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Business Traveler Interview: Sharon Miro

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!

This week, we’re talking with Sharon Miro, who’s been in the print and multi-media publishing field for more than 35 years.

What do you do?
For the last 12 years I was the Senior Vice President, National Sales Director for Fox Associates, a publisher’s rep firm based in Chicago. I directed a nationally based sales force located in 5 offices, and “handled” high-level clients and publishers. Because of my extensive background in both production & editorial, I was perfectly positioned to help publishers find the right mix to enhance sales of all assets.

Although I started in print, I embraced the new technology and became somewhat specialized in helping print publishers transition to electronic media. I am now “semiretired,” handling select accounts and doing some consulting for select publishers.

What kind of travel do you get to do for work? Do you get to choose where you go?
The job I most recently held meant not only planned trips to each of the 5 offices but publisher and client meetings as well. Some of those were not so planned, and needed some last minute travel to put out a fire. Did I get to choose where I went? Not often enough!

Do you add any extra “fun” days on to work trips? Why or why not?
YES! I often tagged a few days on top of trips to New York, DC or New Orleans for mini-vacation. I reported directly to the President & Owner and she was all for that, why not? She was more than aware of the long hours and hard work that business travel is, and was OK with adding on days.

How often do you get to travel for work?
I traveled as much as two weeks out of the month – sometimes hitting 3 cities during a trip. Or I would stay for 2-3 weeks in a corporate apartment in Chicago or New York, and train to DC, Philadelphia or Boston for day trips.

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?
No, I did not choose my job because of the travel. Would I make the same job choice again? Maybe. Most people think any kind of travel is glamorous – it’s not. On most trips I only saw the inside of a convention center or hotel. Red eye flights and 14 hour days in 3” heels are not fun or glamorous.

What are some of your favorite travel tips that you’ve picked up?

  • Pack as light as possible.
  • Invest in zip lock bags – they save a lot of space. Try to find some of the 2.5-gallon size – perfect for sweaters to cold weather places.
  • If you are lucky enough to have a base in one or two towns, as I was, leave items you use over and over there – buy a second set of hot rollers!
  • Wear comfortable but NOT sloppy clothes on a plane.
  • Know where you have to/want to be the first 6 hours after you land anywhere. Have a plan for that, and the rest will work out.

What one travel tip would you, as a business traveler, pass along to someone who doesn’t travel as often?
DO NOT be impatient. You will get there eventually and the Coliseum will still be there. Get out of the comfort zone and experience as much local flavor as possible. If you are traveling for business and are tagging some days on top of that, ask your social networks where to eat or what to see. Don’t try to pack too much into anyone trip: remember it’s a vacation not a death march!

What advice do you have for someone who’s interested in doing what you do?
That’s a longer story than anyone has time to read! But let it suffice that any kind of sales is hard work that demands an adventurous spirit, and a good sense of humor. Sorta the same thing you find in world travelers.

Find out more about Sharon by checking out her website Nickel Moon, and you can also follow her on Twitter @nickelmoon.

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