I got such a great response from my travel makeup bag post so I thought I would share with you my top 10 work bag essentials. This is for any job and any kind of work bag/briefcase. Some items may not be essential for you, but you can get some ideas for items that may be important for you.
- Agenda/planner: It is so important to keep track of meetings, lunches/dinners, appointments, etc. I have a planner with me 24/7, which isn’t necessary, but it is definitely important for your work bag. Whether it’s on your phone or an old fashioned pen and paper agenda (like me), it is crucial to stay on top of your schedule.
- Pens/pencils: You never know when you may need to write something down: a phone number, an appointment, an address, some notes. I like to keep a few pens, at least one pencil, and a highlighter so I can brighten up really important stuff in my agenda.
- Calculator: I know most phones have a calculator, but I like to keep a separate one so it is easily accessible and I don’t have to mess with my phone (I may be taking a call or checking e-mail at the same time).
- Notebook: I always like to keep some kind of notebook to write down ideas, take notes, and just get some of my thoughts down on paper if something pops into my head. If I write it down, I won’t forget. I also like to have a notebook for important meetings where I need to take notes or write down anything that may be important in the future.
- RESUME! This is crucial, especially if you are looking to “climb the employment ladder” or you are looking for a different job. Carry around multiple as well. You never know when you may meet someone who could provide a job opportunity. Whether at work or at a restaurant or standing in line at the store, you may need to pull out your credentials.
- Binder/folder with paper: This depends on the type of job you have. In my case, as a reporter, I need to organize any kind of contacts or documents I may receive from meetings or story boards.
- Portfolio: Along with your resume, you need some kind of portfolio to showcase your work, clips, photos, etc. I always carry around a folder with some of my favorite pieces that I can show along with my resume.
- Contact solution: This is a must for anyone who wears contacts. My contacts fall out all of the time or get dry in my eyes so I always need contact solution so that my eyes don’t look red and I can see. One of the worst things that could happen on your first day on the job or at an interview is if you couldn’t see anything. I always keep a little travel bottle with me along with my contact case.
- Lotion: I love keeping some kind of hand lotion in my work bag because I hate shaking hands with someone who has dried, cracked skin. When you show a nice hand to shake, you are showing that you take care of yourself and it leaves a nice impression.
- Beauty bag: I always keep some beauty products in my work bag for that afternoon pick-me-up half way through the day. Here are my makeup product must-haves:
- lip gloss: your smile is super important around the office and so are the lips that go with it. Keep your lips looking fresh and moisturized.
- concealer or under eye roller: you want to look bright and awake all day. I would suggest a roller with caffeine to perk up your skin or a roller concealer.
- pressed powder: after a few hours of hard work you may be glistening a little more than usual. Apply a few dabs of powder on your t-zone to look shine free.
- oil sheets: these will also help keep your skin from looking shiny and greasy.
- night time palette: you may have plans after work or have plans and don’t know it yet (that hottie at the office may ask you out) so I always like to keep some kind of smokey eye palette to freshen myself up for drinks after work.
I hope this was helpful whether you are a busy professional or just starting out. What you bring to the table (literally) could make or break you landing that new client or acing that interview. Good luck!