Oh hello. Fancy meeting you here. We almost forgot what a bummer TSA lines were. Almost.
We were weirdly anxious about our first work travel trip in a year too. As we crawled out of our house, pale and shaggy, clad in stiff in khaki, we couldn’t remember how to do this. Where were the kids screeching about common core math? We have to go to Dallas? For business? As in sourdough? That’s all we do now right? Make sourdough in between zooms?
Oh there was a time. A before time, when planes and trains were ridden far and wide. We rambled and roamed, as we graced conference rooms and board meetings, while we networked over Powerpoints. We were masters of our ompanys’ fates, pioneers of our industries, kings and queens of Hyatt happy hours.
But now. Now as the world reopens once again, we feel rustier than the Tin Man. We haven’t consistently brushed our hair in a year and now we’re expected to interact? In society? In pants?
Never fear. To help us all reintegrate, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to ensure your re-entrance into the road warrior life is not only seamless, but even better than it was before.
Shoot, will you wait for us? We totally forgot about the butter knife in our laptop bag. Don’t ask.
1. Pick a goal. Any goal.
What’s your objective for being here? Yes we know the company’s objective, but what’s yours? Personally? Do you want to forge new solid relationships, create lasting contacts outside of what you were specifically sent to accomplish? What about making their clients your clients? Searching out a mentor to take you to the next level? If you have skin in the game that is businessing ™ (we’re making that a word. It’s our word. Go get your own.) you’re more likely to do your best. You’ll try harder and both you and your company will prosper. Can you say “promotion”?
2. Go to Bed
We know everyone is going to that wing dive bar Larry from accounting found. We know it has amazing Yelp reviews. We get it. But listen, it’s the middle of the trip. You have a pitch tomorrow at 8am. We both know Larry is going to be lucky to make it home alive if his Christmas party antics are anything to go by. Do yourself a favor and get your 8 hours. Go over your presentation before lights out, make sure the PowerPoint is glitch free twice. No. Three times.
It might seem like overkill right now, but in the sober well-rested light of day, you’ll thank yourself. You’ll be sharp and knowledgeable and best of all you won’t have to rush and panic that slide 8 won’t open. Future you says thank you, and is worried about Larry’s liver function.
3. Recharge Your Way
So, now that you’ve conquered the board room and your trip is winding down, you can finally let loose. Maybe for you that means befriending a local at the corner bar, and doing some sightseeing; we are not liable if they murder you in an alley. Good luck, Godspeed, for reference most murderers are males in their 30s.
Maybe that means answering the siren song of a beach, national park, or museum. Or maybe, just maybe, that means an all out Netflix binge with all the room service. For once you have complete control of the remote. Order a $30 sundae! Binge every Harry Potter movie! Why not? You’re alone. Those words have never burned brighter than they do post-pandemic.
4. Bridge the Gaps
Now that you’re back at work and home, it’s time to get back into your normal flow. Tell your boss how things went if you have one. Draw on tip 1, and wow him/her with any new info, contacts or clients.
Don’t forget to smooth things over at home. If you have a partner they probably need a break, and your kids probably missed you (we hope). Don’t break the bank but if you can, maybe you picked out some local candy or small gifts for the fam to let them know you were thinking of them. Tell them all about the fun stuff you did and saw on your trip, and make sure you all do something as a family that weekend. Just don’t tell them about the room service ice cream. That’s just for you, baby.