If this was a normal year, you’d be spending today making sure your shoes were polished, your clothes ironed and your jacket pressed – all ready to go for a new year at the office. 2021 is not going to be a “normal” year. Not in any definition of the word. It is unlikely that any of us will spend much time in an office this year.
So, there are important questions for us all to ask: how do I ensure that I contribute? That I get noticed by my boss and colleagues? That my career advances?
There are hundreds of answers to these questions, of course, but if we focus on what to do while you’re still working remotely and while we still deal with Covid disruption, our team at TomorrowToday would like to suggest three easy things that will make a big difference:
1. Improve your digital image. If you were going into the office, you’d ensure you had a good haircut, do your makeup, choose appropriate clothing and ensure that when you entered the building people noticed your style and professionalism. Make sure you do the same for your digital appearance. Choose a good place to sit for virtual meetings, with either a good, natural background or a clean, solid background behind you so you can use a virtual background image. Get your lighting right, and buy lights if you need to, so your face is well lit. Buy an external microphone and webcam to improve your video and audio.
TOP TIP: If you’ve done all of the above, then leave your video camera on all the time during virtual meetings. Be seen.
2. Manage your meetings better. Whether you are the boss/team leader or not, you can help improve meetings this year by asking a powerful question before each meeting: “What is the goal of this meeting and how can I help advance the goal?” Send an email to the meeting owner before each meeting with this question. Encourage everyone in your team to ask this question before every meeting.
TOP TIP: In a virtual environment with remote teams, having more, shorter meetings is always better. Don’t have long meetings. Break your meetings down into smaller chunks, inviting only the people who need to be there to each section of the conversation.
3. Send a weekly recap email to your boss every Friday. The email should be short bullet points, with three sections:
- What I did this past week – highlight progress on tasks, decisions taken, risks you encountered and successes you had.
- What I plan to do next week.
- What resources and assistance I need.
BONUS TIP: If part of your career advancement might be looking for a new job, then your digital presence is going to be even more important than ever before in the years ahead. Spend some time each week building your digital presence, especially on LinkedIn. Clean up your social accounts, upload good profile pictures and update your profile information, curate or create content (such as blog posts, introductory video, or join discussion groups and contribute to the conversations) that will demonstrate your thought leadership and expertise, and build your networks by sending invitations for connection to people in your industry. Whether you plan to look for a new job in the next few months or not, these are good things to do – and a long history of a solid digital presence will never hurt you in the future. When you actually need it, it will be too late to build it. Do it now.
From our team at TomorrowToday to you and your team, all the best wishes for the year that lies ahead
About the author of today’s Tuesday Tip – Graeme Codrington
Author of today’s tip, Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in disruption and the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change.
For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.