Is Working Remotely Holding Back Your Career? with Kate Horstman, Ep #7

In this episode of Tech Talent Today, I’m delighted to be joined by Kate Horstman, Co-Host of Manager Tools podcast and Presenting Associate at Manager Tools. Kate has presented more than 475 Manager Tools training days at their public conference and client locations, including international events. Before working with Manager Tools, Kate used their principles as a missile defense engineer at Orbital Sciences Corporation. Her work has focused on enhancing user experience and data reporting for clients and individual users. You won’t want to miss hearing about her fascinating experiences!

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • Kate’s work on the Manager Tools Podcast [02:22]
  • The response to the vaccine episode [05:34]
  • The importance of relationships in your career [09:00]
  • How does Manager Tools help new managers? [16:59]
  • Kate’s work as a missile defense engineer [21:35]
  • Deciding if you should go back to the office [28:52]

Providing guidance they believe in

Manager Tools doesn’t share guidance unless they believe in it. They have three main tenets when they give any guidance. First, they won’t give advice that would jeopardize someone’s career. Secondly, they focus significantly on timeless content that works now, ten years ago, and ten years from now. Thirdly, the guidance has to be actionable. Their advice must be used to implement something rather than simply being theoretical. It’s usable right now.

Types of professional power

There are three types of professional power: subject matter expert, role power, and relationship power. Subject matter experts are the smartest in the room, and role power is granted by the organization for managerial positions. Relationship power comes into play because expertise and role can only get us so far.

Kate shared an example from the first podcast Management Tools created called “The Solutions to a Stalled Technical Career.” It was about an incredibly intelligent, massively educated, and technically proficient friend. He was struggling because he couldn’t reach the next level in his organization due to not having any relationships.

Role power, to a certain extent, can be achieved. Then there’s a level at which your willpower will not increase without relationship power, no matter how great your expertise is. If people don’t go back to the office, they won’t establish the relationships needed to increase their position in the company. Kate pointed out that relationships are still important even with everyone working from home. If one person could get everything done, then organizations wouldn’t exist. The productivity associated with and being involved in a team is exponentially powerful regarding the organization and effectiveness.

Why should we go back to the office?

Working remotely when the rest of the company isn’t will make you less visible or valuable to your manager. It means fewer opportunities for promotion and limits the things you get to do. It means not getting picked for the cool new project or being thought of for the interesting new thing. It’s a situation Kate has seen in many organizations where some people go back to the office.

If your organization is back at the office and you’re not, then you’re not top of mind. It can mean that you’re not around for your manager to think of you as often. You can also miss out on the complexities of discussions that happen before and after meeting interactions and hallway conversations. There are subtleties of projects that you don’t hear about on Slack. If you’re the remote person on the team, you don’t have the same level of communication as those in-person. Going back to the office will connect you with your coworkers and build your career.

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Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Kate Horstman

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