Divas, what is in your work bag? Before you answer, please note that I am not talking about those common items you need for work, such as your work files, wallet, cell phone, and iPod. I'm asking about those other items that make your bag heavy. All the stuff that keeps you from finding your car keys, which have unfortunately disappeared into the abyss that is your work bag. What's in your work bag?
Well, as I fished through my humungous work bag last week for almost 5 minutes in search of my cell phone, I realized just how much unnecessary stuff I had in there...Splenda packets...2 pairs of sunglasses...a straw...one tic tac...an NYC MetroCard...spare change...and a pair of socks (don't ask!). As I sat and wondered how each of these items somehow found their way into my work bag, I started thinking about those items that every Professional Diva should actually have in her work bag. You know...those practical items that keep us prepared for any any every business hurtle we may encounter. After doing some quick brainstorming, I came up with the following 8 items:
1. Business Cards - This is just as much of a standard as your actual work files. You should always carry a set of business cards, in a snazzy business card holder, in your work bag. You never know when you're going to meet a new contact, and you do not want to be unprepared. Keep a few in your work bag, just in case. Also remember to check out Business Card Holder Basics!
2. Pens and a Notepad - I am well aware of the fact that many professionals are now using electronic tablets to jot down impromptu notes...it's just the way things work these days. Even though this new technology is readily available, it still cannot take the place of a simple pen and a notepad when you need to get something down quickly. Now, I'm not telling you to completely dump your electronics...all I'm saying is that you should have a pen and notepad as well.
3. Toothbrush, Toothpaste, and Floss - Have any of you ever been to a meeting and noticed a piece of lettuce in someone's teeth? Or spinach? Or a stray piece of meat from a spare rib? No? The wretched fact of the matter is that your lunch could possibly end up in your teeth...where everyone can see. And I won't even get into the calamity that is garlic breath. Eliminate the threat of post lunch embarrassment by keeping a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste in your work bag. And some floss for those hard to reach places.
4. Touch Up Make Up - Assuming you wear makeup to work, you should always carry touch-up makeup in your work bag. You do not necessarily need your entire makeup case, but definitely carry some lip gloss or lipstick to keep your lips fresh, and compact powder to eliminate shine.
5. Spare Hosiery - You do not want to be caught out there with runs in your hosiery. Keep a spare pair of neutral, flesh-toned hosiery in your work bag just in case.
6. Breath Mints - Not gum! Simple mints that can eliminate odor quickly...I don't see the need to elaborate any further.
7. Hand Lotion - Because rough hands and ashy elbows are not characteristics of a great outfit. And because the hand soap in the company restrooms make your hands dry and....anti-sexy! Keep a travel-sized tube of hand or body lotion in your work bag for occasions like these.
8. Hair Brush, Ties, and Pins - Every one of us have had a bad hair day (or twenty) at some point in our lives. If your hair decides to misbehave at the most inopportune time, you can grab your hair brush, a hair tie, and some hair pins, and pull your hair into a bun...or a fancy chignon...whatever you like! If your hair is on the shorter side, use your hair brush and hair pins to pull it back off your face. All of this is made possible by the fact that you actually have a hair brush, hair ties, and hair pins in your work bag!
So now I ask you Divas....what's in your work bag, and why?