How do remote workers get promoted?\u00a0 You might ask this question if you have a telecommuting job and your boss seems to overlook you.\r\n\r\nFor telecommuters to win promotions, they should focus on four key areas. \u00a0First, develop rapport with coworkers.\u00a0 Second, become a go-to person in the company.\u00a0 Third, build up your skills.\u00a0 Finally, think strategically and plan for your future role.\r\n\r\nRead on to find out how to address these four critical areas.\r\n\r\nDevelop Rapport with Coworkers\r\nOne method that helps telecommuters get promotions involves developing a good working relationship with coworkers. \u00a0For one thing, this will make it easier to work with them in the future.\r\n\r\nAlso, coworkers can act as advocates and help you to win a promotion. \u00a0Finally, you can learn from your coworkers and teach them, so that everyone can contribute more to the company.\r\nOffer to Help Coworkers\r\nEveryone needs a little help at work sometimes. \u00a0First, ask your coworkers about their current projects. Express an interest and ask for details about a project you think you can help with. \u00a0Think about what you can offer with your current skill set, and find a way to help out.\r\nExample\r\nAt one of my old jobs, we switched from Microsoft Access databases to SQL databases. \u00a0Many of my coworkers did not know how to write a SQL query.\u00a0 (A SQL query is a way to get information from a database.)\r\nIn my research, I found a feature in Access that automatically writes a SQL query for you. \u00a0I remembered that a coworker had asked me about how to write a SQL query.\u00a0 I told him about this trick, and he was so happy when I did.\u00a0 It only took a minute to tell him about it, but it saved him hours of frustration!\r\nIn most cases, your coworkers will love getting a little help on a project. \u00a0If you offer this kind of help, they will sing your praises!\u00a0 This might not seem like a big deal. \u00a0However, it can give you a leg up in getting a promotion.\r\n\r\nYour boss will often ask your coworkers about you before making a decision about your promotion.\u00a0 That will work in your favor if your coworkers sing your praises.\u00a0 They will, if you show an interest in their work, and help when you can!\r\nAsk Your Coworkers for Help\r\nOn the flip side, your coworkers might also want to help you. \u00a0Once in a while, ask a coworker a clarifying question. If your coworker has expertise in the topic, he will probably talk your ear off! \u00a0He might also offer some helpful advice, and tell you things you did not know.\r\n\r\nWhen you use this information, make sure to tell your boss about your super-helpful, in-house consultant. \u00a0This has a few benefits. First, you make your coworker look good.\u00a0 Second, you build rapport with your coworker.\u00a0 Finally, you show your boss that you work well with others. You also show off your resourcefulness.\r\nExample\r\nLet\u2019s say you build an Excel spreadsheet that makes calculations easier. \u00a0However, you must copy and paste data into the file each week. \u00a0This tedious process wastes precious time. If your coworker is a VBA programmer, ask him for help! \u00a0\u00a0He can automate the copying and pasting of data into the spreadsheet. You tell your boss about the collaboration.\u00a0 The result: both you and your coworker look good.\r\nOne thing to keep in mind: do not ask too much of your coworkers! \u00a0They have their own projects and deadlines.\u00a0 First, ask if a coworker has a lot going on. \u00a0If not, see if you can talk briefly about a question you have.\u00a0 This shows respect for your coworker\u2019s time and knowledge.\r\nBecome a Valuable Resource\r\nAnother way that telecommuters get promotions involves getting the boss to see them differently.\u00a0 You want the boss to see you as a valuable resource in the company.\u00a0 However, I am not suggesting that you perform some type of alchemy, where you turn yourself into gold. (Although that would be awesome!)\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIf you can prove your value, the boss will consider you a stronger candidate for promotion.\u00a0 In order to create this impression, you should think about putting in extra time on projects.\u00a0 You should also create helpful resources for your team.\u00a0 Finally, offer good ideas, along with ways to make them a reality.\r\nGo the Extra Mile on Projects\r\nTo go the extra mile on a project, you need to establish some milestones.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWhen you think you have finished a project, look it over.\r\n\r\nFirst, think about any objections a customer might have. Make sure to address these objections.\r\n\r\nSecond, think about any questions your boss might ask.\u00a0 Think back to other projects - what did the boss ask about? \u00a0Answer these questions for the current project.\r\n\r\nFinally, look at the project with a critical eye, and see if you can find any flaws. \u00a0If so, think about how to solve them.\u00a0 This process will go faster on a group project, since you can ask coworkers for feedback.\r\nCreate Helpful Resources\r\nIf you find the answer to a question that nobody else has answered, write it down! \u00a0When people ask this question, you can refer them to your resource. The same goes for questions that a few different people have asked you. \u00a0You have important knowledge on this topic, so create a guide that you can give to coworkers.\r\n\r\nIt might also help to compile questions and answers into some type of Q&A (Question and Answer) guide. \u00a0New employees will love you for this!\u00a0 Your manager might love you too.\u00a0 These guides can speed up the process of getting new hires ready to work.\r\n\r\nYou can also invite coworkers to update the Q&A guide as needed. \u00a0This minimizes time spent searching for answers, and compiles company knowledge in one convenient place.\r\nContribute Good Ideas and Offer to Implement Them\r\nCan you find a way to improve productivity, increase sales, decrease expenses, or otherwise help the bottom line? \u00a0If so, tell your boss and coworkers! This could mean anything from a new software system to a custom Excel function, program, or spreadsheet.\r\n\r\nIt could also mean voice-to-text software, or shortcuts in your workflow that might help coworkers.\u00a0 Once you have approval, offer to take the lead in implementing the new solution.\r\n\r\nOn a broader scale, if you have ideas for a new market to pursue, discuss it with your team. \u00a0If you have ideas on how to solve a problem, make it known.\u00a0 The boss may not adopt every single idea. \u00a0However, if you demonstrate creative thinking, you will stand out for promotion.\u00a0 Also, having the courage to speak up and explain your idea shows that you have leadership potential.\r\nLearn the Ins and Outs of Your Product\r\nWhether your company offers a product, service, or software solution, learn it!\u00a0 Know the product inside and out, so you can answer any questions that customers or coworkers have.\u00a0 This will further build your reputation as a valuable resource.\r\n\r\nIn addition to helping customers and coworkers, you can also help your company and management.\u00a0 When you answer frequent questions about your product, you know all about the problems people have with it.\u00a0 This gives you insight into how the company can improve the product.\u00a0 You can then talk to the right people and get the ball rolling to make the improvement.\r\nExample\r\nYou have answered three questions today about how to import data in your company's software system.\u00a0 Customers ask this question frequently, so a shortcut might make sense.\r\nPerhaps there should be a button that starts an import\/export wizard for files in your software system.\u00a0 If you talk to a software engineer, you might find out that he could make this change in a day.\u00a0 This improvement could retain existing customers and win new ones!\r\n\r\nGo to Industry Events\r\nThis might require some travel.\u00a0 However, you will have the chance to learn tricks of the trade from people at other companies.\u00a0 You will also stay up to date on the latest technology and ideas in your industry.\u00a0 Of course, you know that you can't turn down the awesome swag and gear they give out at those conferences!\r\n\r\nThese events also give you a chance to build your network.\u00a0 For instance, you can meet people in more senior roles at other companies.\u00a0 You can also ask them how they ended up in their jobs.\u00a0 Their insight can help you to focus on the right skills in your industry.\r\n\r\nFinally, industry events give you experience in presenting your company and its products in a positive light.\r\nBuild Your Skills\r\nImproving their skills will help telecommuters get promotions.\u00a0 With more and better skills, you have a better chance of getting a promotion, or at least a raise. \u00a0In the worst case scenario, improving your skills makes you a stronger candidate in the job market.\u00a0 If you cannot get the promotion you want, you can leave for greener pastures.\r\nCommunication\r\nCommunication skills are essential for getting a promotion. \u00a0For example, you need to check in with your boss often. Get into the habit of writing brief summaries that explain your work for the day. \u00a0Also provide detail on any problems you face, and possible solutions.\u00a0 This shows that you are thinking about how to solve problems, and it gives your boss a chance for input.\r\n\r\nUse your daily summaries and your boss\u2019s input to create a weekly review.\u00a0 The purpose is to remind your boss of what you accomplished, such as problems solved and work completed. Go from there to create monthly and quarterly reviews. \u00a0Also, make suggestions about possible future projects!\r\n\r\nCommunicating well with coworkers will also help you in your bid for a promotion. \u00a0As mentioned above, asking for help and giving help will build rapport with coworkers. \u00a0Both of these rely on good communication skills. Practice explaining what you know to family and friends, and you will get better at teaching your coworkers.\r\nContinue Your Education\r\nSometimes, your boss or company will want to see advanced education to consider you for a promotion. \u00a0This might mean an Associate\u2019s, Bachelor\u2019s, or Master\u2019s degree.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIt might also mean some type of seminar, certificate, or technology training. \u00a0Express a willingness to undergo this training, and always volunteer for extra training.\u00a0 Classes outside your area of expertise might help you to make the case for a promotion later!\r\n\r\nIn addition to regular classes or seminars, your education continues at work each day. \u00a0Try to learn something new from coworkers whenever possible.\u00a0 Also, try to find something new that you can share each day. \u00a0This ensures that you continue to develop your skills and knowledge daily.\u00a0 It also reinforces the view that you are a valuable resource and a go-to person.\r\nLeadership\r\nYou can build your leadership skills in many different ways. \u00a0For example, to develop public speaking ability, you can volunteer to teach a class or seminar at a local library. \u00a0You can also volunteer for a panel at a trade show or conference in your industry.\u00a0 Another possibility is Toastmasters. \u00a0This organization has groups all over the U.S.\r\n\r\nWith Toastmasters, you improve your abilities in two ways. First, you observe and critique the speeches of others, learning what to do and what to avoid in speeches. \u00a0You also learn how to give constructive criticism.\u00a0 Second, you learn how to deal with any nervousness by speaking in front of a supportive group.\u00a0 You also receive constructive feedback on your own performance.\r\nTeach and Mentor Coworkers\r\nI have already touched on this, but make sure that when you receive, you also give back. \u00a0When other employees help you, reciprocate by teaching them cool, time-saving tricks that you know.\u00a0 Remember that everyone has to start fresh at a company at some point.\u00a0 Help out the new kids and make sure they get a good start! \u00a0You may even find that they can teach you about things that you knew nothing about.\r\nLearn from Coworkers\r\nJust as you teach and mentor coworkers, you should let them do the same for you!\u00a0 Take the time to ask questions about things you are unclear about.\u00a0 Press for details on a concept if you know that concept is a weak area in your knowledge.\u00a0 Ask to sit in the next time George in Accounting runs the ledger reports.\u00a0 That way, you at least have a vague idea of where they come from.\r\n\r\nThink about the specific information that your company will expect you to know in a more advanced role.\u00a0 Then, find a way to learn that information from people in your company.\u00a0 Remember, share and share alike.\u00a0 If you offer some insight into your work tasks, coworkers are more likely to reveal their secrets!\r\nThink Strategically - Plan for Your Future Role\r\nFinally, you should think ahead to the day that you ask your boss for a promotion. There are several questions to ask yourself.\u00a0 Who have you already talked to at that point?\u00a0 What should you already know?\u00a0 What evidence do you have to make your case for a promotion?\u00a0 How will you ask?\r\nNetwork with the Right People\r\nNetworking can help you to find people who work in the type of role you want to eventually fill.\u00a0 You can pick their brains over coffee or lunch, in order to learn what you need to know.\u00a0 Ask them about the most important factors were for promotion.\u00a0 A candidate's desired skills may differ between companies.\u00a0 However, if you notice any overlap, it is a safe bet that those are skills that you need.\r\nFind a Mentor\r\nYour mentor may or may not work for your company.\u00a0 The advantage of a mentor at your company is that he knows information specific to your industry and company.\u00a0 The disadvantage is that he may see you as a threat!\u00a0 As a result, he may not want to see you climb too high up in the company ranks.\u00a0 For that reason, you might have better luck choosing a mentor in a more senior role at another company.\r\nAsk for More Responsibility\r\nOnce you have followed the advice above to become an expert resource, ask for more responsibility.\u00a0 However, be careful!\u00a0 Your boss may question your judgment if you ask too early.\u00a0 You should already be an expert in your current job.\r\n\r\nThink carefully about the skills you will need for the job you want.\u00a0\u00a0 Then, ask for responsibilities that help you to develop these skills.\u00a0 For instance, if the job requires you to manage people, ask to work in this capacity on a smaller scale.\r\n\r\nTo do this, you might lead a small project team for a few weeks.\u00a0 You might also direct the new hires at a campus recruiting event.\u00a0 Keep your eyes open, and volunteer for these opportunities when they arise!\r\nTrack Progress & Prepare to Make Your Case\r\nMake sure to track your progress as you learn new skills.\u00a0 Also keep records of any relevant metrics that help you to make your case for a promotion.\u00a0 For example, keep track of successful small team projects that you lead.\u00a0 You might also prepare some statistics on improvements in revenue or successful cost containment measures.\r\n\r\nBring all relevant material to your boss when you ask for a promotion.\u00a0 Make sure to summarize your ideas, so you don't flood him with details.\r\nAsk!\r\nNow that you have learned the skills you need and built your case, all you need to do is ask!\u00a0 You know your boss well by this point.\u00a0 Try to ask at a time when he will not be too busy.\u00a0 Also ask at a time when he is likely to be receptive.\u00a0 Asking at quarter close at a financial company is probably not a good idea.\u00a0 In this case, timing is critical!\r\nConclusion\r\nMany factors will affect whether telecommuters get promotions.\u00a0 Keeping in mind the factors we discussed above will make you a stronger candidate.\u00a0 Remember: develop rapport with coworkers, become a valuable go-to person, improve your skills, and think strategically.\r\n\r\nIf you feel isolated working at home, remember that there is a lot you can do to change the situation.\u00a0 For more information, check out my article on how to combat isolation while working remotely.\r\n\r\nI hope that this article offers some insight into ways to make yourself more valuable to your company.\u00a0 If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.