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Standing Out During a Pandemic


How can you stand out while working from home, and even ask for a promotion? WISE Boston asked this of our webinar host Kim Izaguirre-Merlos on May 26th. Kim was joined on the webinar with Char Wichman, Athletic Trainer with Mercy Health; Drew Saylor, Hitting Coach with the KC Royals; Adam Bernero, Mental Performance Coach with the Seattle Mariners to discuss some of the challenges people are having while working from home and effectively standing out right now. They also were asked to expand on where you feel you’re at the top of your game and doing your best to showcase your strengths, your work, or competing for that promotion.

The discussion was informative and filled with great tips and takeaways! Each expert in the field began by speaking about how you can stand out and personally how they stand out in their career. Drew felt that by shifting the focus to others, being selfless and reaching out to someone to check-in, ultimately makes you stand out. Char was a big proponent of building relationships and the importance of this, while Adam felt that being genuine/unique and not being afraid to fail, while working through challenges, is how you can learn and grow.

Below are the key questions and points that were made during this webinar:

  • Is it wise to ask for a promotion or a raise during this pandemic?
  • For those struggling to showcase their work, how best can you do this without going too far?
  • How do you stay motivated while working from home?
  • How often should you communicate to all levels while working remotely?
  • What words can you describe for how leadership should adapt to change during this pandemic?
  • What advice do you have for recent graduates/college students during this time?

As we are all adjusting to working from home, similar themes keep arising such as how to stay motivated, how often to communicate, how to showcase your work and when (or if) you can ask for that promotion you feel you deserve. One thing that really resonated was when Char responded with, “Make sure you give yourself permission to concentrate on “you” during this time as we are living in a new normal.” While Adam agrees, he also feels you need to stay focused on your vision, keep to a routine to accomplish your tasks in order to stay motivated at home.

The panelists were also asked about communicating to your peers, showcasing your work to every level, and how much is too much or too little during this pandemic. According to the panelists, they suggested that you need to be transparent and direct with your team, listen but communicate often during this time. Drew felt that it is important to provide a space for sharing innovation and collaboration. They also suggested leaning on your strengths when showcasing a project and remember to allow everyone to have a voice. As a follow up to communicating with your team, make sure you ask what are the takeaways, and check to see that everyone is still aligned.

Remember, everyone is figuring out how to be effective, grow, excel and be a team player, so be humble, adaptable and understanding. This brings us to how to approach your manager, when looking for a promotion during this pandemic: Drew and Adam both had similar responses, staying focused on your skills and accomplishments, while being consistent in your ultimate needs but realizing there are many possible outcomes. But, with the current pandemic, you can’t fully understand the circumstances of others and these are beyond your control. Char focused more on using your network and doing your research so you can better prepare and understand if this is the right time to make a push for a promotion.

The last question for the panelists focused on students and graduates during this pandemic: what advice do you give them? Char recommended students to be themselves, play to your strengths and make connections. Adam suggested students and graduates should accept that you are going to fail. Make sure to put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to talk to people.

As we all adapt to this new kind of work and perhaps a new normal, it is helpful to gain insight from key constituents from the field that have navigated the sports industry. But like everyone else, we are all on an even playing field of remote working, trying to be an effective team member, and still excel in our careers. One of the biggest takeaways, was to take the time for you, so you can be the best form of you at home and in your career.


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