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The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in organisations undergoing necessary transformations which has also led them to embrace the new normal of working remotely in order to sustain their business’ performance.
This new normal has given rise to the buzzword – “Remote Employees”. This redefinition of the future of the workforce has turned out to be a boon for candidates who cannot be in office premises due to geographical constraints. It is also a chance for organisations to reduce the gender gap.
Remote Work Can Help Women Get Their Careers Back On Track
The option of working as a remote employee is a big opportunity for women, especially those who dropped out of their careers due to motherhood or other social or familial constraints.
For all the women who didn’t have the opportunity and flexibility to pursue their career and raise a family at the same time, in spite of being highly competent, talented and experienced in their respective fields, this new normal may help put your career back on track. If remote work is your voluntary decision, it can benefit your lifestyle, productivity, and career graph.
We need to understand that not all of us are carved-out to work in a remote set up. Not all are as productive at home as they are in office. First, question yourself – Do you have what it takes to be a remote employee? Can you mould yourself to be one? Some of the traits in addition to functional expertise which are important to be an effective remote employee are – self-motivated, good communication skills, ability to work independently without much supervision, tech-savvy, and most importantly, passionate about their work. If you believe you have, or can cultivate, these traits, then you are good to go!
How To Prepare Oneself To Apply:
Clarity on Goals: Take time to decide your professional goals by answering the question of which field you want to work in, and move ahead accordingly. It may be your existing functional expertise, or some new field you wish to venture into. For example, you may have been in journalism and wish to explore content writing now.
Reskilling & Upskilling
If you have been on a break and have not been in touch with your profession, it is a good time to brush up your skills. There is enough content on the Internet as well as free or paid online courses which may put you back in the zone in terms of knowledge at least, if not experience. Keep yourself updated on recent trends in your industry and acquaint yourself with the latest jargon. If required, acquire marketable skills by enrolling in online courses via platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy etc.
For an in-depth guide on upskilling, in a post-pandemic world, click here.
Prepare a good resume:
Include a good profile summary in bullet points highlighting your candidature. Important headings not to be missed in a resume – Header with Name, Phone no & Email ID, Professional/Profile Summary, Work Experience (KRAs & Achievements), Education, Certifications if any, Personal Details (DOB/ Address). Mention the reason for gap, if any. Do mention if you have utilised this time for constructive activities/experience/education which have added to your skills.
Presence on Job portals & Social Media
Create your profile on job portals like Naukri.com, Monster.com, or the Kool Kanya Marketplace by filling all the required fields. Upload your updated resume on job portals and log in frequently to appear as an active job seeker in the search pages. Create your LinkedIn Profile page with a good photo (must), headline, summary, and other required fields. Be active on social media and job portals.
For an exhaustive guide on how to find the perfect work from home job for yourself, click here.
Keep an eye on organisations hiring for remote employees in your domain. Connect with your network, if you have any, in the respective organisations and try to push your candidature as an employee referral. Keep a watch on hashtags for job seekers like #helpinghands on LinkedIn. Add ‘Open to work’ on LinkedIn to make it clear that you are an active job seeker, with a preference for remote work. Get in touch with your old colleagues/friends/relatives and check if they know of any remote work opportunity in their organisation or outside them. Make relevant connections on LinkedIn and initiate a conversation with some commonalities – alumni/company/interests/groups etc.
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All the remote setups can only run with good technological access. Therefore, it’s important to be a pro at operating platforms like Zoom, Skype, Google, Microsoft Teams, Webex etc. and have the ability to adapt to them quickly.
To find out all about how to increase your work productivity, click here.
Remote jobs will most likely have remote interviews through video conferencing. Follow basic video call etiquette – decent dressing, noise-free zone, good internet connectivity, etc. You should have proper knowledge of what the job entails and what the expectations from this role are. Ask relevant questions at the end of the interview. Try to exhibit qualities like trust, reliability, self-motivation, and collaboration through your conversations. Recount examples of your measurable achievements.
How To Be An Effective Remote Employee?
Remote work may not give chances to have personal meetings with your team members or managers on a regular basis. Try to get as much quality face time as possible through video calls, to strike a connection. Show empathy to team members. Communicate with your team regularly to give updates on your work progress.
Dedicated to work
Do your work with complete sincerity, commitment and dedication. Be accountable for your own deliverables. Let your work speak for you, and justify your place in the team.
Bifurcate work, and have dedicated professional and personal hours. One should also take some mandatory breaks to rejuvenate, and come back with fresh ideas or solutions to break the monotony of continuous work. However, avoid procrastinating and self-discipline yourself to work dedicatedly during work hours. Clarify boundaries and expectations with family as well, on your new schedule, working hours, etc.
Regular interaction with the supervisor and team is important to discuss your work progress and achievements. Build good relationships with the team.
Personal online branding
Remote work may give you some extra hours, which were spent on travelling and meetings. With a more flexible schedule, you can make time for learning with some courses or certifications to enhance your skills. E.g. A Remote Recruiter can get LinkedIn Recruiter Certification; a finance professional can get CMA/CIMA/CPA. Use this to enhance your brand online. Set aside time regularly to boost your branding online on social media, online communities, and job portals.
Have a dedicated working station in your house with minimal distractions. Take special care of ergonomics by having a comfortable set up. Ensure you have a reliable internet connection.
Remote work will open doors for many women who wish to have work-life balance, with greater flexibility. This pandemic has made organisations contemplate changing their structures and policies. They are more open now to empathising the need for work-life balance for their employees, if only to ensure a high retention rate. Employers may face challenges initially with technology and communication, but it is unlikely to stop them from adapting and growing accustomed to the new normal. Employers who are willing to invest in women by providing a support system will definitely reap benefits through them as they are shaping the future of the workforce.
It’s definitely a challenge but it’s also an opportunity. So ladies, prepare for your dream gig, and be open to the work opportunities that might knock at your home’s doorstep!
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