We've all made mistakes at work at some point in our career. Some mistakes are small, like forgetting to attach a document in an important mail to a client. Some other mistakes are big and have the potential to get us fired. No matter how inconsequential or huge, mistakes can affect our credibility at work. If we goof up in public, like sending a personal tweet from the company's Twitter account, our mistakes can damage our employer's earnings and public image.
If you've recently made a mistake at work and don't know how to get over it, take a deep breath and read these five tips that will help you make things right:
Dodging responsibility or playing the blame game when it is clear that you are the one who's made the mistake is always a bad idea. If you've messed up big, chances are that other people are also affected by your mistake. Accept your lapse in judgment and face the music. When you show your boss that you are ready to take responsibility for your actions, he/she will laud your courage and make an example of you.
Instead of faking food poisoning and taking the day off, be brave enough to walk up to your superior and apologize for your mistake. Allow yourself to feel embarrassed and scared. The easiest way to dig yourself out of this hole is to let your boss know how sorry you are. Chances are your boss has made a similar mistake in his/her career, and while they might berate you, they might also be quick to forgive.
When you've committed an error, it can be difficult to keep things in perspective. However, try to make sure that your emotional response is proportional to the blunder you've made. You're not going to get fired for uploading a wrong file or double-booking an important meeting. Unless you're a pilot or a physician and your mistake at work is a life-death situation, you are safe.
In addition to apologizing to your boss, give him/her a possible solution that will help you rectify your mistake. When you show your boss that you're willing to do anything it takes to set your mistake right, they will avoid coming down on you too hard. When you become a solution-generating employee, you increase your value in the eyes of your manager.
What's done is done. There is no use crying over spilt milk. Analyze what went wrong and learn from your mistake. Use your experience to help others learn. When you take a negative situation and turn it into a positive one, you start looking at the glass half-full instead of half-empty, and this change in attitude can completely change your life.
No matter how big your mistake is, reinvent yourself and move past it. Use the above-mentioned five tips to reclaim your credibility after you've goofed up at work.
Read Also: 8 mistakes that can get you fired