Archive | April, 2013

Staying Professional at Business Meetings | Padfolio

26 Apr

Padfolios are the smallest type of briefcase, rarely used by the modern business man because most people are complacent around their colleagues and don’t see the need to dress up their appearance or remain professional among the comfort of familiar faces. The padfolio is a great way to stay organized and appear professional.

Dress for success has been a theme on this blog, keeping a padfolio in your larger briefcase is a great way to show up to a meeting looking prepared and organized. The padfolio always has room for additional paperwork, business cards and stationary. Simply replacing your notepad with a padfolio dresses up your appearance and shows that you are serious about your role.

Individuals who want a salary bump or promotion should use a padfolio to stand out from the crowd and show that you know business as well as being presentable to clients.

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Great Briefcase Advice

23 Apr

Choosing The Right Briefcase

23 Apr

181050795178_1I am a strong believer that briefcases should not be impulse purchases. Everyone has different  habits and requirements for their briefcase, even if they don’t immediately recognize it. I fall into this trap myself, falling in love with a briefcase without consideration of the lack of the specific functionality that I require. Lets get into some examples.

One thing you may not consider are the zippers. Certain bags, like the Kenneth Cole Reaction bag we discussed in the previous blog post, has a deep zipper that runs along the edge of the bag. While it is extremely functional, it is sometimes really heard to get that zipper open when you are on the move with only one hand available. Additionally, the track is so long that even if you had both hands, you might have done completely fine with a shorter zipper. This may not be a make it or break it in terms of whether or not the briefcase is usable, but it is definitely something that will cause a bag to not be the perfect bag.

While we are on the topic of this bag, notice the picture and where the straps are connecting. Some people don’t realize that the location of where the strap is fixed onto the bag makes a great difference of the bag balance and swing when on the move. Another difference due to strap point is whether or not the bag can be easily opened when the strap is across your chest or over the shoulder.

aston-top-zipper-briefcase-double-compartment-in-black-pebble-grain~p~5023p_02~1500.3Briefcases that operate with a flap over the top instead of a zipper often make it more difficult to quickly retrieve items from the bag, as the user would need to open the flap and then retrieve it. On the flip side, briefcases that offer the zipper always have two handles instead of one, requiring the user to always grab two handles instead of one.

Certain briefcases have feet at the bottom of the bag, designed to prevent slippage and protect the contents from too much fall damage. Many people forget that the lack of tips on the base may cause bag instability when standing, causing the briefcase to tip over or slide back on a smooth surface.

All the items above may seem like over analysis, but the point is you might not be able to figure out which bag is perfect for you until you try it. I’ve spent quite a bit of money trying out bags and realizing there are some features that I really require. Learn to know your preference by doing some research and paying attention to your habits. I came across a website the other day when I was looking for a review for the Kenneth Cole bag we were discussing. A great way to buy smart is to look through some reviews on briefcases for men, which may help you discover some of the unadvertised benefits or problems with a briefcase before buying it.

Messenger Bags In The Workplace

21 Apr

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While mostly dependant with the work environment you are in, the messenger bag is normally considered to be fairly casual and unprofessional. When you find yourself at a business job within the usual business office environment, bringing a messenger handbag will dress down your appearance considerably.

The concern most individuals discuss should not be whether or not a handbag is too casual for work. I think the correct approach is how professional can your briefcase be? The purpose of the briefcase is to compliment your attire and come across as professional to your colleagues and clients. The messenger bag, especially the leather with faded colors, is extremely unprofessional in nature and seldom supplements your appearance when in formal or smart casual attire.

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However, for all the messenger bag lovers, I do believe a balance CAN be struck if certain conditions are met. For instance, the Kenneth Cole Reaction line of messenger bags has many shoulder bags which are a good balance of formal and casual. There are three features of a messenger bag that can be used in a work environment with passable professionalism. The strap must be detachable from the bag: dangling a bag from your shoulder, while convenient is considered sloppy and casual. The ability to remove the strap is a definite requirement for dressing up the messenger bag. The top handle is also required, with the removal of the strap; the top handle is required to carry the briefcase in a dignified manner. Not just for functionality, the top handle satisfies the impression that all briefcases have a top handle (attaches,portoflios,etc). Lastly, the color is preferred to be as dark as possible. The darker the leather the more conservative the messenger bag.

Additional reasons the messenger bag inherently projects your appearance as casual is due to the type of people who use it on a daily basis. Messenger bags are predominately used by students, individuals on the move, or people on casual outings. The goal in the corporate environment is to place your best foot forward by dressing and accessorizing appropriately to project professionalism and confidence. Although it’s extremely unlikely your briefcase will trump good performance in the workplace, it will certainly add to your professional image and improve first impressions.

The next time you are at work, look around and see who has a briefcase that looks professional and compliments their appearance. Are you one of those people? Why wouldn’t you get the best briefcase you can afford to push yourself further ahead from colleagues and competition?

What A Good Briefcase Does For Your Life

19 Apr

briefcase walking - Google Search - Google Chrome_2013-04-23_18-20-31It surprises me how much people spend on clothes, yet cringe greatly on a briefcase that is a few hundred dollars. Although I’m from a logistics background, it has been painfully obvious to me that spending $150 on a blazer that is worn at MOST 20-30 days a year, is worse of a deal than spending $400 on an extremely high quality blazer that is used over 200 business days a year. I believe that working professionals lose site of the value proposition that a briefcase offers.

Some individuals treat the briefcase as a tool or bag to preform the function of helping them carry things between two locations. Understanding that this would satisfy part of the definition of a briefcase, this definition does not consider the intrinsic benefits of a good briefcase. People buy clothes to make them stand out and look professional at the workplace. I am a strong believer that a briefcase that is always next to you, compliments you far more than the clothes do in the long run. With this understanding that per dollar, a briefcase adds more value to your life, you should appropriately scale your budget for your clothes against your budget for your briefcase.

When you buy a briefcase, you are bringing its lifestyle and identity into your wardrobe. It is important to pick a briefcase that is appropriate for your work environment and requirements. If you require a lot of paperwork, a regular leather briefcase with a laptop already inside probably won’t cut it. Instead most lawyers carry large attaches briefcases for storage while presenting a clean professional appearance.

Not only is a briefcase good value, but it also flies next to “dressing for success”. By buying a briefcase that reflects your dediction, ambition and professionalism you project where you want to be for yourself mentally and others around you. Buying a briefcase that suits your requirements is the first step to get compliments from your colleagues and take your career to the next level.

Opening Statement

18 Apr

This will be a website devoted to the advice on buying the right briefcase for work. Immediate points to address is why a briefcase so important and what to look out for when buying a briefcase.

When buying a briefcase for a few hundred dollars, its important to ensure that your preferences are aligned with the features of the bag.