This past week, I encountered a crazy unforeseen circumstance. After arriving at an airport for an 8 PM flight, I was informed of 5 delays prior to cancellation, hotel voucher provision, an overnight stay, and a final plane take-off in the afternoon of the following day! I was surrounded by a friend and hundreds of strangers unprepared to be unable to attend work the following day. So, how do you handle this situation?! Keep reading below!
Overcoming Unforeseen Events…
- Relax: Right away, take a deep breath and remember that being late to work, or missing a day and a few meetings, will not cause you to lose your job, and is absolutely not the end of the world. Take a step back, organize your thoughts, and begin the day with a calm demeanor. Maintain a positive attitude if able, and begin to compartmentalize your top priorities. Are you missing a presentation or spectating at a meeting? Are you attend a Lunch n Learn or do you have a presentation due? What are the most important obligations that you will miss?
- Communicate: Once you identify your top priorities, communication is your key to being able to recover and move on through your day. Calling your boss or supervisor as soon as you are made aware of the situation will allow them adequate time to reorganize their schedule and accommodate you. Especially if you are scheduled for a meeting or presentation at the beginning of the day, it is crucial to notify those who will be affected as soon as possible to avoid any further challenges!
- If there is a document you must place on someone’s desk by a certain time, a phone call to make, or any other obligation that may interfere with you being late, initiate any other communication practices to ensure that your tasks are completed as they would have been. Not only will this showcase your ability to be proactive and flexible in unforeseen circumstances, but it will help minimize any consequential damage of your absence.
- Overcome: If this time delay caused you to fall behind on assignments, projects, or any of your responsibilities as a team member, make sure to portray your dedication and motivation by staying late (either during your break or after hours) and catching up. Doing so shows dedication, motivation to excel, and reliability to your company.
Remember, being late to work for one day will not change your career trajectory, and will not affect your current position. However, it is the way you handle the situation with etiquette, make up for a lost time, and stay true to your obligations that will leave a lasting impression!
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