DiceTV: Survival Hint – Meet Your Deadlines

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25q-ZJtz5Ug?rel=0&hd=1&w=425&h=349]

If you’ve spent a sleepless night or two worrying about your job and what you can do to hang on to it, you’re not alone. So here’s a hint: Think about the basics. Yes yes, everyone’s tweeting nowadays, or thinking about new certifications, or even bringing doughnuts to work to keep everyone happy. Those are all fine.

But what employers really want is to know you can be trusted to do what you say you’ll do. One of the best ways to build your credibility here: Meet your deadlines.

Too many people think deadlines are, well, flexible. That’s a bad habit. Think of it this way: If you’re providing services to a customer, and missing deadlines makes the customer mad, you’re going to lose that business.

If the customer’s outside your company, there’s an obvious financial implication. If they’re inside, there’s a job implications. Either way, missing deadlines is going to hurt your career.

Today, when the job market’s tight, missing deadlines is certainly more noticeable than it is during flush times. Nowadays, managers say, lower performing employees don’t last. When the economy dips and companies downsize, the first people to go are the ones perceived to be poor performers.

Of course, sometimes employees fail to meet a deadline because they honestly underestimated the scope of a project. Or because they want to be the go-to person, they make on-the-spot commitments that aren’t realistic.

A better solution is to let your supervisor know you need to create a schedule for a project, then get back to him or her within a couple of hours, or the next morning.

What can you do if you blow it? Pick the ball right back up again. A simple, “I’m sorry. I overcommitted. I¿ll have the project done by X,” can go a long way toward cleaning the slate.

4 Responses to “DiceTV: Survival Hint – Meet Your Deadlines”

  1. Hate to burst your “hard work always pays off in the end” story– these days are different. This isn’t post depression era values we’re working with today– people are more seething and greedy in hard times as ever before. Unfortunately, if you’re slated as the “company retard” or politically “on the outside”, no amount of effort will protect your job in hard times. Shrewd execs don’t give two sh*ts about performance– they’ll keep their deadbeat friends and axe a hardworker in a NY minute– I’ve seen it firsthand. Better off looking for different ways to cook ramen until you find the position you were meant for– which will not happen overnight. Get ready for some hard times and serious soul searching.

  2. Turbo27

    MattyMat has it EXACTLY right! It is the suck-ups and those who are too busy MEETING DEADLINES that are most often the first to be let go.

    I have seen IT staffers routinely chat to teammates, Managers, Business Analysts, Project Managers, etc. for hours in any given work day; with me picking up the slack. Yet, when budgets need trimming, I get the pink slip.

    Job performance and proficiency mean NOTHING to most IT departments today, which have become just another “social club”.

    I have seen Project Managers try to explain to a client why a project is behind schedule by blaming everything and/or everyone else, instead of realizing they had let all the hardest-working IT staff go solely over a misplaced ”popularity contest”.

  3. I agree with the previous comments. It’s not about what you do, but who you know these days. Many times, it is actually people who do the least amount of work and are the least knowledgeable who get promoted. Usually it’s the result of being close friends with team leaders, managers or someone else higher up in the ranks. Unfortunately, these people who are known to make a splash when talking at meetings or discussions on projects are also well known by co-workers as just blowing hot air and after the person gets promoted, everyone else’s morale goes down because they don’t feel that their dedicated performance is being recognized. The only way to get out of it is to change your job and find the right team. I did get out of my job before it was too late and found something much better with less politics where I could actually get promoted based on my performance. It boosted my confidence by confirming that the lack of recognition in my old job was due to politics and favoritism.

  4. I am in agreement with other comments. Several years ago I was let go in a political/personal manuever claimed to be a business decision. A few years after that Peter Principle left the company “for personal reasons”. However, there is still loyalty in high places. I’ve been told by Peter’s replacement that I will never be allowed to return because to do so would be admitting that Peter was incompetent and had been allowed too often to make poor decisions.