Proving your worth is good advice for any job you work at, but when you work for a remote company, it’s absolutely essential.
There was this one guy I worked with at a remote company, we’ll call him Alvin. I remember when Alvin introduced himself to the company on a team-wide call right after he was hired, and I remember thinking ‘he seems like a decent guy’. He had a lot of good ideas and seemed to have energy enough to pull them off.
9 months went by.
After about 9 months, I asked another co-worker where Alvin was. Turns out, Alvin had been let go 3 months before. I didn’t even know.
When you work remotely, you have to consistently remind your co-workers three things:
- You’re a valuable asset to the company.
- You’re making/saving the company more money than your salary with your extra projects/ideas.
- You’re a good culture fit.
Showing You’re a Valuable Asset
When you first get to a remote company, as quickly as you can handle, help as many people as you can. Word of mouth travels surprisingly fast in a company, especially when people are discussing a new hire.
“Boy, that new guy is really great, he jumped right in and helped my get those reports sorted out.”
“The new girl in HR sorted out my dental problem in like two days. She’s sharp.”
“Yeah the new hire is super nice, helped me find the data I needed.”
Continue helping your co-workers and leaders as much as you can throughout your time at the company.
Save/Make The Company More Then They Pay You
When a company is deciding who to keep on during layoffs, you need to be a no-brainer choice. One of the best ways to do that is to find ideas outside your normal day-to-day that will save or make the company more money than they’re paying you.
If the company pays you $70,000, and you performed your job well AND brought in $85,000, why would they ever let you go?
If you can continue to provide this kind of value to the company, you’ll have job security, you’ll get promotions, and you’re going to enjoy your work more.
You’re a Good Culture Fit
I’ve seen extremely talented individuals let go because they didn’t fit into the company culture. Here are some tips to becoming a good culture fit.
- Don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable with sexist/racist/etc. humor.
- Always be willing to listen to someone.
- Be on time to meetings and value people’s time.
- People appreciate short meetings, don’t let yours drag on.
- Be kind.
- Make sure your profile picture is set everywhere it can be, Slack, Google, Confluence, Etc.
- Participate in conversations where you can.
- Give people shout-outs when they do something well.
- Try to find ways to boost the culture where you can.
- Avoid negative gossip.
- Know your coworkers, ask them how they’re doing.
- Avoid political discussions.
- Don’t ever put yourself in a situation that could get you called into HR.
- Watch yourself at company outings.
- Offer positive reinforcement as well as kind criticism.
- Use appropriate memes/gifs to communicate.
Constantly reminding your co-workers of your worth to the company is crucial in a remote company. Don’t be like Alvin, if you ever get let go, you want it to leave a big hole.