Are you ready to transition to remote work but unsure where to start? This definitive guide tackles the crucial steps you need to make the leap confidently. From setting up your home office to ensuring you stay connected and productive, we’ve outlined the foundational strategies that will transform your work-from-home experience. Get ready to unlock the flexibility and autonomy that remote work promises without compromising on productivity or well-being.
The Allure and Reality of Remote Work
Is there anything more enticing than the idea of remote working from your home office, a cozy coffee shop, or even a beachfront cabana? The concept of remote work has captured the collective imagination, offering a tempting blend of flexibility and freedom.
A remarkable 159% increase in remote employment was observed between 2005 and 2017, and more than half of all remote employees embraced home-based work during the COVID-19 pandemic. This shift has been facilitated by technological advancements that allow employees to stay connected and productive, whether they’re in an office building or working from home.
What does that trend look like in the past 6 years?
It’s clear that working from home hit its peak during COVID-19 and has come down a bit and is relatively stable for the moment at nearly 5x pre-pandemic levels.
Working from home is not just about replacing your office desk with a kitchen table, but also about adapting your work style, learning to manage your time efficiently, and staying motivated without the structured environment of an in-office job. But with these challenges come exciting opportunities for personal growth and a better work-life balance.
Preparing for the Transition to Remote Work
Getting ready for the shift to working from home involves more than just packing up your office supplies. It requires careful planning, from laying the groundwork and making financial plans to developing remote work-specific skills.
We’ll delve into these steps in-depth, with the aim of assisting you in making a successful transition to the remote work lifestyle.
Laying the Groundwork for Transition
Preparing to work remotely is quite unlike preparing for an in-office job. It’s not just about polishing your CV or acing the interview; it’s about having a clear plan and the right tools at your disposal. The first step is to identify the tools and resources you’ll need to perform your job effectively from a remote setting. This could include project management software, remote desktop applications, and communication platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams.
Every company is different and will have different tools. While companies a decade ago relied on emails and direct meetings, contemporary remote teams hinge on these modern tools for frictionless collaboration.
But it’s not just about the software. You’ll also need a dedicated workspace equipped with reliable Wi-Fi and (ideally) noise-canceling headphones to ensure that you can work without distractions. This might involve investing in new equipment or upgrading your existing setup, or even considering co working spaces.
After all, just over half of the workforce is now working remotely, and being equipped with the right tools is a vital part of staying competitive in this new work environment. If you’re on a budget, you can find some great deals on Facebook Marketplace for computor monitors, desks, desk chairs, and other supplies so take a look there before investing in new items.
Here are the most common items you may need for transition to remote work that I recommend:
Laptops or computers
Monitors (dual-monitor is a game changer)
Headsets/headphones (bonus if they have noise-canceling capabilities)
Webcam if your laptop doesn’t have one (1080p recommended)
High-speed internet access (minimum download speed of 1.8 Mbps)
Ergonomic chairs (unless you like daily back pain)
Standing desks (underrated)
Printer/scanner (nothing fancy)
Financial Planning for the Transition Phase
As with any major life change, the shift to remote work can have significant financial implications. Not only will you need to budget for new equipment and potential upgrades to your internet connection, but you’ll also need to plan for possible income fluctuations during the transition phase. This might involve setting aside a financial cushion or exploring additional income streams to ensure financial stability.
Experts typically recommend 3-6 months of emergency funds. Just having this financial cushion in place can seriously reduce your stress levels and also boost your confidence in pursuing this new lifestyle. Your mental health becomes even more important when working remotely so you want to do everything you can to stay in a good headspace.
Developing Remote-Work-Specific Skills
So, how do you actually get the skills needed for remote work? Well, that depends on the type of work you’re looking to do. The first thing to remember is that remote working is all about the digital age. You need to at least know basic computer skills to be considered for job opportunities for most companies.
While technical skills and industry knowledge are crucial in any job, working remotely requires an additional unique set of skills. At the top of the list are effective communication and time management. As a remote worker, you’ll need to be able to clearly express your ideas and updates through emails, video calls, and instant messages.
More than 50% of communication is non-verbal, which means that body language, tone of voice, and other signals play a huge part in communicating. This is crucial to consider as you transition to communicating digitally as now you must learn to hone your communication skills through other means.
You’ll also need to manage your time at home effectively and efficiently, balancing your work tasks with personal life. It can be extremely tempting to jump on the couch and watch some netflix or play a few video games in the middle of the workday. With less supervision comes more responsibility to mange your work and projects so that you don’t fall behind and miss deadlines or meetings.
I’ve found great success in using Google Calendar to set numerous reminders for every meeting (3 hours before, 1 hour before, 20 minutes before). Additionally, I use project management tools like Asana to manage my tasks, to-do list, and projects along with their due dates, relevant notes, and any updates. Don’t be overwhelmed by the hundreds of tools out there, find 1 or 2 that work for you and leverage those.
Adaptability is another key skill to have if you want to work remotely. With technology evolving at a rapid pace, remote workers need to be able to quickly adapt to new tools and platforms. This might involve learning to use new project management software or staying updated on the latest industry trends.
Constantly honing these skills bolsters your worth as a remote worker, paving the way for your long-term success. This can be done in a number of ways, such as watching helpful youtube guides, reading or watching tutorials from the software tool itself, or just playing around inside the tools to figure out how they work. I find a mix of these 3 methods to be most effective for me.
Comprehensive Guide to Remote Job Search Strategies
Awesome! You’ve got your skills and toolbelt down, but now you need an actual job. Where do you even start?
After arming yourself with the necessary skills and tools, it’s time to plunge into the job market. But finding a remote job isn’t quite the same as finding a traditional in-office job. Instead of scouring local job listings or attending job fairs, you’ll likely find yourself navigating online job boards and networking in virtual communities. Remember, location is no longer a factor so the job market just expanded dramatically.
The key to a successful remote job search is to be proactive and persistent. Although you can improve your chances of getting a job through various methods that we will discuss, remember that applying for jobs is also a numbers game.
If the average job offer rate for a particular company or title is 2-3% (for example), just know that you may need to apply to 33-50 different postings in order to land a job offer. *Gasps* – 50 applications?! Yes, you may need to apply to 50+ jobs before you end up landing a great role.
I’ve applied to hundreds of remote jobs in order to land the ones I was targeting. However, every industry, company, and job are different so this was just an example. The key takeaway is to be persistent as you will eventually land a great role if you don’t give up. If you don’t apply, you won’t get the role.
So, where do I look for jobs then? Here’s a few great starting points:
Online job boards (examples: JustRemote, WorkingNomads, FlexJobs, Indeed)
LinkedIn (through networking and viewing job postings)
Reaching out directly to companies that offer working from home options
And while it can be a bit overwhelming at first, remember that the perfect remote job for you is out there – it might just take a bit of digging to find it. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when applying for jobs is they use the same resume and cover letter for every job, or worse, no cover letter at all.
I don’t apply for any jobs without having a cover letter at a bare minimum. But to further enhance my chances, I customize EVERY resume and cover letter specific to the job and company that I’m applying to.
Example: If I’m applying to a marketing operations position at typical company or a startup, I edit my resume to highlight my relevant achievements and accomplishments related to marketing operations and the particular tasks, projects, and tools that may have been discussed in the job posting.
Then, I research the company to learn more about them and I also research the team on LinkedIn to see if I may know anyone. Once complete, I’ll edit or re-write my cover letter to add some comments about the company to let them know I’ve done my research and that I’m quite serious about the job opportunity. Even better if I happen to know someone from the company that I can leverage to get my foot in the door.
Does this take a lot of time, patience, and dedication. YES!
Do all the other applicants do this? NO!
Will this boost your chances of standing out among the crowd? Absolutely.
A few more quick tips for applying to remote jobs:
If you have previous work-from-home experience, highlight this in your application and cover letter
If you have experience working with project management or communication tools, showcase this
If you’ve worked independently or with minimal supervision before, make this known
Building a Winning Remote Work Portfolio
Once you’ve found a remote job that you’re interested in, the next step is to find a way to further stand out from the crowd. One effective way to do this is by building a strong work portfolio that showcases your skills, experience, and accomplishments. Your portfolio is more than just a summary of past jobs or a compilation of references – it’s a meticulously curated display of your capabilities as a remote worker.
“What if I haven’t worked remotely before?” If you haven’t worked remotely before, don’t worry, you should still look to create a work portfolio that you’ve done while working at a physical location.
Your portfolio should include a diverse range of projects where you’ve contributed as a freelancer, contractor, or remote employee. Be sure to highlight any initiatives you’ve spearheaded and the results you’ve achieved. Don’t just list your responsibilities or daily tasks. And remember, it’s not just about what you’ve done – it’s about how you did it. Show potential employers that you can not only do the job, but that you can do it well in a remote work setting.
Be sure to attach your work portfolio to your job applications along with your resume and cover letter.
Building a Support System for Transition
While working from home offers many benefits, it can also be very isolating which can take a toll on your mental health and physical health. Without the casual conversations at the “water cooler” or the camaraderie of team lunches, it can be easy to feel disconnected. That underscores the importance of constructing a support network during the early stages of your transition to remote work.
This could involve joining online communities of other remote workers, finding a mentor who has experience with remote work, or even just staying in touch with former colleagues. The goal is to ensure that you have people you can turn to for advice, feedback, or just a friendly chat.
People often underestimate the impact of social interaction on their mental health. Consider spending more time with family and friends during the initial weeks of starting a remote job. It’s important to keep in mind that you may be losing some social interaction when making the switch to your remote job, so looking to replace that ahead of time can be a huge benefit. With a strong support system in place, the transition to remote work can be a much smoother and more enjoyable experience.
Strategies for Negotiating Remote Work Arrangements
If you’re considering transitioning to remote work within your current company, effective negotiation is crucial to ensure a smooth transition that benefits both you and your employer. Here are some strategies to help you navigate this conversation successfully:
Articulate the Value Proposition:
Begin the negotiation by clearly and convincingly articulating the advantages of remote work for both you and the company. Explain how working remotely can enhance your productivity, work-life balance, and job satisfaction. Additionally, emphasize how it can contribute to the company’s goals, such as increased employee retention, reduced overhead costs, or access to a broader talent pool.
Example: “I believe that transitioning to a remote work arrangement can lead to improved productivity for me, as I can work in a more focused environment. It can also benefit the company by reducing the need for office space and attracting talent from different geographic areas, ultimately enhancing our competitiveness.”
Address Concerns Proactively:
Anticipate and address any concerns your employer may have about remote work. Common concerns include communication, collaboration, and accountability. Be prepared to explain how you intend to overcome these challenges and ensure that work quality remains high.
Example: “I understand that communication is essential, and I’m committed to maintaining open lines of communication through regular video meetings and instant messaging tools. I’ll also be diligent about meeting deadlines and providing updates on my progress to ensure accountability.”
Offer Solutions and Compromises:
Instead of presenting remote work as an all-or-nothing proposition, be flexible and willing to compromise. You might propose a trial period of remote work to evaluate its effectiveness, or suggest a hybrid arrangement where you work remotely on certain days and in the office on others. This flexibility demonstrates your commitment to finding a solution that works for both parties.
Example: “To address any concerns, I’d like to propose a three-month trial period during which we can assess the impact of remote work. If it proves successful, we can consider a more permanent arrangement. Additionally, I’m open to coming into the office at regular hours for important meetings or collaborative projects as needed.”
Highlight Technology and Security Measures:
Assure your employer that you are aware of the importance of data security and that you have measures in place to protect sensitive company information while working remotely. Mention any security protocols or tools you plan to use to maintain data integrity.
Example: “I’ve already researched and can implement secure VPN connections and encryption tools to ensure that all company data remains protected, even when I’m working remotely. Your trust and the security of our data are of utmost importance to me.”
Demonstrate Your Commitment:
Show your commitment to making remote work a success by setting clear expectations, delivering results, and being readily available during working hours. Consistently meeting or exceeding performance expectations will build trust and confidence in your remote work arrangement.
Example: “I’m fully committed to making this remote work arrangement successful. I’ll establish a structured daily routine, be accessible during working hours, and provide regular progress updates to keep everyone informed and ensure a seamless workflow.”
Preparing for the Remote Work Lifestyle
Transitioning to home-based work involves:
Modifying your workplace
Altering your work methods
Shifting your mindset
Changing your daily routines and habits
Start by setting up a dedicated workspace where you can focus on your tasks. This might be a home office, or even just a corner of your living room. Establish a routine that includes regular breaks and time for relaxation. And remember to prioritize self-care – just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should be working all the time.
Creating an effective workspace is pivotal for remote work success. While it’s tempting to work from your bed or the couch, it’s essential to differentiate your workspace from leisure areas. Find a spot with good lighting and minimal distractions. Invest in a comfortable chair and a desk at an appropriate height to prevent discomfort during long work hours. Keep your workspace organized and clutter-free, and ensure you have all the tools and technology you need within arm’s reach.
Try to make your workspace into a positive environment, consider adding plants, candles, decorations, or other small items so it doesn’t just feel like a blank office cubicle. I ended up buying a new desk from Amazon, adding some candles, a plant, and a few of my favorite pens. I also set up my desk near the window to bring in the natural light. Everyone has their own work style, so consider what would be your ideal space and make it happen!
Adapting Work Methods:
Remote work often demands a shift in work methods. Consider using digital tools to manage tasks and collaborate with colleagues. Tools like project management software, video conferencing platforms, and messaging apps are super helpful. Establish a routine where you outline your daily tasks and prioritize them.
Set specific goals for what you want to achieve each day. Allocate specific time blocks for focused work, and set ground rules to family or roommates so you’re on the same page to have fewer distractions. This is especially important if you’re in a coworking space.
A remote work mindset requires self-discipline, self-motivation, and clear communication. Understand that you are now responsible for managing your own time and productivity. Define your work hours (if you’re allowed to) and stick to them. Set boundaries for personal time to prevent overwork and burnout. Embrace a problem-solving attitude. When challenges arise, proactively seek solutions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to colleagues or supervisors if you need guidance or support.
Daily Routine and Habits:
Structure is crucial when working remotely. Create a daily routine that aligns with your work hours. Start your day with a morning routine that signals the beginning of your workday. Dress comfortably, but maintain a level of professionalism (at least wear pants!). It’s easy to stay in pajamas, but dressing as if you were going to the office can help maintain a work-oriented mindset. Schedule regular breaks to rest your mind and stretch your legs. Use this time to grab a healthy snack, take a walk, or simply relax.
One common pitfall is the tendency to overwork. It’s essential to set clear boundaries with yourself and prioritize self-care. Designate some time each day for physical activity, whether it’s a workout, yoga class, or a brisk walk. Maybe you plan to take a 10 minute walk each day after finishing lunch. Speaking of lunch, eat nutritious meals and stay hydrated. Overworking can lead to burnout, poor mental health, and reduced productivity, so establish a strict work schedule and stick to it. If possible, turn off work-related notifications after hours to let your mind rest.
Continuous Adaptation and Learning:
Remote work is a dynamic environment that may require ongoing adjustments. Be open to feedback from colleagues and supervisors. Continuously evaluate your work methods and make necessary improvements. Stay updated on best practices by reading industry articles, attending webinars, or seeking out online courses. Explore opportunities for professional growth and development to enhance your skills and adapt to the evolving landscape of remote work. YouTube is my go-to for learning new skills, or at least the foundation for them.
Communication and Collaboration
Effective Communication and Connection:
Remote work can sometimes feel isolating, so maintaining communication and connection to your team is vital. Schedule regular video meetings with your team to maintain a sense of presence and connection. Active participation in team chats and collaboration tools can help bridge the physical gap. Provide updates on your progress to keep colleagues informed.
If you’re feeling isolated or need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to colleagues or supervisors. You’re not on an island (well, maybe you are?). Effective communication ensures that you remain an active and engaged member of your team and feel connected to your co-workers.
Without the ability to pop into a colleague’s office for a quick chat, remote workers need to find other ways to stay connected and collaborate effectively. This might involve regular video conference calls, group chats, or project management tools.
Here are practical tips ensure success:
Diverse Communication: Use varied channels like video calls for team meetings, group chats for quick questions, and emails for formal updates.
Project Management Tools: Leverage platforms such as Trello to create boards for task tracking and Slack to organize discussions using channels.
Time Zones: Be mindful of time zones when scheduling meetings, and utilize tools like World Time Buddy or Doodle for convenience.
Clear Guidelines: Establish guidelines such as using email for formal communication, instant messaging for quick queries, and video calls for team discussions.
Inclusivity: Encourage participation from all team members by ensuring remote workers have an equal say in decisions. Implement inclusive practices like asynchronous communication.
Regular Video Meetings: Schedule weekly Zoom check-ins or other video conferences to enhance connection and understanding.
Documentation: Ensure accessibility and reduce miscommunication by documenting discussions and decisions using tools like Google Docs for shared notes.
Time Management and Productivity
Time management is a crucial skill for many remote workers too. Without the structure of a traditional office environment, it can be easy to lose track of time and struggle to stay productive. One effective strategy is to set clear goals and prioritize your tasks. This can help you stay focused and ensure that you’re spending your time on the most important tasks. With many active projects at the same time with moving pieces, you may need to do prioritization daily or weekly to ensure you’re on top of things.
Techniques like the Pomodoro method, which involves working for a set amount of time and then taking a short break, can also help boost productivity. And remember, it’s not just about working hard, it’s about working smart. By managing your time effectively, you can get more done in less time, leaving more time for relaxation and personal interests. Look for ways to automate your work or opportunities for software tools to boost your efficiency. Consider tools like chatGPT or Zapier to boost your efficiency.
Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance emerges as one of the foremost challenges of remote work. When your home is your office, it can be easy to blur the lines between work and personal time.
To maintain a healthy balance, it’s important to set clear boundaries. This could involve setting specific work hours, taking regular breaks, and making time for hobbies and relaxation. It’s also important to take care of your physical health by taking time to exercise and eat healthy meals. By prioritizing work-life balance, you can enjoy the benefits of remote work without burning out.
Specialized Strategies for Mental Health in Remote Work
Adapting to remote work comes with its unique set of mental health challenges. To help navigate these, it’s essential to integrate simple, quick, yet effective practices into your daily routine. These actionable strategies are designed to enhance your mental well-being, helping you to stay focused, balanced, and positive in your remote work environment. Here are ten easy-to-implement tips that can make a significant difference in managing stress and maintaining mental health while working remotely.
Set a Timer for Regular Breaks: Use a timer to remind yourself to take short breaks every hour. During these breaks, step away from your desk, stretch, or do a brief physical activity.
Practice Deep Breathing: Engage in a 5-minute deep breathing exercise to reduce stress and increase focus. This can be done at your desk and is a quick way to reset your mental state.
Daily Gratitude Journaling: Spend a few minutes each day writing down things you are grateful for. This helps cultivate a positive mindset and can be especially uplifting during challenging workdays.
Create a ‘Positive Affirmations’ Board: Have a space in your workspace where you post positive affirmations. Reading these throughout the day can boost your mood and self-esteem.
Limit Social Media During Work Hours: Set specific times to check social media to avoid the stress and distraction it can often bring. This helps maintain focus and reduces anxiety.
Mindful Eating: Dedicate your lunchtime to just eating, away from work-related activities. Mindful eating helps reduce stress and improves your relationship with food.
Virtual Coffee Breaks with Colleagues: Schedule short, informal video calls with colleagues to mimic watercooler chats. This can decrease feelings of isolation and foster a sense of belonging.
Quick Outdoor Walks: Take a brief walk outside to get fresh air and a change of scenery. Natural light and a bit of exercise can significantly improve your mood.
Focused ‘No Work’ Zone in the Evening: Designate a time in the evening after which you do not engage in any work-related activities. Use this time to relax, pursue hobbies, or spend time with loved ones.
Guided Meditation Sessions: Utilize guided meditation apps for a 10-15 minute session to calm your mind. This can be particularly helpful for unwinding after a stressful day or preparing for a focused work session.
Overcoming Common Remote Work Challenges
We’ve already touched on some of these, so here are a few other challenges to consider:
Maintaining Accountability: Remote work requires a higher degree of personal responsibility. Stay accountable by setting clear goals, tracking your progress, and regularly reviewing your performance. Consider using accountability partners or productivity apps to help you stay on track.
Building Trust with Supervisors: Supervisors may have concerns about remote workers’ productivity. Build trust by providing regular updates on your work progress, being responsive to communication, and delivering quality results consistently. Transparency is key to gaining their confidence.
Balancing Multiple Roles: Juggling professional and personal responsibilities at home can be challenging. Create a structured daily schedule that allocates time for work, family, and personal tasks. Effective time management and delegation within your household can help you balance these roles more effectively.
Staying Motivated and Productive: The absence of direct supervision can sometimes lead to decreased motivation. To stay on track, break your work into manageable tasks, set achievable goals, and reward yourself upon completion. Regularly reassess your progress and adjust your approach as needed.
Long-Term Strategies for Remote Work Success
Transitioning to online work is not a one-time event – it’s an ongoing process. To ensure long-term success, it’s important to continually learn, adapt, and improve.
This might involve seeking out new learning opportunities, staying updated on industry trends, and seeking feedback from colleagues and supervisors. It’s also important to stay flexible and open to change, as the world of remote work is constantly evolving.
By committing to continuous improvement and adaptation, you can ensure that you’re always at the top of your game, no matter where you’re working from.
Building and Sustaining Remote Team Culture
Creating a close-knit team vibe is just as important in remote setups as it is in a regular office. It’s all about making your entire team feel like they belong, even when they’re scattered across different places.
To foster a great remote team culture, try these friendly and practical steps:
Stay Connected: Regular chats, video calls, or quick catch-ups can keep everyone feeling connected, just like popping by a colleague’s desk in the office.
Fun Team Activities: Plan some virtual team-building activities or casual hangouts to strengthen your team’s bond. It could be a weekly trivia quiz or a virtual coffee break.
Celebrate Wins Together: When someone on the team achieves something significant, take a moment to celebrate it together, even if it’s just a virtual high-five or a congratulatory message.
Trust and Respect: Clear and honest communication is the bedrock of trust. Encourage open conversations and mutual support among your team members.
Professional Development and Growth
Continuous focus on professional development and growth remains important. This can involve seeking out new learning opportunities, expanding your network, and staying updated on industry trends.
Professional development can also involve seeking feedback and continually looking for ways to improve. Remember, working from home is not a static situation – it’s an ongoing process that requires continual growth and adaptation. By prioritizing professional development, you can ensure that you’re always ready to take on new challenges and opportunities in your remote work journey.
Legal and Compliance Considerations
During remote work, it’s important to stay informed about any legal and compliance considerations. This can include understanding tax implications, employment laws, and data security requirements.
For example, if you’re working in a different country from your employer, you’ll need to understand how this affects your taxes. You’ll also need to ensure that you’re complying with any employment laws in your location, as well as any data security requirements related to your work.
Transitioning to remote work can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. With proper planning, preparation, and ongoing strategies for success, you can enjoy the benefits of flexibility, freedom, and a better work-life balance. Bear in mind, working remotely is not merely about working from any location – it’s about working in a manner that aligns with your lifestyle and needs.
So whether you’re considering remote work for the first time or looking to improve your current remote setup, we hope this blog post has provided you with valuable insights and strategies to help you on your journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the first steps to take when transitioning to remote work?
Begin by setting up a dedicated workspace that is comfortable and free of distractions. Ensure you have the necessary technology and tools, such as a reliable computer, high-speed internet, and essential software. Establish clear work hours and routines to maintain productivity and work-life balance. Finally, communicate openly with your employer and team about expectations and any support you may need during the transition.
How can I maintain productivity while working remotely?
Set clear goals and create a daily to-do list to stay focused. Use productivity tools and techniques, like the Pomodoro Technique or time blocking, to manage your time effectively. Limit distractions by setting specific times for checking emails and using social media. Regular breaks are also important to prevent burnout and keep your mind fresh.
What are the best ways to communicate with my team remotely?
Utilize various communication tools like email, instant messaging apps, and video conferencing. Schedule regular meetings to stay connected and updated with your team’s progress. Be proactive in reaching out and sharing information. Remember, clear and concise communication is key in a remote setting.
How do I handle feelings of isolation while working from home?
Stay connected with your colleagues through regular virtual meetups or casual chats. Engage in online professional communities or forums. Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends or family during breaks. You can also consider coworking spaces for a change of environment and social interaction.
Can remote work impact my career growth, and how can I address it?
Remote work can offer opportunities for career growth if approached strategically. Be proactive in seeking feedback, volunteering for projects, and showing initiative. Keep your skills updated and network actively within your industry. Communicate your achievements and progress regularly to your superiors to ensure visibility and consideration for career advancement opportunities.