can see they have done a sterling job. Send them a message (even better with others copied in), or better yet, give them a shout out on your next company video call. This never goes unnoticed and people do not forget this especially when done publicly: there is nothing like having someone else make noise for you!

Find a mentor

You need feedback and it is crucial to your development in many ways: you'll get better at your job with guidance in the right direction and the benefits of wisdom that comes with experience. Seek someone who you admire and also who would be able to introduce you to others in the company.

Take on more responsibility

Now that you're no longer commuting to work, can you set aside some of this time to assist your boss with extra tasks? This will not go unnoticed. 

If there are no new and exciting opportunities floating around your team, volunteer to help other departments.

Create your own opportunity by pitching a new project or responsibility that you could take on to address a weak spot in the organisation.

See if there are any junior team members who need training or mentoring.

Upskill

Personal development is your responsibility. If you want to stand out so take the initiative: seek out internal workshops, seminars, or online courses. Make sure that these are going to make you more valuable to your employer. Perhaps you can bring a new skill that few or no other people have. Look for gaops you can fill. 

There are a lot of ways to up your game, and a few of our favourite learning platforms are edX.org, Lynda.com and coursera.org.

Then look at how you can apply your new skills. Asking for more, new, or different responsibilities increases your value within an organisation and also puts a spotlight on your growing capabilities.

Keep a personal record of everything you do

Take time to make a note what you do every week: an 'accomplishments diary' if you like. Secured some great coverage? Won an extra retainer for the company? Took on new responsibilities? Learnt new skills? You need to keep a record of this, it is so useful for...

  • Pitching Your Boss - when you decide the time is right, you will be able to remind them of what you've done.
  • Improving Your CV - even if you don't get the promotion and decide to move on, you can add these to your CV.  
  • Helps Your Personal Awareness - a list of accomplishments is important in helping you keep sight of your value.

Trust us, you will be grateful you did this!

Promote yourself - celebrate your wins in front of others

In PR, we wax lyrical about our clients all the time. It is absolutely fine to promote yourself and let people know what you have done. If you're networking properly then this can just be part of your regular chats with people - it's just part of normal shop talk. Don't forget to ask people how THEY are doing also.

Asking your boss for the promotion / raise

First, we hope it goes without saying, but you must do this over video, or in person - not via email.

No time like the present

My favourite saying is 'if you don’t ask, you don't get', and there will never be a better time than now to ask for what you want. Even if your boss feels you're not ready (or you are but the opening doesn't exist yet), they will now know you are keen to move up the ladder, and they should be pleased that you want to be part of the team in the longer term and are projecting yourself in a more senior position.

What do you want?

What does your promotion look like? What duties do you want to take on? What salary are you looking for?

Why do you deserve it?

If you have done your weekly progress checks you should be able to reel off the relevant information. One fun idea here would put together a presentation and tackle it like a pitch. You will look professional and it will add real gravitas to your request.

These are strange times. Working remotely comes with lots of independence, but that should not stop you from proving your worth. So, start working on yourself, your network, promoting your own personal brand and get yourself noticed!