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You may have had big plans for your career this year. But 2020 had other ideas.

So maybe you didn’t go on all those business trips, attend conferences or, you know… work in the office and get face time with the boss. But that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to climb the career ladder.

Asking for a raise

    If you’ve been putting in extra hours, increasing your output and being a real team leader, don’t let the pandemic stop you from asking for what you deserve.
    Assess the situation. Be aware of your employer’s financial situation before making the request. If there’s been widespread layoffs and financial strains, it could be hard to make your case.

    Make a detailed request. Simply working hard doesn’t mean you deserve a raise, so you should be prepared to demonstrate your value. Provide quantitative examples of how you’ve helped the company, whether it’s the number of new clients you’ve brought in, money you’ve saved, or new initiatives you’ve launched.
    Know your number. Research what your peers with similar experience in your industry and in your area are making to determine your salary target. But experts recommend not to lead with that number, but to give a range.
    Here’s more on how to get paid what you’re worth.

    Give yourself a professional boost

    If you’re feeling like your career has been in a holding pattern, these steps can help jump start it:
    Solicit regular feedback. Ask for feedback from your manager to identify strengths and areas that need improvement, and to seek help prioritizing your tasks.
    Expand your network. You can still expand your professional circle without meeting people in person. Look for virtual networking events, LinkedIn connections and other local and professional networking events to establish new relationships.
    Get more tips on how to grow your career.

    Improve your relationship with your boss

    Not getting along with your boss isn’t good for your career. And working remotely could put even more of a strain on the relationship.
    Identify your manager’s work style. Some bosses like a lot of communication, while others take a more hands-off approach. Experts recommend figuring out how your manager prefers to work and adapt.
    Set expectations. If you don’t know what your boss wants, it’s going to be hard to meet expectations. At the start of a project, make sure to have a clear sense of objectives and deadlines.
    Get more tips to improve your relationship with your boss while working remotely.

    Hate working from home?

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    Sure, there are some advantages to working from home: no commute, comfortable attire and a flexible schedule.
    But there are also some downsides: distractions abound, work-life boundaries dissolve and it can be lonely.
    Here’s how to make the best of it:
    Create a workspace. You don’t need to have a dedicated room to work in, but carve out a space to work in that you can walk away from at the end of the day to help make the transition to home life more clear.

      Make social connections with colleagues. Office friendships can be an important part of professional satisfaction: they help with engagement, creativity and productivity. Continue to reach out to your colleagues to have non-work-related conversations.
      Get more tips on improving the WFH experience.
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