Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Corporate jobs often have travel requirements

I've mentioned this before, but let me take a minute to remind all our reminders that most corporate jobs require some type of travel. Of course there are exceptions, but the travel may be to customer/client meetings, medical specialty society conferences, meetings with collaborators, and meetings with affiliated partners. In short, expect to do some travel. Jobs with major biopharma companies will almost certainly require travel - even international travel.

In general, the average practicing doctor doesn't do much work-related travel. You may take a week to attend a major CME conference like a specialty society conference. Unless you do a lot of professional speaking, you probably don't spend much time at airports or hotels. Life changes when you have to travel frequently. Living out of a suitcase and sleeping in hotel rooms may fit the lifestyle of some, but many others will do everything they can to minimize time away from their families.

Here are a handful of travel tips that I've learned over the years:

1. Men - when you go through TSA security checkpoints, remember to take off your shoes and your belt. Yes, your belt. I often use the smooth end of my belt as a shoehorn so that I can put my shoes back on quickly. Someone should invent a belt where the tip doubles as a shoehorn.

2. Carry an electrical outlet splitter so that you can share that sacred outlet at the airport when you need to recharge your electronics. The outlet splitter may also be handy if your hotel room has limited power outlets.

3. Carry a car charger for your phone. When you're sitting in the cab, you may have access to a cigarette adapter so that you can recharge. When you rent a car, you'll be glad that you have that car charger.

4. Carry a USB battery so that you can recharge your phone, Bluetooth headset, your MiFi, or any other electronic that can be charged via a standard USB port. When your phone runs out of power, remember that your laptop USB port can be used to recharge some of your electronics.

5. Carry a magazine. I recommend Harvard Business Review. You'll have something to read during takeoff and landing when you have to turn off your electronics. Plus, if the laptop that you're using on your lap starts getting too warm, you'll have something that you can use to insulate your legs from the heat.

6. Remember that your smartphone has a built-in GPS and you can use Google Maps for turn-by-turn navigation. If you plan to use your smartphone as a GPS, bring along some type of car mount that clips to the  AC vents or sits in the cup holder.

7. Nutrition/Exercise: Treat yourself to some ice cream when you travel. Eat salads so that you don't gain weight. Bring your exercise shoes so that you're motivated to exercise. Some hotels even have a rental program that will allow travelers to borrow exercise clothes so that you don't have to pack your gym shoes in your small carry-on luggage.

8. Use social networking platforms to stay connected to friends and family. Use video conferencing apps like Facetime or Skype when you call home.

9. Do you tend to get cold during sleep? Pack some warm sleep clothes. Sometimes the hotel room is too cold and you can't get it warm enough.

10. Carry a small travel umbrella, even if you're traveling to Arizona or Texas. You simply don't know when it's going to rain.

Like my travel tips? Please share them with others. If you're a novice at business traveling, you'll find many other great resources online that give tips on airplane seat selection, on the TSA Pre-Check process that lets you zoom through security, or other general business travel tips.

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