The Best Professional Advice I’ve Ever Received

Dan and I were chatting last night about the gorgeous Maxwell Scott briefcase he reviewed, and he was surprised to hear I don’t carry a work briefcase. My office is business formal, so it would fit, but I was given rock solid professional advice once on why a briefcase isn’t the best choice for business meetings!

The Best Professional Advice I've Ever Received

I work in a client facing business, meaning I often do face to face meetings. At a training early in my career, we were asked who had a nice bag or briefcase for meetings. Almost every hand went up, and the speaker said we should all ditch the bags. Here’s how she explained it: If you bring a bag to a meeting, you project an image that you have multiple meetings and customers that day. If you bring a pad, folio, or small carry case with just the materials for that meeting, you indicate that meeting is your only priority. One option makes you feel important; the other makes your customer feel important.

It is advice I have really taken to heart, because it makes complete sense. What makes you feel more comfortable: having your doctor walk in with just your file in hand, or having your doctor walk in juggling five files and saying “hang on, which one are you again?” You don’t have to be a doctor to know that making it clear how important your meeting is can make a big difference.

I just shared my best tip; do you have any professional advice that’s served you well?

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About the Author

Zek has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to their first PDA (a Palm M100). They quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. They love writing about ebooks because they combine their two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?

1 Comment on "The Best Professional Advice I’ve Ever Received"

  1. The best professional advice I ever received as an IT professional was this: your job is to look bored or, in other words, your job is to help other people calm down. T This was back when I supported sales and demo staff at a medical software company.

    So the gist is this: even if your server is on fire, you need to act bored like it was on fire twice last week and it was no big deal to fix. The underlying principles here are that if the IT guy/gal is freaking out, nothing good will come from anyone else around him or her AND freaked out, panicking people make terrible decisions. So, my job is to be the calm one.

    This has been noted as a significant strength to people, departments and organizations I’ve worked for over the last 15 years.

    So my advice? Be “bored, but competent” or calming & competent.

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