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Zoom in on success

4 ways for young professionals to advance while remote


Illustration of a Zoom meeting

April 28, 2021

Editor's note: This story originally appeared in the summer 2021 issue of ASU Thrive magazine.

Life doesn’t always give us what we expect. Instead of going into the office, engaging with your colleagues and managers face-to-face, you’re working from home now. And rather than feeling supported in a system that has worked for generations, you’re in new territory. Even the people you normally look to for advice don’t have all the answers. They’re feeling their way forward too. 

When things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be, how can you set yourself up for success? Here, former chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley Europe and current executive coach, speaker, adviser, author and executive-in-residence in ASU’s Office of the President May Busch shares four things you can do to still thrive in a work-from-home environment.

headshot of executive-in-residence in ASU’s Office of the President

May Busch

Focus on what you can do

In the remote working model, you’ll be more energized by focusing on what you can do and what you do have. This means adopting a growth mindset. Instead of wishing for or worrying about what you’re lacking, turn the tables and look for the opportunity. Or as a friend of mine, Michael O’Brien, says, “How is this happening for me rather than why is this happening to me?” 

Help your manager help you

In all likelihood, your managers will want to make your experience as good as possible. But they may not know how to help. 

Reach out to have a conversation with your manager about what’s possible. Work together to find creative ways to learn, connect and even add some fun into the workday so the team as a whole can be more productive and energized.

You can also speak with your peers. Share what’s working and scripts that you’ve used successfully to work better with your manager. 

Not only will you have gotten new ideas for how to make the most of this new way of working, but you’ll also be building your community of support. And we all need support! 

This brings us to your superpower.

Use your digital native superpower

Companies are now realizing this “new way of working” is here to stay. And senior managers are struggling in this remote working environment too. 

They’re used to stopping by in person and bumping into people in the hallways to do their mentoring. But while they may not be digital natives, you are! In this environment, it’s a superpower. 

You’re likely to be able to add value by sharing some strategies you’ve learned that can be applied to the remote-working environment. Offer tips that might help everyone feel better about staying connected and give you some visibility with managers.

Use this golden opportunity to add value

If you’re facing challenges in today’s work environment, you are not alone. We’re all finding our way forward. The key is to keep experimenting to find those golden opportunities to add (and receive) value. 

So, which of these steps is most important for you to take to set yourself up to thrive in the work-from-home environment?

Illustration of people networking through Zoom

Staying adaptable and agile in a changing world

Growth mindset: “What can I learn from this situation? How can we create new opportunities?”

Fixed mindset: “This isn’t the way work is supposed to be, so it’s worse for us. I wish we could get back to normal.” 

Don’t let the fears and worries of people from previous generations (including your loved ones) color your mental game. This experience could be what sets you up for greater success in the future, whether you choose to become more adaptable, more globally connected or more innovative, to name a few possibilities.

May Busch is the former chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley Europe, and she’s now an executive coach, speaker, adviser, author and executive-in-residence in ASU’s Office of the President. Find her at maybusch.com/asuthrive.

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