How to get a promotion working remotely

p 1 i got promoted over zoom heres how you can advance your career working remotely

Like most individuals, I skilled 2020 as a 12 months of fixed change—in the way in which I labored, the way in which I communicated with family members, and even the way in which I shopped for groceries. So when my firm’s CTO approached me about main a wholly new division, I wasn’t certain I used to be prepared to make yet one more change.

The initiative I’d be main was vital for advancing Envoy World’s mission of bringing effectivity and transparency to the immigration course of. The COVID-19 pandemic opened folks’s eyes to the facility of digitization and automation—a precedence within the sometimes paper-based immigration course of. Our CTO, Mahi Inampudi, wanted somebody to lead the cost in making our immigration administration platform extra environment friendly by integrating robotic course of automation (RPA). 

Mahi’s ask was each thrilling and daunting. As an engineering supervisor with a technical background, I knew taking up a extra people-oriented position would imply new challenges. As a person with an employment-based visa, I additionally expertise fixed anxiousness when contemplating a new job. To really feel assured taking up the position, I used to be going to have to construct my very own confidence together with Mahi’s and do it nearly.


Taking inventory of the challenges of a new position

When Mahi first approached me in regards to the new position, I instantly felt anxious about my profession and the long-term success of this initiative. I’ve been pursuing my inexperienced card for greater than 9 years, and I didn’t need to danger any setbacks. If the initiative failed, would I nonetheless have a job? If not, what would occur to my visa? Shifting into a new position is at all times a danger, however my immigration standing made it really feel even riskier. 

I used to be additionally intimidated as a result of I knew how vital it was for this initiative to succeed. I might be tasked with accumulating and processing tons of of 1000’s of paperwork containing delicate private data for employment-based visas. Safety is crucial, and the RPA initiative wanted to keep privateness whereas processing a giant quantity of paperwork.

There was a lot at stake, and the truth that each my determination and the job transition had to occur nearly made it far more disturbing. Distant communication alone offered its personal set of challenges. 

Lack of physique language: Speaking through video calls is troublesome since you solely see faces, not the physique language folks normally depend on to talk. With out bodily cues, it’s simple to overanalyze issues like how lengthy somebody pauses or their stage of engagement within the dialog. The shortage of physique language hinders relationship-building, which might clearly issue into my success within the new position.

Misunderstandings: Completely different backgrounds and communication types create alternatives for misinterpretations, particularly if you’re speaking remotely. This makes team-building particularly troublesome. It’s important to keep clear and correct communication through the early phases of team-building to set up a basis of belief.

Collaboration: The initiative would require shut collaboration amongst staff members in the US and all over the world, in addition to coordination with different groups within the group. This stage of collaboration could be particularly troublesome to obtain in distant totality. In lots of instances, updates and different vital items of knowledge are communicated through desk drive-bys and likelihood workplace encounters, alternatives that don’t come up when everyone seems to be working remotely.


Regardless of these challenges, I agreed to meet with Mahi (nearly) to talk about the position. I knew that overcoming these obstacles whereas making a main life alternative wouldn’t be simple, however it was potential.

Overcoming distant communication obstacles

Fortuitously, my dialog with Mahi went easily. Mahi was trustworthy and affected person, making it simpler for me to specific any considerations and discuss my previous experiences. Whereas I had by no means been in a position like this earlier than, I did have expertise managing groups on a world scale. Mahi genuinely believed the position suited me effectively, and as we talked by my {qualifications} and the necessities of the place, I agreed with him. The transparency I felt throughout our conversations led me to really feel not simply comfy taking up this position however thrilled for the chance. 

Now that I’ve expertise in my new position, I can truthfully say I’m on my method to mastering the artwork of distant communication. Whereas it could sound trite, endurance and empathy are important in speaking remotely. Interruptions like poor web connections and barking canines require compassion and understanding. And it takes endurance to watch for coworkers to reply about minor points that could possibly be shortly resolved by informal face-to-face interactions. In these moments, stay calm and keep targeted on the massive image.

I’ve additionally realized that whereas misinterpretations are frequent when working remotely, asking for clarification upfront saves time in the long term. It reveals you care sufficient to actually pay attention to your coworkers and helps keep away from confusion as you’re employed to obtain shared targets. And for those who don’t assume your staff is utilizing essentially the most environment friendly digital instruments for a given job, communicate up — transparency is essential. 

My golden rule

Your technical expertise and experiences imply nothing with out empathy and endurance. This precept has guided my total life, from my immigration to the U.S. to navigating visa renewals and pursuing my inexperienced card —and it’s helped me navigate my promotion, too.

If you happen to’re provided an thrilling new position whereas working remotely, don’t let worries about communication points or different hurdles maintain you again. As an alternative, commit to compassion, transparency, and listening fastidiously to others. If you happen to preserve the appropriate mindset, you’ll take pleasure in a easy transition and haven’t any bother harnessing all of the alternatives a distant promotion opens up.

Roy Dsouza is an engineering supervisor of Robotic Course of Automation at Envoy Global.