Thursday, June 27, 2013

Getting to work is NOT a job skill

Written by Amanda Barrell 

Punctuality is not a skill you should be listing on your resume.  It’s common courtesy.  And as a young professional, you should be well acquainted with getting to work on time.  Even if you’re only working part-time a few hours a week, or volunteering, getting to work on time shows that you’re responsible, reliable and ready to work on whatever the day brings. 

We’ve all seen them, that person who waltzes in to work at 8:47 sporting dark sunglasses, bag in one hand, grande soy latte in the other.  They drop their things unceremoniously at their desk before heading to the lunchroom to gab with the intern for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, you’ve been at your desk slaving away for an hour. 

Imagine how disrespected you’d feel. 

Regardless of what your evening activities were the night before, make a point of allowing yourself however much time you need to get ready in the morning.  Of course there’s no accounting for last-minute family emergencies or out-of-the-blue car trouble, but hopefully not every weekday morning is like that for you. 

As a baseline, time yourself getting ready in the morning with no stress.  Make sure to include factors like how many times you hit the “Snooze” button; shower time; choosing your outfit and dressing; hair/makeup/shaving; eating breakfast and your commute, whether it’s catching the bus or driving in rush-hour morning traffic.  Then add 15 minutes for a good buffer.  

If you’re going to be late, go ahead and give your boss (or one of your coworkers) a heads-up via text or a quick phone call to let them know you’ll be late.  Your supervisor will appreciate the forewarning.  Just don’t make it a habit. 

Getting to work on time also involves your lunch break.  We know you love to catch up with your BFF Katie or your buddy Jim in town from Oakland, but when your meal creeps past an hour, there’s a higher chance you will be inconveniencing your coworkers at the office.  When possible, let your supervisor know if and when you’ll be taking a longer lunch break.  If you are in a position where you need desk coverage, make sure to arrange this with one of your coworkers ahead of time so that there is no disruption in service. 

By keeping all of these things in mind, and by making a conscious effort to be punctual to work every day, you will demonstrate your professionalism and others (your boss included) will see they can count on you to be a responsible, respectful member of the team. 

What tips do you use to get to work on time?