Be On Time, Every Time

This should be implied but I’ve realized it’s not. You must:

Show up for work on time, every time, and even before time.

When in doubt, ask what the expected times are. And be early and stay later. It adds up. People see it. It shows commitment.

And by the way, just because other people on your team don’t respect this and are habitually late doesn’t mean you follow the herd.

For many of my jobs, I got in 15 minutes early (and often left 15 minutes after “quitting time”). People see that. It makes a big difference to others, especially your boss.

When you walk in consistently late, it shows a lack of respect for everyone else. That you value your time more than any other person or group’s.

Plus, the excuse that you’re “just always late,” or “can’t be on time,” like when you say it as just a fact of life that everyone should except, will not cut it in the workforce. Although some businesses are offering flexible schedules for people (like we do), when you set a time for something with another person — whether it be for a meeting, or a scheduled work time — BE THERE ON TIME and honestly, slightly BEFORE that time.

If you can’t be on time, people will start to adjust their own schedules in return. They will see sloppiness and unreliability in you. They may not offer you a spot on an important project because of your inability to respect time in all facets.

The key here is also dependability.

Can you be counted on to show up if you can’t make it to work or a meeting on time?

In organizations, we need people who can be trusted and counted on … and who value each other’s time. Not heeding this is a recipe for career disaster or mediocrity.


This is part of the 5-minute Career Nugget series at Purposeful Paychecks. Share your best career advice here!

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