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Make It Happen Tipsheet
Career Management and Life Balance

Business Travel Balancing Act

When you are interviewing for that new position, and are asked about how you feel about business travel, most people will say that it isn't a problem. In fact, some may see the prospect of travelling to exciting new places as a key benefit of taking the job in the first place.

After several months of travel, however, other realities start to sink in: it is tough on relationships. It is impossible to commit to community or educational activities, especially when your attendance can't be guaranteed. And it's tough on team sports for the same reason.

Keeping the balance while you're away from home is exceptionally difficult, but not impossible - if only you did a bit of planning. Here are some ideas:

  • Set up an exercise routine for travel days: use the hotel gym, jog, etc.
  • Call home each day; especially if you have kids, consider using a "webcam".
  • Keep to as regular a schedule as you can: sleeping, eating, exercise, reading, etc.
  • For each day away, schedule in special exclusive time with your friends and family for when you return.

Of course, the best antidote to extensive business travel is not to do it in the first place. Indeed, with corporate travel costs booming, most organizations are happy to avoid the expense. Before you jump on another plane, ask yourself:

  • Can I use a conference call to achieve the same objective?
  • Can I do the presentation using screen-sharing technology (Webex, Sametime, Livemeeting, etc)?
  • Can I defer or combine the in-person meeting with another meeting where I will see the contact (such as at an upcoming trade show, annual meeting, etc)?

This week's action item:

Remember that while you are away on business, your friends and family aren't. Set up a schedule for a travel day; it should contain all of your important "balance" items. The next time you're away, use it.

Make It Happen Tipsheet
Comments or questions?
Let us know: editor@ptadvisors.com.

Copyright © 2006 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved.

Publication Date: August 8, 2006

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