As I transition out of college life, it’s time to start prepping myself for the “real world.” Gone are the summers of sitting by the pool every day, sleeping until noon and late night hangouts with friends on a weeknight. Now, I consider staying up past 11:00 p.m. to be a “late night,” my idea of fun is a new book, and my body clock wakes me up before 9:00 a.m., even on Saturdays. For most young professionals, phasing out of college life and into the career world can be both exciting and daunting.

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With this change of pace, sometimes your mind can wander to simpler summer times. However, this is an important time to get ahead. Whether starting a first career-job post-graduation, or you’re a few years into your career, odds are you’re reporting to one or more higher-ups. In her recent PR Tactics article, Heather Sliwinski, a PR account manager at Mighty in San Francisco, offers five pieces of advice on how to manage up:

  1. Stay one step ahead: Despite lack of control over workload, it’s important to stay on top of tasks. By providing updates to your manager before they ask, you can put their mind at ease and show your management skills. Once this becomes easy and you have more experience, you can even go one step further, such as prewriting an email to a client for them to review.
  2. Deliver client-ready work: Sliwinski says that before turning in anything for review to a manager, ask yourself if you would feel comfortable sending that version to the client. In PR especially, it is important to consistently remain detail-oriented, so double- and triple-checking work is crucial.
  3. Meet deadlines to build trust: This one is pretty self-explanatory, your manager will trust you more if they can rely on you to get work done. However, if you’re swamped with projects and priorities are conflicting it is important to communicate with your manager and let them know as soon as possible.
  4. Come to your manager with a solution to problems: Owning up to mistake is part of being in the work world. The first step is admitting fault but then it is also important to propose a solution. Whether your manager goes with your solution or not, it shows that you are thinking and using problem-solving skills.
  5. Make them look good: At the end of the day, you work for your manager and it’s important to make them look good. Making your manager look good, by going the extra mile and providing quality work, you look good as well and become an integral part of the team.

Don’t let the reduced tanning time discourage you. Instead, spend your summer getting ahead. Sliwinski’s advice is easy to follow and is central to advancing your career, especially in PR.

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