Funny business 28: Business trips

When I was young, I dreamed of living the professional’s life and getting sent to different parts of the world on company money, but it rarely happened while I was still too fresh and uneducated on proper business conduct. I think most of the engineer’s my age bought into the field because of this dream. Sadly as time goes by and as the novelty wears off, the disruption to my life has greatly eroded the enthusiasm that I once exhibited. The old adage is so true. They always come to you when you least “want” it. The very fact that you are trying to push it away shows people that you are best suited to do it.

Perhaps as I have increasingly more activity going on outside of work  (courtesy of my job),  my internal calculation for the cost/benefit to my personal wealth is kicking in and telling me that it’s not worth it. Yet when asked what’s so important in my personal life that I can visit the clients on a certain date, I struggle to give one example of an event of enough importance. Rather, it’s the sum of several normal events that I need to cancel/move which made the disruption to cost me more personally. Or rather, the almost zero sum of the benefit from making the actual trip. Wait… I can’t determine that yet.

Which brings me to the actual hidden variable that actually pushed me to agree to go. The seeds that I sew during the trips. You see, I have long understood that my persona is a brand that I need to build on, an impression that people can recall as soon as the name is uttered. The only way to do that, is to completely and utterly destroy any doubt about it. I believe I am good at what I do and I will show that.

Which brought me to a comment that the client used to describe me:

We were all having a laugh about how in the past, you’ve always come off as very business like when dealing with us, but once you are here in person, you are cracking jokes and mingling like you’ve always known us.

And that is how I’ve decided to build my professional image. A bipolar existence that allows me the freedom to switch tactics when needed. It is a very suitable image for the world of business since most of the encounters are short term, the contrasts creates a longer lasting effect. I wouldn’t be able to maintain that though since, in my personal life, we all know that I am quite boring. Especially so when I am crunching numbers. You might ask why I am building a brand? Why not? I am after all, aiming to be a CEO one day. With that ideal, I have to always look at things from the perspective of a boss and evaluating the feelings while working as  a grunt.

Away from the duties of work, there is one particular quirk that I’ve noticed about myself on a business trip. I am a lot more extreme in my actions because everything’s taken cared of, paid for and insured. Does the safety net drive this behavior? If the safety net can change the behavior of someone like me who is always penny pinching and have triple redundancies in any plans, then it is something that I have to take into account as I grow in life. How do I reign myself in once I reach the point when I have created this safety net for the rest of my life?

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