Originally published by the Culture and Manners Institute.
If the pizza you ordered to be delivered never showed up, you would be irritated. Imagine how an employer feels, if you sign a contract to work there and never show up.
This really happens, according to a pair of university career service professionals I met with recently. Graduates sign a contract to work for an organization, then accept another offer, without bothering to tell the first organization. Some sign with and snub multiple organizations.
Honor your commitments.
If you sign a contract with an employer, honor it.
If you agree to an interview at a certain time, be there.
If you respond to an R.S.V.P. with, “Okay,” don’t stay away.
When you are a no-show on the first day, you have squandered the time of everyone scheduled to train you, go over benefits and show you around. Blowing off an interview (at an organization or career fair), wastes the time of interviewers, who could have scheduled someone else. You ruin opportunities for others, when that employer becomes reluctant to consider anyone from your university.
Time is money. Thoughtlessness costs.
What if you reneged on one organization and the second one you chose does not work out? Sorry, that bridge is not just burned. It has collapsed into a sinkhole. Someone else has gladly accepted your position… and showed up.
If you have multiple offers, pick one and send the other organizations your regrets in a business letter, thanking them for considering you. Can’t make an appointment? Call your contact to let them know. Can’t make the event? Call the hosts. Texting, more convenient for you, just won’t do.
Someday, you might want to run your own organization or be a person of influence. If want people to commit to you then, commit to others now.