Who is Your Remote Tribe?
The 6 People that Every Mobile Professional Needs to Keep Close for Success
When we talk about personal networks, our minds automatically go to our vast social networks of up to hundreds of connections. And while that larger system of connections is important, a remote professional’s inner circle of relationships can have a bigger impact on their personal and professional success. There are six people that all remote professionals should have in their inner circle:
1) Your Sounding Board
The number one complaint of remote workers is isolation. Not being surrounded by coworkers and delivery people can be downright lonely day after day. Sure, you can fill your social bucket with coworking spaces and group hobbies, but none of them are likely to completely understand you on a professional level. That’s why it’s important to have a sounding board buddy—someone in a role that is close to yours that you can bounce ideas off of for educated feedback, ask sensitive questions to, solicit for feedback, or just vent to about the woes of your job to get some empathy in return.
2) Your Mentor
As remote workers, we have a lot of control. We get to choose where we work, when we work, and sometimes even how we work. This level of control is beautifully liberating, but can give us a false sense of security about the level of leadership that we actually have in our career or industry. Occasionally, it’s wise to eat a slice of humble pie, and have somebody draw attention to how awesome we aren’t, so that we continually see the need for improvement (and not become complacent or stagnant). This is where a mentor comes in. He or she provides years of experience that can remind you how much of a gap there is between you and your goals, and (more importantly) how to close it.
3) Your Designer/Proofer
Most remote jobs are results-oriented, meaning you are primarily evaluated on your output. This is a revolutionary advancement in business that helps break the glass ceiling, but it also means that you have to be more of a perfectionist than ever, because one or two small errors are more dangerous that they might be in an office job. If you submit a report that looks like it is from 1995 or is riddled with typos, your reader is going to jump to the conclusion that you are apathetic and outdated so quickly that they won’t be interested in actually reading it. Always have a detail-oriented assistant accessible to give your work a quick review to make sure you are accurately conveying the value of your knowledge.
4) Your Techie
In an office, a crashed computer or faulty camera is no sweat because with a quick call to the all-knowing IT department, it will be fixed by the time you get back from lunch. But without that team easily accessible, you’re on your own for troubleshooting your own software. That may not be a big deal for some, but for most of us, it’s frustrating and extremely time consuming. Do yourself and your productivity a favor by finding a favorite techie freelancer that you can keep on speed dial to hire by the hour whenever a new glitch pops up.
5) Your Competition
Yep, you read that right. You can and should maintain close relationships with your competitors, whether they are individuals in a similar role, or companies with whom you share a market. But don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be as vicious as you may be imagining. In fact, with the right relationship, this person could even double as your sounding board. The goal of keeping a competitor close is that in remote work, career stagnancy is dangerously common, so you need a form of measurement to compare yourself to. If you and your competitor start in the same place, but after 3 years they are the VP of stable company, and you’re still a virtual assistant, you’re doing something wrong.
6) Your Accountability Partner
Again, remote workers have an unprecedented amount of independence and flexibility, which is great, but also means that it’s easy to fall into the traps of procrastination or avoidance that sabotage productivity and career growth. Superior self-management and organization can help, but an accountability partner can give your discipline an extra boost. Schedule a standing appointment with a virtual assistant or your sounding board to heighten your awareness of what is taking up your bandwidth and prevent any tasks, projects, or opportunities from falling through the cracks.
With this network of support, you’re sure to be a success in your remote role. But what about success in your social and emotional roles? Without your friends, family, and coworker close, it’s easy to feel isolated in ways other than professionally or logistically. Thankfully, in their presentation Location Independent Community at Nomad City 2018, Trish Kennelly, VP of Experience, and Andrei Beno, Programs Manager, at Remote Year, will be discussing what other roles you should be recruiting for in order to build a complete mobile tribe of support and encouragement. Join us on October 8-14 to learn it all, plus more keys to professional location independence, in the beautiful city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.