Managing Up

Last week, I posted about managing down and some advice I received for becoming a great manager. While it’s important to appropriately manage down, we also mustn’t forget the importance of managing up. When I first became an intern, I was given a presentation on what managing up means and how to do it effectively. Basically it means going above and beyond in your position while in return helping your managers be more successful at their position. This will set you apart from your colleagues and demonstrate how vital you are to your manager and your team. Below are a few tips I learned on how to successfully manage up:

Look for Responsibility: Don’t always settle for the tasks you are already given. Seek other opportunities to gain more experience and show that you’re willing to step up the plate in all situations. Don’t be afraid to ask your boss if there’s anything else you can work on. It will show your eagerness and willingness to work hard. Also don’t assume that your boss knows all of your capabilities – if you see an opportunity for you to harness one of your greatest strengths, speak up!

Help Your Boss: Look at what’s most important to your manager help them. Think ahead of what they’ll be looking for and provide it for them. Always offer your assistance and get to know them as best as you can.

Check-In Regularly: And I’m not talking about on Foursquare. Take initiative and keep your boss (and your team) updated on the status of your projects without them even asking.

What is some of your advice for managing up?

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St. Patrick’s Day in New York City

New Yorkers  take St. Patrick’s Day pretty seriously.   Not only do our Hoboken neighbors celebrate the holiday two weeks early, but Saint Patrick is even the patron saint of the diocese of New York City (that’s why St. Patrick’s cathedral is “our” church. Fun fact of the day!).

This is the first time since I’ve lived in New York that St. Patrick’s Day has fallen on a Saturday, so I plan to take full advantage.   If you’re in the area, it can seem a bit overwhelming as to what to do first!   While I haven’t event solidified my plans yet, here are a couple of things I’m sure I won’t miss:

St. Patrick’s Day Parade – While Fifth Avenue is going to be swarmed tomorrow, take a peek at one of the largest (and arguably, the best) St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world

Walk by McSorley’s Ale House – this is the oldest Irish pub in New York city, established in 1854.   Guaranteed to be a mad house, and perfect for people-watching

Recap drinks at Jones Wood Foundry – One of my favorite spots on the UES, this will definitely be the hole-in-the-wall pub to catch up on all the events of the day

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San Francisco Business Travels

For those of you who follow our Twitter or Tumblr pages closely, you’ll notice the recent tweets and photos from San Francisco. I took my first  trip to California for what was supposed to be 2 days, 1 night and even though the weather didn’t ease up at all (rain, all day every day) I still got to experience a little bit of the city and accomplished everything I needed to. Each business trip is a learning experience and the below are a few things I took away from this trip.

Cover All Bases Before Leaving: Remember to alert all of your teams of your travels. Make sure you’ve followed up with everyone and everyone is on the same page. The last thing you want to do  is be out of commission the entire day with people not knowing where you are and business unattended to. Also, double-check if your flight has internet (FYI, JetBlue does NOT).

Take Advantage of Down Time: Even though you’re extremely exhausted  from traveling the entire day, try to  ramp up energy to walk around the city a bit. I took a short trip to Bloomingdales (makes me feel home in a different city)  and got to see a part of the city I wouldn’t have seen had I stayed in my hotel room.

Be Prepared for Wrenches: Before heading to the airport to catch the redeye, I got a call from the airline saying my flight had been cancelled. What?! Instead of panicking, evaluate all your options and think of the most cost-effective way to solve the issue. Switching to another flight that’s near $1,000 doesn’t make as much sense as spending $200 on a hotel room and catching an early flight that’s covered by the airline. Use your best judgement. Also, pack an extra set of clothes just in case something like this happens. Luckily, I did.

Have any business travel disaster stories?

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PR Girl PRowess: How to Stay Focused

It can be easy to get distracted. Especially when it’s gorgeous outside, as it has been in New York for the past three days.   I find the trickiest time to control my schedule is right  in between not busy at all (because you always have some work to do), and insanely busy to the point of tears.   If you have constant deadlines, you are constantly doing work.    If you have some time to get your projects done, procrastination can seduce you into spending your time “monitoring competitor Pinterest accounts” rather than conquering the real task at hand.

I, for one, am the worst/best  procrastinator I know.   I find a way to meet my deadlines, but not until I’ve put off every assignment until the last possible moment.   That leads to unnecessary stress while my supervisors patiently wait for my work.   Over the years I have found a few tricks that have worked for me to stay on task, and push through my to-do list with minimal drama:

Only attend those meetings you HAVE to be at: Make sure you have a chunk of time to get work done in your day.    Thirty minute breaks inbetween meetings will only be spent catching up on emails.   Also, if you tell your supervisor you have to miss a meeting to work on a project, you will be even more inclined to actually spend that time working on the project (gasp!).

Shut down all distractions…: Though our office uses gchat as another form of communication, when your girl friend’s window pops up asking about the cute guy in your building, you’re not exactly  going to be focused on work.   Send a quick note to your teams that you’re going “heads down” to complete an assignment, log off email, gchat and facebook, and put your cell phone in your purse.

…Except those that keep you on task:   Everyone has that random thing that keeps them focused. A former colleague of mine could get all her work done so long as she kept the coffee flowing for two hours straight.   I actually work best when I have music on (I used to study in college with country music blaring on my iPod).   Find the one thing that calms you and switches your brain on, and make sure to indulge in it while you tackle the project.

How do you stay focused throughout the day?