I once interviewed an art director that worked for Berlitz Language Learning. It was a project for a graphic design course I was taking. One of my questions to him was, “What trait to you wish you possessed that would lend itself to your position?” Without missing a beat, he replied, “Time management skills.” He elaborated that there were so many things going on in his everyday work life and deadlines that constantly needed to be met, that it was incredibly hard at times to keep all the plates spinning, to keep everyone happy and to deliver outstanding product, all the while keeping his own sanity.
Over the years I have come to realize what a precious skill time management can be. I have always been pretty good at in, which more than likely stems from my upbringing that tardiness and/or incomplete are unacceptable.
I know some people who think they are good at time management, yet fail miserably when it comes down to delivering. They try to cram too much into a small time frame (e.g. running several errands, including stopping by the post office on the way to meet you, not taking into account long lines, bad weather, etc.). And you, who planned out your day (a list is optional, but recommended) knowing what could wait and what could be accomplished in a timely manner, is left cooling your heels for 20-45 minutes.
Being good at time management can be maddening at times, especially when so many others tend to drop the ball; but just as many of these people will never change, neither will I. I like having it together. I enjoy lists, and the sense of organization they bring me. I enjoy being able to come through for others.
Just as importantly, my job depends upon good time management skills. When being interviewed for my job 3 1/2 years ago, I was asked what my greatest strength is. Without missing a beat, I replied, “Good time management skills.” I was practically hired on the spot.
Should you choose to give the same answer when interviewing for a job, be forewarned, you had better be able to deliver.