Saturday, August 30, 2008

Interviews, Meetings, Appointments: The Case for Being on Time

I’m reading Dan Kennedy’s book NO B.S. TIME MANGEMENT FOR ENTREPRENEURS. Kennedy credits motivation speaker Ed Foreman with saying you only need to do three things for rapid advancement in most business organizations:

“Show up.

“Show up on time.

“Show up on time, ready to work. So few do.”

While Kennedy and Foreman may be oversimplifying the way to advance in corporations, the advice about showing up on time is extremely important for you to follow at internships or jobs.

Of course, the advice is even more important for showing up on time for an interview for an internship or job.

If you can’t show up on time for an interview, what possibility is there that you will show up on time each day of an internship or work? If you’re late for an interview, you have a huge strike against you before you even shake hands with the interviewer.

I know a college student who told his parents that he wished they had insisted he be on time for school when he was younger. Now that he has his first real job, he’s finding it hard to get accustomed to being on time.

If you do not already have the “on-time” work mentality, you must immediately teach yourself to have this mindset. You must figure out your own coping skills for ensuring that you show up on time.

If you know your habit is to treat time as elastic, it may be necessary for you to plan to get to work 15 minutes early so that you actually arrive on time. Or you may need to a put a timer in the bathroom and kitchen to ensure that, after your alarm clock wakes you up, you don’t get lost reading in the bathroom or at the breakfast table.

Eventually, if you work hard enough at it, you should be able to keep yourself on schedule without such additional reminders. But if you are truly one of those people with no sense of time, you will always have to rely on outside forces to get you to where you need to be on time.

This emphasis on being on time may seem silly to some of you. You may say: “What’s five minutes?” Yet from the perspective of the person expecting you to be somewhere at a certain time, five minutes can be the difference between keeping your internship/job or being shown the exit door.

Maybe it’s time you took time seriously.

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