I’ve spent the last two weeks commuting to different places for work, and if you’ve ever spent any time on 495, you know it is basically Dante’s 5th circle. I spent way more of my life in traffic than I did at home or anywhere else for that matter, and it totally sucked. (Used Shae’s commuting tricks to help – girl, I don’t know how you do it.) I have travelled some for work before and travelled quite a bit for my sorority back in college, and as difficult and annoying as it can be, I actually love it.
While the added commute can be tiring and venturing so far from your normal routine is exhausting, there are some really good things that can come from “forced” travel – meeting new people, seeing new places, etc. So whether you are venturing to a cool new city or just commuting to another town, you should try to make the best of this break from the routine. Here’s how:
- Make the most of your commuteShae already touched on the ways to do this if you’re traveling by car, and I got all caught up on Rupaul’s What’s the Tee? and The Missing Maura Murray Podcasts while I tried to make peace with taking 1 hour to go 8 miles. When traveling by train or plane, your options are even better – read a book you’ve been putting off or catch up on a new show. Use this time as added “me” time, because you won’t have as much as you usually do and that can be very draining.
- Present yourself well First impressions matter! Not saying you have to glam up or bring your pants suit if you work in a casual environment, but a beautiful lipstick or your favorite sandals will make you feel more confident and get you noticed – in a good way. Being the visiting guy who wore sweatpants to the office isn’t exactly the best way to make an entrance. Be the best #bosslady you can be, and people will remember you for all the good you brought to their location and not how sloppy you looked.
- Try something newYelp the closest coffee shop with the best ratings or ask your co-workers where their favorite lunch spot is. While it can be easier to grab something familiar from a big chain when out of town, trying something new feels like a little treat amongst all the work. Most of the time you won’t have much time for fun things, so squeeze out every second of exploring this new city that you can. The weather was beautiful here last week, so I always spent my lunch hour just roaming around the area and seeing what kinds of places were around.
- Network, network, networkI know I shouldn’t have to tell you this – it’s biz travel 101. But sometimes we forget the importance of networking outside of the normal channels. Connect with people professionally and personally, you never know when you could end up moving to a new city and need those connections for a job or just tips on what neighborhood to live in. It’s easier than ever to maintain those connections through social media – just choose the route carefully. I.e. stick to LinkedIn if you still do keg stands on the weekend and post it on Facebook. Also, stop doing that its 2016.
- Treat yourself for a job well-doneWhether it’s a little break from your diet to have some fancy chocolate or a new lipstick, treat yourself to something small when you’re done. You’ve worked hard, traveling is exhausting, and you deserve it! It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or pricey, just something you wouldn’t normally do for yourself at the end of the work week.
- Say thank youBe a gracious guest – say thank you. Even if you’re going somewhere to boss people around, thank them for hosting you. A personal email to the team you worked with is nice, but a handwritten Thank You card will never go out of style. Your grace and humility will not be forgotten long after you’ve left.
Do you travel a lot for work? What are your best tips? Comment below!