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5 Steps to Get Promoted in a Pandemic

ask for a promotion during a pandemic

Some folks are viewing the they’re spending working from home (WFH) as a stasis in their work lives. You aren’t seeing your boss in meetings or bumping into them for water cooler chats in the breakroom. Your primary mode of communication is either through Zoom meetings or via email.

At the same time, you may feel that your boss can’t keep track of how hard you’re working. Feeling that you deserve a promotion but can’t get one can be frustrating as you’re pushing yourself towards productivity at your makeshift workstation and ignoring the temptation to bake another sourdough loaf.

This mentality of “making it work” despite unusual circumstances can make you hesitant to ask for a promotion during this pandemic. However, you don’t have to simply wait for your work life to get back to normal before asking for a promotion you feel that you deserve.

“Out of sight out of mind” might be a concern for many remote professionals today, but it’s still possible to land a promotion. Here, we’ll talk about some of the tactics that can better position you to ask for a promotion while you work from home.

How to Get Promoted in a Pandemic

Let your boss know about your added responsibilities.

If you’re a humble person, it can be difficult tell your boss about the added responsibilities you’ve taken on since going remote. In a physical office space, it’s much simpler just to mention a project you’re working on or a win you’ve had into casual conversation. But in a work from home situation, you have to work harder to let your boss know about what you’ve been doing.

One way to do this is  drop your boss an email about a project you’ve designed or a new team you’ve built since the pandemic. Alternately, you could find a way to bring up your new project in a Zoom meeting with your boss or even during your staff meeting. For instance, you could ask if any of your colleagues are interested in working with you on a new project you’ve designed.

As long as you don’t brag about what you’ve done, your boss will be impressed with your initiative.

Build relationships with colleagues who sing your praises.

An even better way of sharing all the extra work you’re doing is to have your colleagues sing your praises. This doesn’t mean that you’re going to create Zoom happy hours just to impress them. Instead, develop the relationships you already have. For instance, you could meet regularly with a mentor over Zoom to talk about what you’ve both been accomplishing. Or you could create a small working group where you share your wins and losses.

The larger your network, the more likely one of your colleagues is to mention a project you’ve designed or drop a comment about an initiative you’ve created.

Ask for new responsibilities to signal your commitment.

If you haven’t taken on new responsibilities during remote work and feel stagnant in your role, you should connect with your boss to signal your interest in increasing your responsibilities. Quarantine, new shopping habits, and working from home have created new expectations that bosses couldn’t have imagined even a year ago. So, your boss is very likely to have new things that they need someone to do – and will be grateful that you’ve expressed your interest in taking them on.

Use the extra time to build your skills.

If you feel that you’re being held back in your career because you don’t have certain skills, quarantine is a great time to build them. For instance, let’s say that the next step up on your promotional ladder requires you to use a skill that you have no experience with. You could  could demonstrate your ability to learn new things by taking classes or securing a certificate in that missing skill. Even if you haven’t been able to put this proficiency into practice, you can show your boss that you’re able to deploy this necessary skill in a new position.

If you’re truly motivated, too, you could pursue your Executive MBA, a degree program that helps you develop many skills and build connections with others in your field.

Keep track of what you’ve been accomplishing.

Most of these tips are designed to let your boss know what measures you’ve taken to set yourself apart during remote work. But when you’re in a situation where you can discuss your successes, Get promoted in a pandemicmake sure you actually remember them. These days, it is psychologically more difficult to recall what you’ve done since your routines and scenery are so predictable.

So, aim to write down what you’ve accomplished each week. Note what you’re working on, what you’ve finished, and what you’re particularly proud of. Not only will this list come in handy when you ask for your promotion, but you’ll also boost your own morale by being able to look back at your accomplishments.

You Can Ask for a Promotion…Yes, Really!

Working from home can make you feel disconnected from your colleagues, which, in turn, can make you feel insecure about your ability to state your case for your promotion. Certainly, working from home makes it more difficult to have the kinds of casual, off-the-cuff interactions you had while in a physical office.

However, there are many tactics you can use to maintain your workplace relationships and demonstrate your value to the company while working remotely. In fact, your adaptability in this ever-changing and unstable situation can demonstrate that you’re deserving of a promotion more than almost anything else.


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