Advice for Business Newbies They Never Give You

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Was explaining to someone just starting out in business about business travel, and it occurred to me – I was giving a piece of random advice NO ONE ever gives out – Tons of people give you “Traditional” business advice, but never the stuff that really helps you when you’re in the thick of it and need all the help you can get. So please, help me contribute to this in the comments. There should be a definitive list, and I’m going to make it.

Remember – Add your advice for business newbies in the comments!

  • A well-palmed $20 can get you and the client you’re trying to land out of 80% of the “Waiting for a table” you’re forced to do, and one well-palmed $50 can usually handle the other 20% Keep both NEW bills neatly folded in your wallet or purse at all times.
  • It’s never to early to join a frequent flier program, and it’s never too early to pick an airline to which to stay loyal.
  • People worth paying special attention to in your first job include your boss’s secretary, the person who books corporate travel, and the tech support guy. By “Special attention,” I mean remembering their birthdays, knowing their kids’ names, and genuinely taking an interest in their lives.
  • Caveat: The people above will totally see through you if you’re not genuine, and you’ll be even more screwed than if they never knew you.
  • If you have the option of “going out with the sales guys for just one drink” the night before your first day at your first trade show, or going up to your room and going to sleep early, go up to your room early. In fact, this usually applies to almost every trade show you attend, not just your first. If you must go out and rage, save it for the last night, drink one glass of water for every glass of alcohol you drink, and have an escape plan, like a red-eye flight at 10:30pm you simply can’t miss.
  • Always be willing to listen to anyone who wishes to offer you advice. But be choosy as to whose advice you implement. Not everyone looks out for your best interest in the office, or in life.
  • For the first few years of your career, if you have a choice of making your boss or yourself look good in front of the top boss, go with your boss. If your boss is a decent person, he’ll remember that and count on you as an ally, and as he grows, so will you. If he’s a douche, you’ll learn, and not make that mistake again.
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