Professional development is supposed to help you professionally. That’s why the word “professional” is in the name. And yet, so often, it’s overpriced and devoid of actionable advice. That’s why my friend Heather Douglas and I founded The ProfessionElle Society.
ProfessionElle is devoted to providing high quality, affordable professional development workshops for self-identifying women. With a commitment to intersectional feminism, we’re aiming to bring women from different personal and professional backgrounds together to network, learn, and support each other.
We’re developing workshops on a range of topics, from career transitions to surviving sexual assault. But no matter what the topic, we are committed to giving you practical advice, and providing excellent guest speakers (ADDICTED’s own Nadia Elkharadly will be a speaker at an event this July!).
Our first workshop will take place this Wednesday June 24th over Zoom. The theme is “Thriving While Working From Home (Yes, we strove to be topical). The event itself will run from 8 pm until 9:45. It’s the length of a movie, and it’s the cost of one too, with tickets priced at $15 each. The evening will feature presentations by Jen Mcneely, founder of legendary women’s website She Does the City, and distinguished NYC-based lawyer Celeste Jackson. We also have a host of tips and tricks to share with you from our own ProfessionElle curriculum. And of course, we’ve reserved ample time for our question and answer period, where you can seek advice – or just start conversations – about subjects that matter to you.
You’ll have to buy a ticket from EventBrite if you want to learn all our secrets, but we’re sharing some choice tips about working from home here, to whet your appetite. Hope to see you there on July 24th!
Flag Your Work
Let us remember this old saying: if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it really fall at all? The same logic applies to our work. When you’re in the office, the boss sees you pouring over files or writing emails at your workstation. At home? For all your colleagues know, you could be eating [Insert your favourite type of cheese here] and rewatching Breaking Bad on Netflix. That’s why it’s important to highlight your productivity, and regularly.
Flagging your work is the practice of pointing out things you’ve accomplished. Not sure how to do that? Consider filing a weekly report via email. Each Friday, consider sending an email that explains to your boss/coworkers/major clients what progress you’ve made on the tasks you’ve been tackling. Did you finish Phase Two of a long-term project? Did you finally create that digital database you’d been meaning to? Did you skype several clients? Did you encounter a pesky impediment and manage to overcome it? Let people know!
If your workplace doesn’t typically “do” reports,” you could frame this email as a “check in.” The term “check in” has the benefit of sounding less formal. But regardless of how you frame these emails, flagging your work in writing provides a record of your value to your employer. Show why you’re indispensable!
Hop On The Phone
Slack and email aren’t always effective ways of conveying tone. When it comes to tone, nothing beats real discussions on the phone (or zoom if your company has an account). When you’re working from home, nothing beats hearing a colleague’s voice. So, if you’re ever confused about an assignment or eager for a brainstorming session with colleagues, suggest a call. Now you won’t be dependent on emojis to express sarcasm for you. Huzzah!
Monday Morning Meetings Are Actually Amazing
No one likes Mondays; however, a productive Monday morning can set you up for a spectacular week. You and your colleagues should convene to discuss your mission each Monday morning, or risk confusion over who is supposed to do what – and when. Communication is the first step towards delegation.
Monday Meetings are also an opportunity to create healthy workplace boundaries. If your team’s goals are unrealistic, say so. Let everyone know well in advance when a timeline doesn’t work for you, rather than killing yourself to meet unrealistic deadlines.
At the risk of sounding like a yoga teacher (no offense to yoga teachers, because you are all lovely!), Monday meetings provide an opportunity to set your intentions for the week. Suggest them to your team and working from home will be a lot smoother!