If you finally landed a new job after days, weeks, or even months of trying, congratulations.
But now comes a different challenge – succeeding, making connections, and fitting in at your new workplace, a task that becomes even more daunting if you’re working remotely.
“Remote work can magnify some of the more difficult experiences people encounter any time they start a new job,” says Bob Slater, co-author with his son, Nick Slater, of Look Out Above! The Young Professional’s Guide to Success (www.bobandnickslater.com).
“You’ll be placed in situations where you must perform before you think you’re ready. You may need training that isn’t provided, forcing you to learn on your own and improvise as you go. You may have to meet expectations you weren’t informed about. All of this can happen even if you’re in the office. If you’re working remotely, you may want to just throw up your hands.”
But take a breath. Whether your new job is remote or not, the Slaters say chances of success increase greatly if you follow these six approaches to your work – believe, risk, persevere, adapt, get help, and give help:
Believe. A deep-rooted belief in yourself will have a tremendous impact on your outcome, perhaps especially when you’re working remotely, Nick Slater says. “You need to believe in your ability, judgment, and equal right with others to achieve and enjoy success,” he says. “You need to believe that you can make it in this world, and that no matter what the challenge you will, ultimately, figure out a way through.”
Risk. Accepting risk speeds the learning process, so don’t let being on the other side of a screen deter you from jumping in and getting involved, Bob Slater says “Those who put themselves in challenging situations discover more quickly what works – and what doesn’t – and how to adapt,” he says. “They gain confidence as they realize their capabilities are greater than they thought.”
Persevere. Life is difficult in general, remote work is difficult in particular, and many people may want the same thing you want, Nick Slater says. “Recognizing this reality may help you resist looking for shortcuts that aren’t there and overcome the temptation to give up,” he says. “Keep pushing yourself and expect some failures. Everybody fails, especially those who take risks. But a failure, if you learn from it, can move you closer to success.”
Adapt. Remote work forces you to hone your ability to adapt, and that’s a good thing because being able to adapt is important regardless of the job situation, Bob Slater says. Adapting is about doing something differently when what you’re doing isn’t working. “It’s not merely plowing forward, but going forward with a new plan,” he says. “That may mean trying to find new ways to please a demanding client. It may mean taking to heart tough performance feedback from your boss and doing something about it. It may require giving yourself time to catch up when colleagues seem more confident and skilled than you.”
Get help. Don’t let the screen and distance become a barrier to asking for help when you need it, Nick Slater says. “Expose yourself to knowledgeable people in fields that interest you,” he says. “Find a mentor or two to guide you and hold you accountable. Share your goals and aspirations with a few friends you trust. Ideally, your close circle of friends will be people you can learn from and who will learn from you.”
Give help. Reach beyond the screen to give back as you go, Bob Slater says. “Use some of your time and talent to encourage, teach, and coach others,” he says. “Speak well of people, and when you see them perform well in their job, congratulate them.”
To become a better employee, team member, writer, presenter, leader, or better anything else, you will need to grow, Nick Slater says.
“One year from now,” he says, “you’ll be the same person you are now unless you meet new people, try new things, have new experiences, develop new skills, or learn more about the things that impact your world.”
About Bob and Nick Slater
Bob Slater and Nick Slater (www.bobandnickslater.com) are the co-authors of Look Out Above! The Young Professional’s Guide to Success. Bob Slater is a former trial lawyer and helped build two national real estate companies. He has taught undergraduate and MBA students for 15 years at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Nick Slater, an attorney, entrepreneur, and writer, is a graduate of the University of Georgia and holds a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Nick currently lives in London with his wife and their English bulldogs.