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Should I Stay or Should I Go? Questions to Ask When You're at a Remote Career Crossroads

At some point in our careers, we have all had those moments we can call crossroads, where we need to make a decision about whether to stay in a job or take other opportunities.

This moment could be the result of a job offer, a burning desire to strike off on your own, or it could be the result of your current position not being the best place for you at this moment in your career.

The Remote Career Crossroads

"Should I stay or should I go?"

Before you can answer this BIG question, ask yourself the following series of smaller questions.

What does your ideal job look like?

Describe what you really want to be doing on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis. What kind of projects are you working on? What are you learning? What do you want to accomplish? And finally, how do these responses differ from what you experience in your current position?

Is your ideal job possible in your current organization?

If you can see real examples of people moving up in the way that you would like to...

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Protect Your Time When You Work Online: How to Protect Your Most Valuable Resource

TThere are only 480 minutes in a typical 8-hour workday. That's not much time at all.

Especially when you think of the number of minutes that you spend:

  • In meetings
  • Clarifying misunderstandings
  • Writing emails
  • Trying to find documents/emails/etc.
  • Creating or adjusting processes
  • Scheduling meetings
  • In meetings

If your job description includes nothing but meetings... then, great!

But for the rest of us, this is a real problem. How do you protect your time when you work online?

We Spend Much of Our Workday on Anything But Work

How much time do you actually get to spend on your work?

The ugly truth is that a lot of our workday is wasted. That's true for traditional workplaces and it's also true for distributed teams. Here are the four biggest time sucks in remote workplaces:

1. Meetings

There is a tendency in remote teams to think that because the team is distributed, you need more meetings. This is a big mistake—more meetings simply lead to more wasted time....

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You Can Climb the Corporate Ladder Virtually

By Christina Lewellen, MBA, CAE

Like many career-minded individuals, I had professional development and advancement goals for climbing the corporate ladder long before I had heard of the concept of “telework.” As my career has unfolded, I’ve had several opportunities to work virtually but I never lost sight of the trajectory I envisioned for myself. As it turns out, you can have the best of both worlds—but it does take planning, focus, and a willingness to pedal a little bit faster than everyone else.

 

VIRTUAL STRENGTH TRAINING

I started my career in journalism, working for daily newspapers, television, and magazines. Looking back, I now realize that these jobs were my virtual employee strength training program. I worked when the stories broke, but the deadlines were firm and constant. I experienced a boot camp, of sorts—I had flexibility in my schedule but I had hard deliverables and plenty of people watching to make sure I met them.

Years later,...

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Best Remote Work Podcasts

With remote work becoming more and more common, it comes as no surprise that there are now several podcasts about the topic. If you're interested in remote work and/or the future of work, and like to hear about all the cool things that people are doing while location independent, have a listen to these great shows.

 

21st Century Work Life

21st Century Work Life is a podcast is hosted by Pilar Orti and Lisette Sutherland. The format is varied: in some episodes, Orti and Sutherland co-host, in some episodes they interview guests, and sometimes, they have solo shows. The topics are just as diverse and cover important topics like communication and management in remote teams, as well as issues that are faced by subsets of remote employees, like complete newbies. This show is extremely well-produced and researched. Plus, the questions and perspectives on this show will get you thinking about how to improve your own remote work experience.

I especially recommend this podcast for...

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Easy Ways to Improve Communication in Remote Teams

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One of the biggest issues in all teams—virtual and not—is communication. While this issue is prevalent in all teams, it can seem that the problem is exacerbated in virtual teams. 

Why is communication in remote teams especially challenging? 

1. There are few (or no) existing opportunities for informal connections, which can be a good space for people to establish rapport and confirm understanding of situations or expectations.

2. A lot of virtual communication takes place with email or chat—which means messages are often misinterpreted. Not everyone is great at conveying or reading accurate tone when writing.

3. If your work day does not include collaboration, you might be working on your own for most of the day. You might ride the momentum of your work bubble, and not stop to clarify or confirm understanding of expectations.

No matter the reason for your team's challenges, there are some concrete steps that you can take to improve how your team...

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Remote Work and the Law: Legal Issues that Remote Leaders Must Know

Employing a remote workforce can bring enormous benefits to an organization, like expanding attracting top talent and saving on overhead expenses that usually accompany a location-dependent workforce. But employing remote workers also comes with its own set of legal implications that remote leaders need to consider. Each of these legal issues could be a potential liability for your company. 

Make sure that you work through the proper channels to ensure that each issue is properly and adequately addressed in your:

  • HR policies
  • Employee handbook
  • Hiring process
  • Onboarding process
  • Organizational structure
  • Procedures
  • Additional organizational policies

Legal Issues with Remote Teams

Privacy and Security

With a remote workforce, all communication takes place in a decentralized environment. Privacy and security of your business’ information should be at the top of your list of concerns—just think of all the sensitive information your employees have access to and...

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Remote Management Mistakes: Top Mistakes Leaders Make When Managing Remote Teams

How do you manage remote teams? For the most part, there are many similarities between managing remote teams and general management best practices. However, there are some specific considerations that managers of remote employees should consider. Whether your team is entirely remote, or you only have some remote direct reports, there are some big remote management mistakes you can make that can severely impact the productivity and overall happiness of your team.

 

Top Remote Management Mistakes

Ignoring management needs

If you’re charged with managing a team, you have to be mindful of the skills, behaviors and attitudes that job requires. Identifying what you need to do in order to effectively carry out this responsibility. That means that if you do have a remote team, it’s up to you to identify what the management needs are for that situation. Reading this blog post is a great start — as you read, make note of exactly what you need to work on and make...

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5 In-Demand Skills You Can Leverage to Work from Home

Want to work from home but you’re not sure what you can do? You can leverage any of the five skills listed below to find a remote job that you love. Many job seekers spend their time searching by job title — but job titles can vary greatly from company to company and can be hard to understand. Instead, focus on the responsibilities listed in the job description. Look for job descriptions that list skills that you already have.

For each skill I list example jobs and companies, plus keywords to use when using job search sites.

5 Skills to Leverage to Find Remote Jobs

 

LANGUAGES

Do you speak more than one language? You can get a remote job as a translator, interpreter, transcriber, or customer service representative. Additionally, you can set yourself apart from other candidates for other types of jobs if you highlight your language skills.

If a job description does not directly say that they need someone with language skills, research the position to see if any...

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11 Reasons You're Not Getting Remote Job Offers

You've applied to remote jobs but you still haven't gotten any remote job offers. What gives?

Chances are it's because of one of these reasons. Some of these reasons indicate areas you can improve. Others you can't do anything about. Focus on the areas that you can actually work on to improve your chances for the next position.

 

Reasons You're Not Getting Remote Job Offers

1. Your experience didn't indicate that you could work well remotely.

If you've never had any experience working remotely, this can work against you. Working remotely requires you to be self-motivated and have excellent time management skills. Employers want to know that you will do the work how and when you need to.

Tip: If you've never worked remotely before, then make sure to highlight past experiences that demonstrate the above skills.

2. The qualifications listed in your resume or highlighted in your interview did not match the needs of the employer.

The hiring committee just didn't see you as...

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Friday Reflection: What Have You Done This Week?

Happy Friday!

Before you dance away from your work for the weekend, take some time to reflect on what you accomplished.

Reflecting on the week allows you to acknowledge your victories and the things you have learned. It will also prepare you to start next week off on the right foot.

Here are some questions to guide your reflection:

Friday Reflection Prompts

What major goals or deliverables did you complete?

Take a look back at the concrete deliverables or tasks you finished this week. Sometimes looking back on the things you've done is much more inspiring than looking at the things you still have to accomplish.

What conversations did you have?

Did you have any meaningful or important conversations with coworkers or clients? What did you learn from those conversations? How can that information help you in the future?

Did you find out anything new about yourself or others?

Note anything you've learned about other people and yourself —  about the way you and others work,...

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