My New Rules for Professional Travel

HR professionals must invest in learning to be relevant.

An investment in learning means "learning how HR professionals in other organizations address problems similar to yours, how they are innovating on behalf of the organization . . . " HR From the Outside In

And that involves an investment in travel.

I love to travel. The almost-four years I was stationed in Germany, I utilized my 4-day passes, Federal holidays and 30 days of leave a year to see the highs and lows of Europe. Save my salary for future? Not me. I returned to the states with very little in the bank but a ton of memories. My husband and I share a love of travel with the kid as we embark on trips that have included the continental United States, Alaska and the Caribbean. Personal travel rocks!

Then, there's professional travel.

I don't travel for business often, but when I do, it seems to come in rushes. The next 4 weeks or so have me in Des Moines, Minneapolis, Chicago and Rochester, MN. I'll be away from home more than I am at home.

Driving to the airport early one morning after leaving a sleeping family behind, I've come up with a few rules for my travel from this day forth:

  • No back-to-back trips for me and the husband. At least a full 24 hours together is required.
  • Combine professional and family travel together when we can. What's a missed school day here or there when Washington D.C. is the destination?
  • Leave in the light of day vs. stealing away in the dark. (Having a private jet would eliminate the 2 hour drive to the airport. Just saying)
  • Upgrade the home technology to support FaceTime, Skype or something more than a quick text or hurried call in the midst of group dinners.

Above all, always tell each other you were missed. I enjoy being with my family. Our time together is already absorbed with the what not's of the day and, when you add in travel away from home, our time is reduced even more.

What rules do you have for your professional travel?

Photo credit: iStockphoto

Where I'll Be

I am leaving on a jet plane . . .  and heading out of town a few times over the next few weeks.

By the time you read this, I will be on my way to the cities to catch a flight to NY to spend a few days in a room full of powerful leaders as a guest of The Conference Board at the Women's Leadership Conference.

The following week I am heading to Chicago to HREvolution. I have a quick flight in one day at out the next but will maximize my time meeting Deirdre Honner, HR Maven in real life (yippee), catching up with old friends and meeting new. When I am not schmoozing and learning from my peers, I'll be facilitating a session with my friend, Jennifer McClure - details to come. Trust me (really, you can trust me), this session will be a good one.

Although the full-time job will interfere with my plans to attend the Social Recruiting Summit, I couldn't let the coolest people I know (outside the family unit) gather in my backyard and not see them. So, I am attending the LinkUp TweetUp with my non-twit husband in tow. Being within spitting distance of the amusement park at Mall of America without the kid may be a challenge but we're working on it.

I'll be getting down to business with the lawyers (just the cool ones) at the 2010 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute. First session on my agenda is, "Help! My Facebook De-Friended You Tube and Ran Off With Twitter." With that title and electronic polling as part of the session, how could I NOT sign up for this one! With 2 days of jam packed sessions, I may actually get my junior lawyer card - finally!

So, if you are going to be where I am, let me know, look me up and let's meet in real life!


Photo Credit iStockPhoto