Help! I Made a Mistake at Work!

Ooops!  You made a mistake at work.  You know that your manager will be angry.  You are concerned that it could cost you your job, and at the very least, it will end up on your performance appraisal.  So what do you do?

1.  Be Open and Honest

Employers need people who they can trust.  Be honest with your manager and don’t downplay the situation.  Your manager will likely find out all of the gritty details eventually, so it is best that they hear it from you.

2.  Be a Problem Solver

Come up with solutions for the problem.  Most managers will forgive your mistakes if you are able to correct them.  Spare them the hassle of fixing your errors.

3.  Work Hard

You need to demonstrate that you understand the severity of your mistake and that you are taking responsibility for it.  The best way to do that is to work hard and do whatever is necessary.  If this requires you to stay late or to work on the weekend, then it is a good way to show your committment to solving the problem.

4.  Don’t Dwell on the Mistake

If you focus on the mistake, so will everyone else.  Apologize once, take responsibility, solve the problem, and then move on.

5.  Learn From the Mistake

It is okay to make mistakes, but it is not okay to repeat them.  Be sure to learn the lesson that the mistake is teaching you.  Allow it to make you better at your job.

(Written by Karen Bivand)


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