The Importance of Deadlines

Today is my scheduled day to submit a blog post. That means that I have a deadline. Will I make it on time? What if I don’t?


Before I started today’s blog post, I decided to find out some information about the word “deadline”, such as, when and where it was first used, its definition, and if that definition has changed over the years.


Since the dictionary I had when I was in grade school is somewhere in deep storage, I decided to look it up online. The website, states that a deadline is “A date or time before which something must be done”.


According to, the word was first used during the Civil War, at the Andersonville prison camp in Georgia. It was used to describe an established dead-line inside the stockade and twenty feet from it “over which no prisoner is allowed to go, day or night, under penalty of being shot”.


Since I have missed a few deadlines in my life, I’m sure glad the meaning of that word has changed since it was first used.


When we are employed, we know that every assignment given to us by our supervisor has a deadline. Even when we are in between jobs, we still have some deadlines that we have to meet at some point in our daily lives.


For example, while we are searching for a job, we have to be at networking meetings on time, especially those meetings with someone who works at one of our target companies. We also have to make sure that we arrive at our job interviews on time, and, sometimes, ahead of time, in case we have to fill out something prior to the interview. Think of the job interview as being your first day on the job.


Deadlines usually are subjective; they can be influenced by the personal feelings of the person giving the deadline, his or her tastes, or opinions.


In some of our deadlines, there is an element of choice involved. A supervisor might ask you “By what date do you think you will have this assignment completed?”, or, “How much time do you think you will need?” In other cases, you do not have a choice. That’s probably because your supervisor does not have a choice. Remember, they have deadlines too. When you meet your deadlines, you also make it easier for them to meet theirs.


What if we miss a deadline? The repercussions vary depending on the situation, and, in the case of an assignment at an employer, they can vary with the employer. I doubt that employers will terminate an employee the first time they miss a deadline. Repeat offenders might not be as lucky. But if you are late for a job interview, you can forget about getting that job.


Fortunately, the penalty for missing a deadline is not as severe as it was when the word was first used. But still, our goal is to make those important deadlines while we are in our job searches, as well as when we are employed.


Now, I must hurry up and submit this blog post, before I miss my deadline.


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