As a business woman you’re constantly on the go. Many times your purse doubles as both an accessory and mobile office. As we get busier our purses often get bulkier and heavier but do we really need all that stuff or are we just carrying it around? I often find myself carrying around way too many things in my purse so I’ve come up with a list of the 15 essentials every business woman should have in her purse, other than your wallet of course.
1. Card holder/business cards
Networking is key in growing a business and to do this you need to pass on your name and information. Never miss an opportunity to network, always carry your card holder with a fresh supply of business cards.
2. Notebook & Pen
You never know when you’ll think of your next great idea or have to attend a surprise meeting. Be prepared to jot down your thoughts. Have a small notebook and a black or blue pen handy. Choose a conservative pattern for your book cover to keep it professional (no animal prints or hot pink).
3. Phone charger
Don’t be caught without mobile access, always keep a spare phone charger in your purse. This way you can charge on the go whenever you get a chance.
4. Your staple lipstick & compact mirror
Every woman has a go-to lip colour, make sure you carry yours with you to touch up throughout the day. As for colour keep it conservative for the workplace.
5. Pair of sheer Nude or Flesh tone Pantyhose
A run in your hose can ruin your outfit and professional look. A pair of flesh tone pantyhose can save you from the embarrassment of a run and make sure you maintain a polished and professional image. Choose a color closest to your skin tone. Flesh tone pantyhose gives the illusion of a bare leg and unlike black usually goes with any color you’re wearing.
6. Mini Brush
Don’t let a bad hair day ruin your mood and your work. Take a mini brush with you to touch up and tame any frizz or fly-aways. Travel size brushes are ideal. I keep the brushes from airline amenities kits, they’re great to slip in to a purse.
7. Mints/Listerine Sheets
Fresh breath is essential when you’re meeting new people and selling your business. A small pack of Altoids or any other mint can help tackle your dragon breath. Another alternative is Listerine mouthwash sheets.
8. Blot strips
As the day goes on your makeup starts to fade and your face does get oily. Blotting paper or sheets are great for getting rid of extra oil and shine on your face, especially before a big business meeting. You can find them in many brands but Clean & Clear is readily available at any drugstore.
9. USB Stick
A USB stick or Pen Drive allows you to to carry your work with you. It also lets you save a back up of all your important files if anything should happen to your computer.
Just because it’s that time of the month, doesn’t mean your work life should stop. Always carry supplies with you and if you suffer from severe cramps and pain make sure you have Midol or any other prescription medication you use.
A headache can really ruin your day and affect your productivity. Apsrin is great for any mild headaches or pains. The travel size bottle is enough since you won’t be using it on a daily basis.
12. Travel size deodorant/perfume
Body odor can really stink up your professional image and reputation. Keep yourself smelling fresh and clean all day long by carrying your deodorant with you to touch up as required. You can carry a perfume purse spray as well however keep in mind that most offices are scent free environments.
Paper cuts are inevitable at work so be prepared with a stock of Bandaids. Opt for the clear or flesh colored ones as patterns are not work appropriate. It’s best to buy a small box with different sizes for different types of cuts.
14. Mini Hand Sanitizer
As you go to different business meetings, you’ll be shaking a lot of hands. Unfortunately most germs are spread through shaking hands, protect yourself by carrying some hand sanitizer and sanitize after your meetings and before meals.
15. Mini sewing kit
A loose button or thread can ruin a professional look. Having a mini sewing kit with a few spare buttons can help save your wardrobe and restore your professional look. You can usually find a mini sewing kit in most hotel rooms (take it with you) or purchase one. If you like you can make your own – chose neutral colors of thread and black buttons in different sizes.
Praveeni Perera is the CEO and co-founder of Professional Edge Consulting a corporate training company based in Ottawa offering training and coaching services to clients around the world. She can be reached via Website, Twitter, Facebook or her Blog.