If you were once late to a meeting, this post is not for you. Instead it is to help bolster the careers of otherwise competent employees who are regularly late to meetings.

Early is on time while arriving to a meeting, while arriving at or after the start time is late.

Play tricks with your clocks.  Put your keys in the same spot every night. Use WAZE. Leave earlier. Create calendar reminders. Do whatever is necessary for you to safely arrive before the meeting starts.

Four reasons why chronically arriving late to meetings will wreck your career:

  • You are indicating that your time is more valuable than everyone else’s time.  Your lateness will annoy some of your peers and colleagues and probably the meeting organizer. You and your company will be more successful if those relationships are functional rather than strained by your tardiness.
  • You will disrupt the meeting.  At the very least the speaker, who may be your supervisor, is disrupted.  Most likely everyone else has also missed something important because most of us like to watch a late person make their way into a crowded meeting.
  • You appear to be incompetent.  If you can not accomplish the relatively simple task of regularly arriving on time should you be promoted to lead a strategic company asset?
  • You miss important things that might not be covered again but will be essential to your next project or ongoing performance.

Even if you think the meeting is of no value, or even sadly if it really is of no value, if you are required to attend then be on time.

Are you chronically late for meetings at work?  Do you have ideas to help others be on time?  Continue the conversation with me on Twitter.