Travel for work? I recently went on a business trip and was pretty worried about getting out of my normal routine and being with colleagues for an extended period of time. Hanging with your boss at work is one thing but what about at a bar? How do you know if you’re being too casual? Drinking too many glasses of wine? So let’s discuss some business travel etiquette and hopefully I can help you take out some of the guess work.
My first piece of advice is if you are unsure about something look to your leader. How are they dressed? How many glasses of wine did they order? Can I use my corporate charge card? And if you don’t know just ask. It is much better to clarify than to end up the odd one out. I was so nervous about what to wear to the airport since I wanted to be comfy but also wasn’t sure who I would run into. I agreed with a colleague to wear sweats and that we would change first thing when we arrived. Well I showed up wearing my Adidas sweats and a fur coat (airport chic), I was feeling pretty good about myself when we arrived to the hotel. As planned I was going to change before we met up with the rest of the team. But didn’t the VP walk in and my first ever introduction to her I was standing there in my sweats. Lesson learned.
When travelling for business try to take advantage of every opportunity that comes up. I struggle with certain social anxieties and find it very uncomfortable being with new people but I do my best to attend all social events and take the time to get to know people. On my recent trip I was meeting with some team members who I had never met in person. I made sure that I took the time to get to know them on a deeper level, more personally.
When travelling for business I always try to be money conscious as well, even if it’s on the company dime. This shows respect for the organization and money sense that I can guarantee is valued by all organizations. If you can get a deal on flight or hotel or even if it means taking an Uber instead of a cab. Always treat company cash like it’s your own.
My final point is that when travelling for business take advantage of this interesting time you have to yourself. It felt so weird to be in a hotel by myself at night and I had so much time to catch up on personal brand and start brainstorming future ideas.