Do not arrive tired and hot. You can take off your jacket and coat on public transport. You don’t have a need to bake, even though some people think there are laws against undressing. *
Know where you are going. This means maps! A precise postcode is required for GPS. Also, the phone number of any people you are meeting, as well as the reception address of the place you will be going and possibly a local taxi company.
If possible, find a parking spot and book one at your destination. If you don’t know where you are going, you can drive around in panic and then walk to your meeting place.
Know how to get it back. It’s not always easy…
Before you leave for work, charge your device. It’s not fun to be left behind with no battery on your mobile phone and your laptop dead. Are you planning to travel overseas? Get an adapter. It is amazing how many times I have forgotten that electricity works differently when you land.
Makeup: I did my make-up on the Eurostar for two years. It’s possible! It’s possible, but be discreet. No one likes to be watched. Avoid tunnels, the light won’t shine enough.
If you’re going to be walking a lot or on a plane, choose flats or trainers. If you are able to change, consider wearing heels.
Note on shoes: I attended an event about personal style and was told that eco bags don’t look professional. Instead, put all your stuff into a briefcase or leather bag. It’s practical and convenient. It all depends on where you are going. You don’t need to bring a gym bag if you’re going to an off-site meeting. However, if you’re just going to work, you can take a small shoe bag. You can leave your shoes under your desk or in your locker. You can do all of the above, just like me.
Use your travel time. You can check your BlackBerry email, make calls (if there is a signal), and catch up on trade journals and podcasts. If you’re driving, be careful!
Be prepared to go wherever you are going. While you can probably make it to the ladies in a few minutes, you don’t want spend hours there putting on your make-up, brushing your hair, and doing your hair. The receptionist will probably already have made a decision about your suitability. If you are going to an interview, be extra careful.
Remember that you will be judged more when you work away on business than you are in your office. This applies both to you and your organization. Be prepared, organized, and on-time!
* Public undressing is prohibited. You know what I mean. People, don’t wear scarves, hats, and coats underground!