How to Advance Your Career While Social Distancing


Online Executive Education Programs Are Designed to Meet the Needs of Working Professionals

girl working on laptop at home

The global health pandemic has forced individuals and organizations to rapidly adapt to the resulting volatility and uncertain circumstances. This crisis has ushered in new ways of thinking, working, and connecting to meet today’s personal and professional challenges. Remote or virtual work is quickly becoming a new reality for all kinds of institutions, and with these new infrastructures come new varieties of benefits and challenges.

It seems to have gotten harder to get hired, demonstrate value in your current position, or advance your career when everything is online and the economy is slowed. At UC Berkeley Executive Education, we believe that there is no better time to invest in your talents and marketable skills. Those who are able to see these challenges as opportunities to move beyond crisis mode into a growth mindset are setting themselves up for success.

Three Ways to Advance Your Career While Social Distancing

1. Strong Online Networking and Personal Branding

For a lucky few, networking is organic and easy -- making new connections and maintaining old ones come naturally. For others, it takes courage and a lot of practice to build a network from scratch. Regardless, networking remotely is tricky.

A great place to start building relationships is LinkedIn: the platform helps you find connections and is a natural hub for industry professionals. Your organization might also have internal spaces for your colleagues to collaborate like Slack or Wiki that would be great starting points for joining discussions and sharing interests.

We are all likely over-familiar with Zoom meetings these days, but virtual interfacing doesn’t have to be limited to formal gatherings. Scheduling Zoom coffee chats or informational interviews expands your network and shows initiative.

Above all else, be genuine! People can tell when you’re authentically interested in building relationships and when you’re just looking for a favor down the line. The more you establish yourself on media platforms as a reliable thought leader or invest in conversations during a virtual coffee chat, the stronger your network becomes.

2. Demonstrate and Advocate Your Value

When working remotely, it’s difficult to be as visible within the company as you could be in the office. There are fewer informal chats and natural networking with your peers, which can be an obstacle when you’re hoping to be picked for extra opportunities or advancement. Despite these challenges, there are a myriad of ways to demonstrate your value to your team and move your career forward.

When working remotely, organization, time management, and excellent communication become very important. Working on your writing skills will help you communicate effectively, concisely, and clearly with your manager and team members, demonstrating that you are a reliable teammate with leadership potential.

Because the boundaries between work and your home are now more blurred, it’s important to be organized: set a schedule that works best for you, prioritize projects, and stay on top of all communications. Keeping similar routines and a designated “work” zone can be important for maintaining attention and optimizing your energy.

Next, working remotely can be a great time to take on a side project that develops new skills. This is a great strategy to demonstrate your growth mindset, work ethic, and cross-functional teamwork. Pick up something that challenges you, taking you out of your comfort zone. This will push you to tap into new resources, ask questions, and prove you can handle greater responsibility.

One of the most important things to do when you’re looking to advance your career is advocating for yourself. This might mean scheduling time with your manager to discuss your professional goals or creating a list of your contributions to the company. Learning how to appropriately demonstrate your value is key to professional development, and can easily be done remotely.

3. Take an Online Executive Education Program:

Now is the best time to expand your leadership presence, add financial literacy to your toolkit, or optimize your communication. Design the learning journey that works best for you, whether you’re looking for real-time group learning or a more flexible learning schedule to be completed at your own pace. UC Berkeley Executive Education offers both online and in-person programs based on your preferences.*

Some of our new online programs include:

Online New Manager Boot Camp

Successful management requires an extra set of skills beyond what made you successful in previous positions. The intuition and best practices that great leaders develop to lead and influence others are rarely taught to new managers. Navigating this new role is even more difficult when you’re remote! The online New Manager Boot Camp is designed for those moving into managerial roles and are looking to lead teams, manage from a distance, and develop their authentic leadership style. The online structure of the program gives you practical experience for virtual management, and real-time learning and feedback means you can apply yourself immediately.

The curriculum structure involves live teaching sessions, group coaching, and a personal managerial action plan for your role.

This program is led by internationally renowned Dr. Homa Bahrami, Senior Lecturer at Berkeley Haas, and Cort Worthington, Distinguished Teaching Fellow at Berkeley Haas.

Online High-Impact Leadership (coming soon)

Leadership involves developing an authentic presence to enable your communication. However, in a remote-enabled working environment, leaders need to adapt their unique leadership style for digital interactions. If you’re a mid-to-senior level professional looking to strengthen your impact and expand your influence, the online High-Impact Leadership program is the place to start. Use storytelling techniques to tap into your leadership potential.

During the live sessions, you’ll learn and practice the valuable skills you need to build partnerships and lead teams virtually. Throughout this live, interactive, and collaborative learning experience, you’ll surprise yourself with your powerful communication potential.

This program is led by Distinguished Teaching Fellow Mark Rittenberg, Communications Consultant Susan Houlihan, and Executive Coach Doy Charnsupharindr.

Online Financial Data Analysis

The ability to interpret and analyze financial data is critical, particularly if you have a non-financial background and are looking to advance your career. Executives need to know how to understand the building blocks of corporate financial reporting to inform high-level decisions for their organization. Financial literacy is key to leading a successful organization. Those who are able to identify value creation opportunities and apply data analyses differentiate themselves from their competition for jobs or promotions: maximize your marketability in a volatile economic environment with recession-proof skills.

The Online Financial Data Analysis program is a series of interactive online sessions. Participants will work with case studies, exercises that give them real-world experience, and a capstone project to synthesize the corporate valuation methods.

This program is led by the award-winning, highly distinguished Faculty Directors Panos Patatoukas and Sunil Dutta.

Online Communications Excellence

Connecting virtually--both professionally and personally--is difficult, and it takes time and effort to learn how to do it well. This is especially true when you are looking to articulate your ideas, influence others, or increase your presence remotely. However, if you are able to curate your personal communication style and become a compelling presenter, you’ll earn the respect of your colleagues and accelerate your career.

This program’s curriculum structure is optimized for learning and retention: the first day is spent teaching the core concepts that you will practice on the second day. After curriculum sessions, coaching, office hours, and plenty of practice, participants will give pitch presentations to their faculty and peers. This program is led by Adam Leipzig, CEO of Entertainment Media Partners, Communications Consultant Penny Kreitzer, and the VP of Curriculum for Berkeley Executive Education Richard Freishtat.

Stay Tuned for More Online Options!

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Go Deeper

Take a deep-dive into this topic and gain expert, working knowledge by joining us for the program that inspired it!

Communications Excellence Program (Online) - Berkeley Executive Education. Gain presentation skills to resonate with your audience and gain influence.

Financial Data Analysis for Leaders (Online Program) - Berkeley Executive Education. Financial Data Analysis for Leaders is designed to provide you with the foundational knowledge of finance and accounting. It will demystify core concepts and you will leave with an action plan to identify how to add value to your organization.

New Manager Boot Camp (Live Online Program) - Berkeley Executive Education.