By Leah Richardson
If your job entails travel, you’ll probably find yourself on a flight with your boss at some point. While the prospect may seem intimidating, there are plenty of ways for you to harness your experience as globetrotter and turn your trip from freak-out central into brownie point gold. Here are some of Travelle’s essential tips to help you make your best impression while traveling with your boss.
This is not a vacation, and no, you cannot bring your bathing suit. Don’t confuse the prospect of a business trip with that of a free holiday. View this opportunity as a chance to demonstrate your skills instead of a chance to get away. You’ll get more out of this workwise if you keep it professional. Try to work during down time and not get caught sight seeing or attempting to use the hotel pool. It’ll be hard, but know that your boss will definitely notice your dedication.
Dress The Part
While preparing to travel might trigger that innate desire to throw on flip flops and sweat pants, this is not the time to go very casual. When you’re traveling for professional purposes, especially with your boss, dress as if you are going to work. You already enjoy looking and feeling your best so you might as well take this attitude with you and travel in style.
Follow The Cues
Ok, you’ve made it onto the plane without incident. Let your boss determine the pace from here on in. If he/she takes out a laptop and starts working so should you. But if they take time to relax, you should feel better about doing so yourself. Instead of stressing about what move to make, let your boss make the call.
Single Serving Boss
Sitting next to your boss is a delicate situation, but one that can be navigated with finesse just by following a few ground rules. Let your boss make the first move: if they don’t try to talk, neither should you. If they do want to chat, be friendly but professional. It’s fine to have some genuine conversation but don’t try to become BFFs with your boss. If you’re someone who panics in these moments of casual but crucial small talk, prepare neutral talking points. Try asking about other travel experiences or your boss’s bucket list for the upcoming year. It will lead to natural and interesting conversation, that doesn’t broach on overly friendly.
Whether in flight or at a business dinner, limit yourself to one drink. If no one else is drinking, don’t be the first one to order a drink even if you really want it. If you’re at a dinner and everyone is ordering a cocktail, then it’s fine girl - go get that cosmo! But just that one cosmo. This business trip is an opportunity to be remembered by your boss, but not as the lady who had one too many.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Even When You’re P.I.S.S.E.D.
The way you treat others matters. If your boss sees you being rude to airline or hotel staff they will assume that you have the capability to be so to clients. A professional woman knows that keeping her cool and being kind to any staff member will always make a trip easier.
Workout For Work
You want your boss to remember not just the work you do but who you are outside the job. Your health and wellness matter to you and they also matter to your boss. Eating well and maintaining fitness on the road is not only something you can do to treat your body well; it’s a way to demonstrate to your boss that you are disciplined and someone who can plan ahead and stick to a schedule or goal.
Here's to making that layover with even the most terrifying boss a success!