You’ve been with your Houston-based company for seven months when your boss tells you that she needs you to go to Los Angeles tomorrow for a client meeting. You panic because not only is this your first business trip but, you have mere hours before you leave.
Don’t worry, here’s what you need to know:
Packing for the adventure:
Remember, this is a business trip so, your clothes should reflect that. Bring business casual outfits based on what you wear to work every day. Blazers are great for business trips, and they can be paired with dark jeans. You should also bring a pair of comfy flats and a purse that isn’t too cumbersome. Make sure to pack your laptop and something to write on for meetings. And, bring a stack of business cards for potential networking opportunities.
Navigating the airport and check-in:
Arrive early, don’t wear yoga pants, and leave your furry pink neck pillow at home. Wear something you would wear to work like slacks or jeans (no holes) and a button-down shirt. If you’re not a fashionista, don’t fret, websites like Latest Outfit Ideas have cute looks, like the one below, that you can modify based on what’s in your closet.
Because you never want to be the hold up, have your ID and boarding pass ready. Don’t be the person who fumbles through her things and holds up the boarding process. If you choose to carry on, make sure you can lift your luggage into the overhead compartment. Your boo isn’t on this trip to help you, so you have to be Ms. Independent; either lift your bag like a champ or check it for convenience.
Managing the agenda:
Once you arrive in LA the real work begins. Make sure you have a copy of the agenda. Don’t be late. And, when the group says meet at 7am for breakfast, be 5-10 minutes early. This isn’t a personal trip so, tell your cousin who lives in LA that you may be able to grab coffee but, ditching the group to go shopping on Rodeo Drive is out of the question.
If the group decides to go to dinner or grab drinks at the hotel bar, you should go. But use your discretion and remember that you’re at a work event. Anything you do on a business trip can be used against you back at the office. So, proceed with caution.
Reporting Back to your Boss:
Make sure to have a few talking points post trip that you can report to your boss when she asks how everything went. Your report should be work-related and not about the awesome bars in downtown LA. Be sure to also follow up with any contacts you made in LA and let them know it was a pleasure meeting them.