no shows are a no-no

Perhaps you’ve received an invitation to a friend’s wedding recently, or are planning to attend an upcoming graduation party. When you attend these events, do you let the host or hostess know of your plans to attend? If your plans change, do you then let him/her know you no longer plan to be there? While the setting may be different, the same etiquette applies to professional commitments and events, such as a Career Services appointment or workshop. RSVP etiquette extends beyond weddings and formal gatherings.

Take a Career Services appointment for instance. If you have committed to an appointment time and then are a “no show,” you have taken an opportunity away from another student who may have gladly scheduled that time. You also have a counselor who has blocked out time specifically for you in his or her day. Throughout the academic year, Career Services hosts workshops and panels, some of which require a response for attendance. The individual planning one of these events may want to ensure proper headcount if outside speakers will be present or if space is limited. If an RSVP was requested, it is best to notify the individual who extended the invitation that you are no longer able to attend if your plans change. The same goes for giving Career Services a call when you anticipate that you will miss your scheduled appointment.

While busy schedules can certainly distract us from fulfilling obligations that are no longer priorities, courtesy still applies. Many times, this simple gesture will allow a fellow student to take your place. It may also ensure a speaker does not present to an empty room. Even more, your professional reputation will remain solid.

Professionalism and etiquette go hand in hand. It can be easy to overlook, but a little communication can go a long way in creating a positive professional image. Next time, avoid “no show” status.  If you decide you can longer go, then say so.

Author: Sarah

Sarah Hastings is a career counselor with the Nursing/Education/SP2 advising group.