How to Be Prepared for the Unexpected in Your Workday

 Be prepared for the day after, unexpected meetings and networking events with this career advice for young professional women.

Be prepared for the day after, unexpected meetings and networking events with this career advice for young professional women.

You didn’t make it home last night. Whether it was a scene straight out of Trainwreck, you slammed tequila shots while consoling your bestie after her big break up and you passed out on the floor, or you had a last minute sleepover at "his" place, it happens. Or, maybe you show up at work dressed down and find out the "big boss" is expected shortly and you're in "big boss" meetings.  Or, an after work networking or social event completely slipped your mind and going home to change isn’t an option. Yikes! What's a young working woman like you to do?  You know what you need to do, girl. You just haven't done it yet.

Have an emergency kit at work

The key to being prepared for anything that life at work might throw at you is having an emergency kit. I'm not talking about a safety pin and a couple of personal items. No, I'm talking about a full blown kit, girl. You probably have most of this stuff in your closet or bathroom just lying around anyway. Dig around. Or, buy trial size items. All of your items will fit in a stylish tote - it's not your favorite, you won't miss it, but it will be perfect for this and it can pull double duty if you need to use it after work. Here's what goes inside:

  • Basic black/navy/gray knit dress, skirt or pant and top (a poly is easy to roll-up in your tote and won't wrinkle).

  • Scarf - or other accessory to dress up your look for a client meeting or after work event

  • Cardigan or Lightweight Jacket (if you don’t already stash one in the office)

  • Black or coordinating color flats (in case your feet hurt as much as your head after last night)

  • No line panty or thong (or go commando)

  • Hairbrush and hair accessory (hair tie, head band - whatever)

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash

  • Baby wipes for quick body clean up

  • Face wipes (to remove makeup, mascara smudges and start fresh)

  • Moisturizer

  • Make up - mascara and lipstick (plus other items you absolutely can’t live without)

  • Fresh scented antiperspirant - but no additional fragrance

  • Prescription meds (in case you hurled the last dose)

  • OTC meds like Advil, Sudafed for head congestion, Rolaids for upset tummy

  • Lint roller

  • Plastic bag - put your clean outfit in it for safe keeping and use it for your dirty items too

Have boundaries, please

So, that's the kit. And, now for Your Office Mom's other advice.  Regardless of why you didn't make it home last night, silence your nosy ass peers and your boss with just a smile (no story) or a back story (don't tell the whole story). You need to establish clear boundaries.  Over sharing the details of your personal life (think Hannah Horvath in Girls) is never a good idea, especially if those details indicate you're tired, hungover and feel like sh*t. Your kit is designed to alleviate these exterior telltale signs and help elevate your professional image.  

So get your kit together girls and bring it (to work). And, don't forget to clean and return your wardrobe items for the next time. Did I forget anything on the list? Add your comments please!