Going on a business trip with your boss can be both exciting and stressful. It’s a great chance to get out of the office and it’s also an opportunity to travel for free. But of course, it’s still work, and as such, you’re still expected to act like the professional that you are.
It’s understandable to be a bit apprehensive especially if this is the first time you’re going to be with your boss beyond your shift and far away from home. The key for a successful business trip is to relax, and to follow these simple guidelines:
1. Get familiar with your itinerary.
Check your schedule and research about the people you’ll be meeting with so that you’ll more or less know what to expect, and you’ll be able to relate to most of what your boss will be doing.
2. Ask around.
If your trip is something done by another colleague every year, ask for recommendations regarding your tasks. Since you’ll have limited time out of town, ingest tips and tricks that will make you more efficient.
3. Secure all necessary documents as early as you can.
Fixing your papers early is very important especially if you’re going abroad. Remember that different VISAs have different processing times, so don’t expect that you can get a Schengen VISA as fast as a Japanese VISA.
4. Pack the right clothing.
Check the climate of the place you’ll be visiting, and pack the clothing suited for it. Make sure that whatever you’re bringing will make you look clean and crisp as you will be representing your company to foreign clients and colleagues.
5. Follow your boss’ lead.
Your boss has probably been to many business trips and knows a great deal about what should and should not be done, so always be open to instructions and suggestions.
6. Be alert and observant.
Be in the moment and be on the lookout for wordless signals from your boss, especially during meetings with other parties. Most importantly, listen. You’ll learn a lot just by doing so.
7. Be cordial, but don’t be overly familiar.
Since you’re outside the office, your boss will be more relaxed than usual, and will probably act friendlier or cozier around you. It’s okay to be comfortable with her, but remember that she’s still your higher-up. Remain professional, and keep your personal stories -- like what happened the last time you’ve had way too much to drink -- to yourself.
And speaking of alcohol…
8. Don’t get drunk.
If you have to sip that required glass of champagne to indulge your foreign clients, do your best to nurse your drink. It would be very unprofessional to force your boss to carry your drunken weight back to your hotel room.
9. Don’t be burara.
Sharing a room with your boss cannot be helped at times, so keep your side neat. Having clothes and shoes strewn all over the floor says a lot about a person, and you wouldn’t want to leave a bad impression.
10. Always leave your bathroom clean.
It’s just common courtesy -- don’t leave hair strands clogging the drain, and don’t leave wet puddles on the floor that others might slip on.
11. If possible, wake up before your boss does.
Rising before your boss’ alarm rings can give you the chance to move at a more relaxed pace. If you can be dressed before she wakes up, then all the better. This eliminates the stress of having to rush because she’s already out the door.
12. Be punctual.
If you and your boss have separate tasks and decide to meet up after, make sure that you’re at your meeting place at the exact time you agreed on. This is especially important if you’re in another country and have other things in your itinerary that involves the schedules of other people.
13. Always bring a notebook and a pen with you.
Take note of things discussed during meetings as well as tasks that you need to get back to once you’re home.
14. Always have your business cards with you.
Have at least fifty cards since you’ll be meeting a lot of new people that you’ll probably work with in the future.
15. Be prepared for connecting flights.
Your boss may be used to this, but you probably are not. Connecting flights can be very tiring, especially if the gaps between your arrival and departure are too close for comfort. Again, follow your boss’ lead, and be ready to run from one airport gate to another.
16. Submit a report upon your return.
Once you’ve managed to come back and sleep off your jet lag, prepare a report of your trip right away while everything is still fresh in your memory. This will act as a summary of all that you’ve accomplished, as well as a tracking list of your plan of action.
SCREENCAP: The Proposal/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (2009); GIFs: GIPHY