Any venture away from home can be exciting,
even when it’s travel for work. And while leisure travel and business travel share
similarities, it’s important to remember that the latter is a means to an end
that could result in advancements for your company. How you present yourself –
in dress and behavior – can make the difference between landing a big client or
losing a significant contract.
Homies, knowing the rules of business etiquette
is key when traveling for work. Here are some tips to ensure you have a
successful business trip:
Rules When Traveling for Work
1. Dress the part.
Like other forms of nonverbal communications, your attire sends out a message and
gives others insight into who you are as a person. Dress too casually and you
could come off as uninterested and aloof; wear clothing that’s too dressy and
you look out of place and could make others uncomfortable. Resist the
temptation to relax or play up your wardrobe and dress as you would for the
2. Mind your
time – and others’. Punctuality is
important in any business setting, but it counts extra when traveling for work.
Be sure to know the meeting/conference schedule thoroughly. Operate on a schedule
that’s 10 minutes ahead to avoid tardiness. Being timely shows respect for
everyone and that you value the purpose for the gathering.
3. Follow the leader. If you’re completely clueless about how to act or what to do when
traveling for work, there is one person you should keep your eye on: your
boss. Your supervisor or group leader likely is a pro when it comes to all things
business travel, so feel comfortable taking cues from them. Take note of
everything from how they travel (lots of luggage or just one bag? Here’s why
you should just take a carry-on bag) to how they interact with others (when
they introduce themselves, do they offer a firm handshake and eye contact?). Be
sure to notice how they handle awkward or unexpected situations, such as when
the client doesn’t agree with the proposal or a member of the other team says
4. Hold the onions, extra sauce, and third cocktail. Dinner with the client and colleagues often is the
most nerve-wrecking moment of a business trip. Most of your anxiety can be alleviated
with a quick search on Google (pass to the left or right? which is the salad
fork?). But some things are learned and not everyone gets the lesson up front. Remember,
you want to present your best self at all times and that includes when dining.
So skip smelly foods (raw onions, extra garlic), foods smothered in creams and
sauces (helps avoid messy spills on clothing), and go easy on the alcohol. Now
isn’t the time to try to impress everyone with your ability to down a bottle
without getting wobbly.
5. Stay focused.
More than anything, remember why you’re traveling. Keep your mind focused on
your group’s objectives and what you can do to help meet them. If you get some
time away to yourself, use it wisely to refresh or prepare for the next meeting
Until next time, hustle hard Homes!