I am pretty sure I am in the minority here (here being Dadomatic).Â I am likely one of the few dads with grown children and an empty nest.Â In the three years I have been writing for Dadomatic I’ve gone through both High School and College graduations and have seen my three kids go forth into the world on their own. But of course they are not really on their own.Â Us kids are never fully on our own, and us parents are never not parents.Â That’s why, even though I no longer see my kids every day, or wipe their butts, or walk them to the bus stop, I still love to write and talk about being a dad.Â Being dad is still, and always will be, the most important and rewarding thing I do.
From Homework to Work Work
As the parent now of young adults, I have entered an entirely new phase of phatherhood, with an entirely new set of challenges and joys.Â Instead of helping with homework I’m now often asked for help with real work, as in a job.Â My oldest son is currently away on his first business trip, and before he left we talked at length about business travel.Â I fondly recalled my own first business trip, when I was about his age, and all the things I’ve learned in hundreds of trips and hundreds of thousands of miles since.Â Here are some of the quick tips I gave him as advice for his first official business trip:
- Know where you’re going and be on time – When you arrive the day before your meetings, if time permits, scope out the location of where you’ll be going for your meetings the next day, so in the morning you already know the way, and can easliy show up a few minutes early without stressing over finding your way as a stranger in a strange land.
- Socialize, but don’t party – A really important part of business travel is having the chance to socialize with co-workers and business associates outside the normal environment.Â You should take full advantage of going out for meals and drinks, especially with supervisors and those senior to you, who you otherwise may rarely get the chance to “get to know” and develop a more personal relationship with.Â All that said, limit your drinking (no matter what the rest of the group is doing) and don’t go so far as to get drunk.Â Have fun, be yourself, but not your wild self.
- Business first on a business trip – You’re being sent on the road to do a job, and as much as travel may remind you of a vacation, you’re not on vacation.Â Work should come first, but if you do have downtime, explore the city you’re in by taking a walk or going for a run.
- Try something new – When you’re grabbing a meal, avoid the same national chains you can visit at home. Instead check out the local establishments that are unique to the city you’re in.
- Carpe your Per Diem – They are giving you spending money to cover your meals during the trip.Â Spend for food and incidentals well within your per diem budget amounts, so you can come home with a little extra cash in your pocket.Â If you’re invited to eat with business associates, do so.Â (He might as well get used to a few little perks of business travelâ€¦)
I am very proud of all my kids and watching them enter the “real” world is every bit as thrilling as it was watching them on the first day of nursery school.Â As a parent, every new milestone for a child brings miles of enjoyment.
What do you think?Â Would you have any other tips for a first business trip?Â I’d love to hear from other parents of young adults.
Jeff SassÂ is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 19). Â He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast. Â You can see more of Jeffâ€™s writing atÂ Sassholes!Â andÂ Social Networking RehabÂ and you can listen to Jeff on theÂ Cast of DadsÂ podcast.
Photo Credit:Â© ioannis kounadeas – Fotolia.com