Business Traveler Interview: Annemarie Dooling
This is part of a new series here at WhyGo Business Travel featuring brief interviews with people who travel for work, asking them about what they do and some of their favorite travel tips. This way, if you’re looking for a career that will require travel, you’ll get to read about people doing some of the jobs you might consider – and you’ll also learn a few great travel tips from the travel pros!
What do you do?
By day I am a Community Manager and blogger for AOL, focusing on Urlesque.com, an Internet trends and memes website. By night I’m a freelance writer with work featured in Time Out, Lifetime, Marie Claire and AOL Travel.
What kind of travel do you get to do for work? Do you get to choose where you go?
I do a lot of conference travel for community managing. At the beginning of the year I take a look at the approaching conferences, Web 2.0, SXSW, etc and chose which will be more beneficial to me. There’s no way one person could (or should) go to every single conference. For my writing, I do the same. By figuring out what themes I want to focus on I chose trips that match those themes.
How often do you get to travel for work?
Last year I was away just about every 3 months. This year I’m trying to take it a little slower on the conference route, and harder on the writing side.
Did you choose your job at least in part because you love to travel? Would you make the same job choice again, knowing what you know now?
My job goes so well with traveling because I can do it anywhere. Like being a community leader in a neighborhood or city, I manage a group of people, except they’re on the Internet, bonded over one website. Not being tied to one physical location makes me feel a lot better and that has impact on my community, too.
What are some of your favorite travel tips that you’ve picked up?
Pack as little as possible. It’s much better to go with a few basics than to lug around junk you don’t need – particularly in case of an emergency. Also, keep your laptop in your “personal item” bag whether that’s a purse or briefcase or even a chic weekend bag (I have an over the shoulder sac from Banana Republic that I live by). There are so many accidents in the stow away cabin that it just makes sense to never, ever put an expensive piece of technology in there.
What advice do you have for someone who’s interested in doing what you do?
Managing a handful of social networks and staring blankly at random pages on the Internet are two different things. In business as in personal life, keep everything straight by logging passwords and URLs in a document for safekeeping. Watch the number of hours you’ve been sitting down working. And when you’re abroad, always put up an email notice. Not only does it soothe the nerves of those who are awaiting your reply, but it gives you time to unwind on your biz trips. You never want to leave a city after only seeing a conference room.
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