7 Essential Items Every New (or Seasoned) Business Woman Should Have
Having the experience and ability to handle any business situation that comes your way is important when navigating the corporate world. However, determining how fast you rise within a company often goes beyond the skills you offer; first impressions and being prepared at all times will have an impact.
What does this mean? As a start, it means that every business woman should have the following essential items in her arsenal to appear professional and confident in any situation, whether she feels confident or not.
Thank You Cards
It is very important to have a set of nice thank you cards on hand. It’s a great practice to send a handwritten thank you note after you’ve met with someone for an interview, a networking lunch, or even after having a great conversation. There is nothing wrong with sending an email, but a handwritten note leaves a more memorable impression because of the time and attention it takes to write one. In this fast-moving world, where we are challenged to get things done quickly, few people follow through with these small, yet powerful, gestures. So when you have the opportunity to write a thank you note, be sure to do so. Your recipient will feel special simply because you took the time to write it by hand, and it will keep your name top of mind with that person.
To complement those nice thank you notes, it’s also important to keep a nice quality ink or gel pen in your briefcase or bag to pull out during important meetings. It should be different from the everyday pen you use in the office. This pen reflects your professionalism. The color and type of pen is up to you, but be sure that it appears to be high quality. It doesn’t have to cost hundreds of dollars, but it should look like it!
Briefcase or Bag
Your briefcase or bag is one of the first items people will notice, so it should be a reflection of you and chosen with care. Think of it like you think of your shoes–you wouldn’t wear worn out, scruffy, or unpolished shoes to a client meeting; your bag shouldn’t be worn out, either.
There are many styles from which to choose, including those you wear on your back, carry on your shoulder, or pull on wheels, so you should select the one that is most comfortable for you. It should also be durable enough to handle daily wear and tear while meeting your fashion preferences and having the necessary features that fit your needs, such as internal or external pockets, side cup holder, the right size cell phone holder, etc. You may even want to consider purchasing one for each season and switching them out when the weather changes.
Speaking of weather, having an umbrella is an absolute must. Weather is unpredictable, and rain is the last thing you’ll want to worry about when you are on the way to work or to a meeting. Purchase two durable umbrellas; one for your car and one for your briefcase or bag. Spend a little extra money on a good quality umbrella to avoid mishaps like it flipping inside out or not opening during a sudden downpour. Being prepared will keep you focused and unbothered during unexpected weather changes.
These come in handy when a bag or briefcase isn’t needed. For instance, if you are attending a seminar or having a quick coffee chat with a mentor or co-worker, you can bring a padfolio with you to hold your full-size tablet, business cards, notepad, and pen. There are also smaller sizes available. Some companies will give you one with their logo on it as a welcome gift. If yours doesn’t, be sure to buy one yourself, because it looks so much better than carrying around a file folder, and it’s more secure.
When an unplanned business trip arises, there is nothing more annoying than realizing at the last minute that your existing luggage is not fit for business travel. Don’t be caught with shabby luggage–purchase a decent set that has bags in various sizes to accommodate the clothes you’ll need for a weeklong trip or a quick overnight stay. Also, pick a color or style that stands out among the other luggage, or attach an identifiable ribbon or tag on it to avoid any mix-ups in the airport. You’ll use this luggage for many years, so it is a very wise purchase.
These items include breath spray or mints, tampons/pads, hand sanitizer, tissue, and hand lotion. Keep these items in your purse and/or bag at all times. Purchase trial-size versions to avoid taking up excessive space in your bag or purse. These items are often overlooked until there is an emergency, so have peace of mind by being prepared.
While many other items could be added to this list, these are the main essentials a young business woman needs when she is getting ready to enter the corporate world.8