work from home

Work from home pitfalls and how to stay relevant even wearing your pajamas

If you work from home, you may have many advantages but also some drawbacks. Even if you are the best at your job, lack of opportunity to interact with managers and colleagues might take away your ability to be considered for promotions or interesting assignments. How do you stay relevant when your boss doesn’t see you every day?

work from home

Do you have a job that allows you to work from home?  Are you working at a remote location away from your company’s headquarters?  Or, is your immediate supervisor located in a different city?

It may be great to work from home, avoid the commute, blend job duties with household chores (put in a load of laundry before joining that conference call) or be away from the grind of a frenzied headquarter site.

Unfortunately, there are some significant downsides to being a remote worker that researchers say can impact morale which then hurts your performance and the kind of assignments your boss provides.  If these are not handled right, it can impact your advancement and overall career growth.

There are some key steps for you to take to make sure that your working remotely is a big success for your current role and your overall career success.

work from home

  1.  Communicate more often than expected. Of course you are attending team calls each weak but do you speak up on each call?  Do you offer a real update or is it your tendency to simply say, “everything is going fine, nothing new here.”  That maybe a quick way to get through the call but you’ll want to be more specific. Beyond those expected calls, you will need to find a way to update your supervisor with a weekly summary email and establish a regular monthly (at least) 1 to 1 video call to check in and ask for feedback.   Emphasis on “video”–its your best option to an in person meeting.
  2. Leverage each conference call to showcase your best.  Your employer may use Skype for Business, ZoomBlueJeans, JoinMe, or WebEx.  Each of the links in that sentence is pointing to the help sites for these applications. If you are in doubt about how to share screens, turn on or off your camera or mute yourself–read the guides and understand those features! Quick!  And, set up your office background so that when you are on camera your environment looks and is all about business. A pile of laundry in the background, cluttered piles of paper, or a TV playing in the background is a distraction from you, your skills set and your message.  Don’t detract from your performance by making any of the 11 mistakes for handling video conference calls!

You might be interested: 7 Steps to master family and career balance

3. Make sure your executive presence comes through on calls. Research has found that executive presence is about 3 key ingredients: Gravitas, Communication, and Appearance. This must be part of your personal brand is a 24/7 endeavor. It is easy to get caught up in your work routine and accept a call when you probably should not.  Many of us are forced to take calls when you are rushing to the airport or picking up kids from school or in the middle of the night for a global team call. Don’t do any of these if you truly cannot manage the impression you will create for your boss. Your dedication to the job can quickly get sidelined if that call makes it seem you lack focus, judgement, or commitment.


This article was first posted on #3LVCareerHacks to build your creative muscle and engage in your workplace drive for innovation.

Please share with us your insights and learnings on #Twitter at @LatinaVIDA360

taking a vacation

Dreaming of taking a vacation? Summer is here but time off is hard

The summer is here and many of us will be taking a vacation. Did you know over half of all workers in the US do NOT take all of their paid vacation days–most using just half of their paid days off?  Why?
taking a vacation

Time well spent results in more money to spend, more money to save, and more time to vacation. Zig Ziglar

There are two reasons: fear of getting so behind, they’ll never catch up and a sense that no one else can do their job while their gone.
Vacations are fundamental to your well being.  A break from work can help you recharge and avoid burnout. It can allow you to reconnect with a spouse or child that you may be missing quality time given the pace of life you lead. It can be an opportunity to try a new sport or hobby to refine your critical thinking skills. And oh yeah—let’s not forget–it can be FUN!  Here’s #3LVCareerHacks to use as you plan for your next vacation.
taking a vacation

Uno, dos y tres. Let’s do this con ganas.

  1. Plan ahead as much as possible. We’ve all jumped at the chance to buy bargain tickets and get away on a great deal.  Spontaneity is fun. But if you want to enjoy your vacation, the longer the lead time to plan ahead the more likely you will not get that email or (gasp!) the phone call while you are trying to rest.  In an ideal situation you would have at least one month to start delegating key tasks–even better two or three months to get ready is the ideal. It gives you the ability to schedule and complete key activities before you go.  And it allows you to take the number one key step in planning: send an email to all your current clients and team members announcing you’ll be gone at least two weeks before you leave.
  2. Delegate and partner with trusted team members. Before you go, take on these key tasks:  A. Set a voicemail and email message that you are out of town, unavailable and who on your team can be contacted in your absence.  B. Set an automated email message that will be delivered to a key team member or client, reminding them you’re gone but to check on a project or activity that is mission critical for your project.  C. Empower a team member to make a decision that may need to be made for you while you’re gone–think of the possibilities and map options to review and what to do for each one. This makes it less likely you’ll have a “mess” to address when you return.
  3. Scan your projects to complete key milestones.When you lead a project or program, you are responsible for a master plan or schedule of activities.  It may be a shared document or spreadsheet or you might use one of the many project planning tools we’ve featured. Spend an afternoon looking at the project timeline to anticipate what might need your attention to do–the tasks that cannot be delegated. Look for ways to get those done before you go so the rest of the team can stay on track while you are sipping Piña Coladas under the palm trees! Ahhhhhh.

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    This article was published and shared by LatinaVida. Want more inspiration for your week? Check out their blog and podcast LatinaVIDA360 Latina Leaders in Conversation!

tell Your Story

Capable women suffer the impostor Syndrome, are you one of them?

What is the Impostor Syndrome and why capable woman suffer from it? LatinaVIDA just nails it with these simple but powerful ways to change your fears into good habits that will give you confidence and trust in your self-worth.

Guest post by

tell Your Story impostor syndrome

“You can have all the confidence in the world and still be reluctant to self-promote out of a steadfast belief that a person’s work should speak for itself. It doesn’t.” 
― Valerie Young

  • Do you suffer from a fear that somehow others might see you as less than capable for your job?
  • Are you often thinking that others see through your achievements to an inadequate set of skills?
  • Do you panic that you might get questioned about your qualifications–even though you’ve been doing the job for years?

There’s a name for this and it’s called The Impostor Syndrome.

While this general anxiety can strike anyone at different times in their career–especially high achievers–it is women and particularly women of color that are more prone to these ruminations and self-doubt.

It means that despite having completed degrees, received awards or achieving key milestones in your professional role–somehow you have not integrated these achievements with your sense of self.

The net result of Impostor Syndrome is that you may limit what you seek to do or speak less favorably about your potential. Suffer no more!

Uno, dos y tres.  Let’s do this con ganas!

Monitor the Self Talk 

The Impostor speaks loudly–in your head!  We all process events and circumstances around us and often label them in an endless range of dimensions: good/bad, strong/weak, focused/scattered.  Keep a journal of what you say to yourself about your workday or your achievements and look for patterns. Based on what you see, you may need to reframe those thoughts and develop affirmations, mantras or simple reminders to paint a more accurate picture of yourself. “I am strong, wise and ready to achieve more”,  “I’ve got what it takes to rock this day.” Write this down now or say it out loud now and notice the impact it gives you.

Tell Your Story

Expand your view of self-worth beyond the role you play at work

It’s easy at certain times in your career to center just on your workplace achievements to the exclusion of all else.  If you’ve not spent much time with friends or family because of a grueling work project, that may be one reason that work seems to overshadow all other aspects of your view of your whole self.  Get to your friends and trusted advisors to hear a more balanced view of your strengths. Ask others to highlight for you what you do well, your superpowers, and your strengths. A little bit of pampering with your BFFs goes a long way to reframe your views that you are successful at many things.

empathy in the workplace

Work with a Performance Coach

The hard work of succeeding as a professional accountant, lawyer, therapist, marketing analyst, engineer, physician, project manager–enter your job here–is no different than being an athlete.  Training for a marathon is both physical and mental. It may be wise to sit down with a coach who can listen to what triggers your self-doubt or your negative messages and learn new ways to redirect those thoughts and build your confidence in new ways.

empathy in the workplace 3 impostor syndrome

That’s it.

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