Remote Leadership Career Growth

Martin Cocaro

Sr Engineering Manager at MuleSoft



"Working remote has its own set of challenges, especially if you are a leader. Learning how to manage well takes either time or lots of people and usually involves in-person experience. However, what if the only management experience you have has been remote? How do you gain more in-person experience and grow as a leader? What are some steps as a remote manager that you can take to advance your career?"

Actions taken

  • First, know what your aspirations are and what you aspire to be. Be clear about where you want to go and then you can build a career path from there.
  • Have a discussion about career growth with your manager. Show your manager that you can manage remote workers and you can still deliver the same quality products being remote. Express your ambitions and your desire to move up in the company.
  • Next, "nothing beats doing in-person management" so I suggest lobbying to hire somebody and build a small office where you are located. Grow a team around you. Your experiences of doing something remote will be very different from that of doing them in person.
  • If after pitching for additional team members your request is denied, determine whether the company you are with is the right fit for your career growth. Be open about searching for a new company. To assess a new company look at how big the company is, what the structure is like, whether they are growing, and if you joined would you be able to grow it further. Look at the big picture and understand whether the move would be beneficial and help you get to where you want to go in your career.

Lessons learned

  • "Career growth while remote is more complex than non-remote advancement." That doesn't mean it's not possible, it just means that you have to get a little creative.
  • Be honest with yourself about your experience when looking to move to another company. Remote management is a leadership position but quite different from an in-person management position. Don't be discouraged if you first have to move into a team leader role before growing and becoming a manager.

Be notified about next articles from Martin Cocaro

Martin Cocaro

Sr Engineering Manager at MuleSoft

Leadership DevelopmentCareer GrowthCareer Progression

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