How to Handle a Networking Contact Who Always Reschedules Resources

At this point, everyone knows the importance of networking. Even if you’re not actively looking for a job, it’s important to keep up with industry trends and stay on the radars of important people, and that means constantly having coffee and lunch with friends and colleagues in positions to help your career along.

But what do you do when a networking contact is always changing plans at the last minute and canceling your meet-ups? In “3 tips for Dealing with Someone Who Constantly Reschedules,” a great piece written by the Muse staff and posted on USA Today College, frustrated networkers will find a trio of tips for dealing with this very dilemma.

The first tip is to never rearrange your schedule. Say the flaky contact emails you at 2 p.m. to cancel you 4 p.m. coffee but asks if you can get together tomorrow at 6 p.m. — when you happen to have a big work meeting with someone else. Don’t reschedule the latter engagement. “Since he or she isn’t making your time a priority,” writes the Muse staff, “you shouldn’t be expected to put that person at the top of your list, either.”

The next piece of advice is to avoid being passive-aggressive in your response to the chronic rescheduler. As much as you might want to reply with something snarky or sarcastic about how, sure, you’ll reschedule for the billionth time, you should always remember the golden rule and treat others as you’d like to be treated. Think about how you’d feel if you were the one changing plans for some reason. Also, if you want to eventually make this meeting happen, rudeness will get you nowhere. Count to 10, simmer down, and send a polite email back.

Finally, you should give the other person an “out” that puts the burden of rescheduling on them. The Must team includes a terrific example of what you might write: “Since we both seem to be pretty busy right now, why don’t we try getting together next month when both of our schedules are a little less nuts?” Now the ball’s in the other individual’s court. Hopefully, they’ll return the volley!

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