Lesson #2: Always be prepared

Last Tuesday was a rainy morning. I wore rain boots for my commute to work. As I walked into the office, it hit me; I didn’t bring a pair of dress shoes. I had to wear my rain boots for the entire day.

Thankfully I work in a casual-dress environment. The majority of my meetings take place over the phone. The only people who witnessed my awkward attire were the few people I passed on my way to and from the bathroom. Most of them probably didn’t even notice.

Lesson #2: Always be prepared.

My minor wardrobe malfunction should remind you of this valuable lesson. What if I was meeting with a top client, face-to-face, at 9 am? What if the CEO surprised me with his presence? As much as you shouldn’t dwell on the “what ifs,” it’s always better to be prepared. Follow these tips to eliminate the likelihood of the “what ifs” becoming your reality.

Tip #1: Store an extra outfit in your office.

If you don’t have an office, keep an extra outfit in your car. A clean shirt and pants are saviors for stains. A sweater warms you when your office suddenly feels like the Arctic Pole. Sneakers relieve the pain from walking in dress shoes. An extra outfit gives you the option to stay comfortable during the unexpected. The more comfortable you are, the more likely you will be productive doing your daily work.

Tip #2: Carry floss.

If you were out to dinner, would it bother you if your friend didn’t tell you that you had spinach stuck in your teeth? I imagine it’s more embarrassing if your lunch leftovers were stuck in your teeth during an interview or client presentation. Floss is the fix for both situations. Keep it in your purse or pocket. Consider having a toothbrush or mouthwash handy too.

Tip #3: Write notes.

It was so easy to forget dress shoes on that rainy day. I’d probably forget them again if I didn’t write a note for myself. Writing notes is a great daily habit to make for your personal and professional endeavors. Download Evernote on your computer and smartphone. Invest in the old fashion paper and pen. Use the method that will remind you to do what you need to do.

Did you learn this lesson yet? Share your story in the comments section.

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