Professional Development for Virtual Workers

In a competitive job market, it is important for you to stay on top of the constantly changing developments in your field of work. This is particularly true if you are a virtual worker.

That is because there is a high chance that remote workers are missing out on a lot of professional development opportunities that are offered for in-office employees. Therefore, you must strive to keep up with industry trends and update your skills to be effective in an ever-changing world. It is only by doing so that you can keep your job and advance in your career while working remotely.

While working remotely, it is important for you to know how to advance your skills in order to reach your full potential and access new opportunities. If you are a remote worker who is interested in learning how to create a professional website, secure job references, get promoted and set up an effective home office, refer to the sections below.

Creating Your Professional Website as a Remote Worker

There are several reasons for remote workers to create professional websites. With your own website, you can build an online brand and start side projects. Most importantly, a website is a space for you to showcase your skills, highlight your experiences and share your resume. If you want to stand out from competitors and make sure that hiring managers are taking you seriously, a professional website will help you accomplish those goals. Generally, professional websites make it easier for potential employers to find you and contact you about positions.

Creating a website is not hard and does not take up too much time. For example, through website building tools such as Squarespace, you can create a website without knowing much about coding or design. In many instances, your website can be the determining factor in whether you get hired for certain roles.

As a general rule, your resume must be the main focus of your website. First, make sure that your homepage contains an objective or summary statement that serves as an overview of what you do, who you are and what you are looking for. Next, you must include dedicated sections that detail your work experience, skills, educational background and achievements. If you want to make the site more personal, you may add a section that includes your hobbies, as these will serve as hints regarding the type of person you are. When you have a professional website showcasing your talents and history, it can set the tone for how people perceive you and your work. This is particularly important if you are a remote worker, as hiring managers have probably not met you in person and have few points of reference to evaluate who you are.

Securing Job References

If you have been working remotely for a while, it can be especially difficult to secure a significant number of effective job references. However, most recruiters will be inclined to verify your references if you are a remote worker, which makes it so important to get these in order.

If you are unsure of who you should include as a reference, you may consider including previous clients who you have worked with and who were pleased with the work that you provided them with. On the other hand, you must make sure to get each client’s permission before using his or her name. Getting this approval will ensure that you are not breaching any confidentiality agreements, and will also allow your references to not be caught off-guard when a hiring manager contacts them.

In addition to past clients, you may consider including peers, previous managers, college professors or even subordinates who worked under you in the past. The most important thing is to make sure that your references can effectively vouch for the type of professional you are.

Getting Promoted While Working from Home

Because you are generally out of your employer’s sight while working from home, it may be difficult to be considered for a promotion. In general, there are many advantages to working in an actual office building when trying to get a promotion, as you are able to work alongside your boss and peers, as well as explain to your supervisors why you are deserving of a promotion. On the other hand, if you do not work in an office, it is harder for your boss to monitor your progress.

The best way to earn praise from your boss and get acknowledged is to ask for more responsibility while learning new skills. Therefore, be mindful that your professional development is your own responsibility. In addition, make sure to take advantage of the free programs available online that can help you advance in your field. These learning opportunities will increase your value within an organization.

Moreover, if you are trying to get a raise, it is important for you to let that show through your work. This can be also be achieved by building your network, so that people know how well you are doing at your job.

Setting Up Your Home Office

After deciding that you are going to work from home, one of the most critical steps in your career is to determine where your home office will be located. Generally, you should choose a quiet area in your home, where you will have privacy and be able to focus on your work. Furthermore, you should make a list of the most basic needs you will be needing for your home office. For instance, if your space is big enough, you should consider getting a chair, a desk and a computer for your workspace. If you can afford it, it is ideal to have an entire room as your home office, especially if you have to meet with clients. In addition, rooms near the front entrance of the house are typically the best option.

When setting up your home office, it is important for you to stay organized. An organized space means that you will have more room for storage, filing and other important items. If you do not yet have a desk, consider building one that contains filing cabinets.

Whether you are working from home or running a home business, it is in your best interest to have two phones. Using your home phone as a work phone can lead clients to question your legitimacy. You will also need to make sure that you keep your work and home life separate. Overall, working remotely gives you more flexibility. However, you should still be putting a fair amount of time into your work as if you were working in an office setting.

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