Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the amount of people working from home has increased from 4.7% to 38%. For many, remote working offers a better work-life balance and greater comfort than working in the office. The trouble is, it can be difficult to access training and development opportunities when working outside of a traditional office environment. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to upskill yourself as a remote legal secretary or PA. Here are three ways to grow your skill set and develop your career.
1. Learn how to use the latest digital communication tools
The likes of Zoom, Slack, Teams and other digital communication tools make remote work more accessible than ever before. They can also make remote work more efficient once you learn how to make the most of them. Employers often provide training when they adopt new software, but such tools are becoming so commonplace that many organisations simply look to hire people with pre-existing knowledge or experience.
As a result, it's incredibly useful to teach yourself how to use remote working tools efficiently. These skills can make your resume more appealing to employers and enable you to hit the ground running in any new role. Plus, upskilling in specific tools will help you to get the most benefits out of them. The likes of Udemy and LinkedIn Learning offer a huge variety of training courses for specific types of software, and you can also find plenty of free resources online.
2. Seek out a remote mentor
A mentor is someone who provides you with advice and moral support relating to your career. For many people, mentors are senior colleagues who have extensive experience or specialist knowledge. Mentorship can be valuable for anyone, but particularly for remote workers who are more likely to miss out on the peer support of working in an office. A mentor can help you to identify which skills you're lacking and set appropriate goals to develop them, which will then support the progression of your career.
This may be particularly useful when you're undergoing training, as mentors can lend additional support when it comes to using classroom knowledge in practical situations. Mentors can also help you network and discover new opportunities, both of which can be more difficult for remote employees.
3. Attend virtual conferences, webinars and events
Increasing numbers of professional conferences and events are now taking place virtually thanks to new digital technologies. This makes it easier than ever before to attend events where travel and accommodation costs might otherwise serve as a barrier to access. Virtual conferences, webinars and events can all help you learn new skills, discover the latest developments in the industry and network with other legal secretaries and PAs. Not only do these events offer opportunities for upskilling, but they're a great way to socialise with your peers when working from home.
Remote working can offer unique upskilling opportunities
While remote workers face unique challenges in upskilling, they also have unique opportunities. Remote work can encourage you to take your training and progression into your own hands and make the most of a superior work-life balance, allowing you to develop new skills and build valuable career connections.
Author: Jason Philips
Jason completed his law degree in 2019 and now works as a freelance legal secretary. He travels often, enjoying the flexibility that remote work allows for and looks to share his career success tips with others.