Managing Your Time

You are what you do. Not what you say you will do – Carl Jung

As you begin your career you will start to interact with a lot of different people, many of whom are extremely busy with their own careers and networking activities. You will be making appointments of all kinds. Coffee or lunch meetings, phone calls and online video calls. It is crucial that you keep your end of the bargain and make sure that you not only show up but that you are also timely.

My biggest pet peeve is when people “no show” for a scheduled appointment. There are very few legitimate excuses for missing an appointment and even fewer for just not bothering to show up or call to cancel in advance. Your reputation is at stake and the message that you send your contact is that your time is more valuable than theirs. It also shows your extreme lack of organizational skills and calls to question your overall lack of responsibility. In addition to this you cause undue concern and worry in the mind of the contact who will undoubtedly sit there wondering if you are OK.

Things will come up that are unavoidable but unless you are incapacitated you need to make the call to notify them in advance. People may excuse being 5 minutes late due to traffic but remember your reputation is at stake. The following “excuses” are never acceptable;

  • I forgot
  • I overslept
  • I am in a different time zone
  • I had a really busy day / night
  • Something came up

Some good practices to follow include;

  • Scheduling and utilizing your calendar
  • Confirming appointments with your contact a day in advance
  • Making sure you know where and how long it will take to reach your designated meeting place
  • Make sure your devices are working and charged in advance
  • Have access to your contacts phone number in case something does happen

When you fail to manage your schedule and time you often are now managing someone else’s. Obviously if tragedy strikes or you are injured and cannot make the call in advance you should make it a point to connect as soon as possible afterwards. People will understand in these circumstances. Anything else and you lose a second chance to make a first impression.

Your technical skills are only half of what a potential contact or hiring manager is looking for. Your attitude and professional skills tell the rest of the story. These are things that you can control and use to your advantage. Failure to do so will result in your never having the chance to show of your technical skills in the first place. Put yourself in their shoes. There is nothing more frustrating than being stood up especially when you are going out of your way to try and help a person out.