Traveling with your Boss? 5 Business Travel Etiquette Tips

Do you have an upcoming business trip with your boss?  If so, you’re probably a little apprehensive about it—fortunately, we’re here to reassure you.  By following these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to making a good travel impression.

  • Be Prompt.  While you might like to rush to the airport at the last minute, your boss may find your cavalier attitude irresponsible.  Rather than running late, plan to arrive a few minutes early to the airport, meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.
  • Drink Moderately If at All.  Remember that this is a work trip.  Limit your consumption of alcoholic beverages to only 1 or 2, and that’s only if your boss partakes.  You want to present a professional demeanor and getting drunk is the wrong way to go about it.       
  • Behave Professionally.  Avoid the tendency to treat this like your own personal vacation.  Remember that at all times, you are representing your company and behave as if you are on the clock, even if you’re in a Caribbean locale!
  • Dress Appropriately.  Speaking of that Caribbean trip, leave the flip-flops at home.   Business trips are the wrong time to break out your casual clothing.  Instead, opt for business casual attire unless you’re in a meeting with a client where a suit would be more appropriate.    
  • Carry Cash.  There are going to be a number of occasions where you’ll need to tip service people on your travels—the baggage porter, taxi driver, bellhop, etc.  Make sure you have plenty of singles on hand.  Also, don’t forget your business credit card and a personal credit card so you’re well-prepared in the event of an emergency.

Rather than feeling nervous about your business trip, follow these tips and you’ll feel confident that you can easily spend time traveling with your boss!

Object-Oriented Programming: Constructors

Last time we gave an example of a class in C++, and discussed how objects are declared and how values are assigned to fields of the object.  Now we will say more about the constructor - a special method we've already mentioned in the introductory article.

As we said: constructors perform the creation of every object.  The constructor is so important that, if the programmer doesn't write one, a default constructor will be provided and called implicitly.  This constructor will not have any parameters, it will not initialize the object's fields (rather, the memory will contain some random value).  If you try to access some of the fields, you will get a compiler error saying that you are trying to access a variable which has not been initialized.

For example:

class MyClass
{
    public:
    int member;
}; //don't forget the semicolon!

int main()
{
    MyClass myObject; //creation of an object; default constructor is called
    cout << myObject.member; //error
}

 

Now let's see how you can write your own constructor.

The first thing to remember is that the constructor is always a method with no return type and with the same name as the name of the class.  So, for example, if you would like the member field of our MyClass object to have a specific value upon creation, you would write something like this:

class MyClass
{
    public:
    int member;

    MyClass()
    {
        member=5;
    }
};

int main()
{
    MyClass myObject; //our constructor is called
    cout << myObject.member; //output is now 5
}

 

Constructors can also have parameters, just like any other method; here is how they are used:

class MyClass
{
    public:
    int member;
    
    MyClass(int x)
    {
        member=x;
    }
};

int main()
{
    MyClass myObject(5); //our constructor is called; 5 is the argument
    cout << myObject.member; //output is 5
}
However, if you tried to write
 MyClass myObject;
in the main() from the code above, you would get a compiler error, since there is no default constructor (one without any parameters).
Note: if there is at least one constructor written by the programmer, the default constructor will not be provided.
So, for MyClass myObject; to work in our last code example, you would also have to write a constructor with no parameters. This is a good time to confirm what you may have assumed by now: a class can have multiple constructors, but they must differ in parameter list (have different number of parameters, and/or the parameters are of different types).

 

Let's see an example:

class MyClass
{
    public:
    int integerMember;
    string stringMember;

    MyClass() {}; //default constructor
    MyClass(int x)
    {
        integerMember=x;
    }
    MyClass(int x, string s)
    {
        integerMember=x;
        stringMember=s;
    }
};

int main()
{
    MyClass object1; //default constructor called
    MyClass object2(4); //object2.integerMember is 4
    MyClass object3(3, "Programming"); //object3.integerMember is 3, object3.stringMember is "Programming"
}

 

The last thing we need to say about constructors is that they can also have default parameters, like this:

myClass(int x=1)
{
    integerMember=x;
}
This way, if the argument is not stated when the constructor is called (like MyClass myObject;), the value of the integerField field will be, in our case, 1 - the default value we've defined.  It is important to remember that the default parameters must always come after the "regular" parameters in the constructor's parameter list.

 

Ready, Set, Go! How to Prepare Yourself for a Major Change

Are you on the cusp of making a major change in your life?  Whether you’re starting a new job, moving across the country, or returning to school, these types of milestones can be angst-ridden.  However, there are ways to prepare for them so that you experience a minimum of stress.  Check out our advice for making a smooth transition into your exciting new future:

  • Plan.  When you’re prepared for a change, you approach it differently.  Rather than feeling overwhelmed, you’re confident that you can easily tackle what’s coming.  Take a couple of hours out of your day to start planning for your big change.  For instance, if you’re planning to move, make a list of everything you need to do (contact the moving company, map out your trip, book hotels to stay in along the way, etc.) and when those things need to be completed.  Then, plan to spend some time each day crossing off items on your to-do list.

  • Focus.  Avoid the tendency to direct your energy toward a number of different projects at once.  Instead, focus on one thing at a time so that you don’t get scattered or feel like you’ve taken on too much.  For instance, let’s say that you’re selling your home and you have a number of rooms to repaint, stage, and prepare before you put your house on the market.  Rather than trying to tackle several rooms simultaneously—and living in chaos for months at a time—do one room at a time.  Not only will it be easier to reside in your home during renovations, but you’ll also find that this focus makes the project seem much less overwhelming than it did initially.

  • Be Optimistic.  Time and time again, studies have shown that optimistic people have better coping skills and experience greater psychological wellbeing.  Rather than worrying about all of the things that could go wrong in the future, start reminding yourself of the reasons that you think this change is going to be a positive one.  By developing an optimistic outlook, you’ll experience less stress and more enthusiasm which is always beneficial in times of transition. 

Thought For The Day

“Life is a travelling to the edge of knowledge, then a leap taken.”
D. H. Lawrence

 

 

Want to Excel as a New Manager? Watch Out for these Common Pitfalls

If you’re a new manager, congratulations!  Becoming a manager is a big responsibility and you’re probably wondering how you can meet the demands of the job while impressing your superiors.  Below we identify problems that new managers often run into so that you can avoid them in your own career:

  • Micromanaging – People who are selected for management roles are frequently perfectionists—they want to excel at everything and are more inclined to doubt that their team members can do a job as well as they can, leading to micromanagement tendencies.  To avoid doing this, clearly articulate your expectations to your team—when people have a good understanding of what their boss wants, they typically put forth the effort to achieve it.

  • Being Too Nice – It can feel unusual at first to have authority over your teammates.  However, you will want to adjust as rapidly as possible, because you don’t want to develop a reputation of being “too nice.”  Managers who don’t set clear boundaries with their subordinates risk being seen as pushovers, lose the respect of others, and receive subpar work from their staff.

  • Time Management – As a manager, expect to be pulled in a lot of different directions.  You’ll probably attend more meetings, receive a much larger number of emails, and have far more people vying for your time and attention.  As such, it is very important that you determine the best way to manage your time so you can attend to all of the things you have going on.  Maybe this means waking up an hour earlier in the morning or perhaps you need to set aside an hour or two every workday to respond to emails.  Early on in your management career, determine the best way to manage and prioritize your time so you don’t get overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities you face.