Importance of Punctuality

Are you the type of person who everyone has to tell events start later than they actually do just so that you will make it there on time?  Are all of the clocks in your house set 15 minutes early, and you still find yourself racing into work, doctor’s appointments, and your niece’s birthday party late?  In the business world, this is a nasty habit you may want to work on fixing, because punctuality is an integral part of establishing yourself as a competent professional dedicated to your job.  Whether you’re a job seeker, employee or manager, punctuality is important in every level of the professional world!
As a job seeker.
With all of the work you have put into establishing your credentials, building skills and preparing for an interview, you don’t want to blow it all by making the mistake of being late.  When faced with your potentially one and only shot at selling yourself to a particular manager, punctuality is essential in establishing your credibility as a candidate.  Some hiring managers may have already written you off as a candidate before even meeting you if you are not on time for your interview.  Failing to arrive on time shows a lack of preparedness, and could also suggest to the hiring manager that you are not serious about the opportunity he/she has to offer.  Not exactly the impression you want to establish before you’ve even opened your mouth!
As an employee.
Sometimes life happens.  An alarm doesn’t go off, an accident adds 30 minutes to your commute or you forget your briefcase on the kitchen counter; throughout your career, you will undoubtedly run into a few setbacks.  However, if you are a chronic tardy employee, you may be giving your boss a reason to pass you up for a promotion, or even let you go.  Punctuality demonstrates professionalism, and if you are consistently late, you might not be taken seriously because people don’t think you take your job seriously.  Additionally, being late also has the potential to disrupt the normal flow of business if your tardiness pushes back your daily tasks.  Your colleagues should not have to push their project meeting with you back because you hit snooze too many times this morning.
As a supervisor.
Just because you don’t have someone waiting at the door to reprimand you for walking into the office late doesn’t mean you should make a habit of being tardy.  Sometimes people assume that attaining a position in leadership means that we are granted leniency and flexibility; it is important not to abuse your position of power and to follow the same rules you set for your employees.  You want to set a good example for them to follow; your employees might not take you seriously, or might even find you hypocritical.  If you are a boss who regularly schedules meetings you can’t make or push back, keep in mind that being tardy to meetings where people look to you for leadership can prevent your employees from keeping on task or maximizing their productivity.  A lot of people depend on you to set a foundation for which they can be productive as professionals, so don’t let them down by blowing off meeting times or delaying conference calls.
Managing your time and following schedules are important parts of making sure a business runs smoothly and a team operates productively; no matter what position you hold, buying a watch and erasing the bad habit of tardiness is essential in establishing yourself as a professional!

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