It’s natural to feel bad about making a mistake at work, whether it’s a typo in a slide presentation or an angry email sent to the wrong person. How you react can make the problem worse, or help clear the air and let everyone involved get back to normal. Here are some tips for handling a mistake at work.
- Don’t Overreact
Did the mistake hurt the company image or cause it to lose money? Were you late to an important meeting with clients? Chances are, your mistake didn’t do so much damage that your business can’t recover. Give yourself a few minutes to acknowledge the error and release that adrenaline-filled reaction that makes you want to throw yourself at the feet of your boss and beg forgiveness.
- Make an Apology
If an apology is needed, do it quickly and don’t drag it out. Apologize in person if it’s a big mistake, by phone or email for smaller errors. Be sure to include what actions you’re taking to correct the error.
- Plan Ahead
Everyone can learn something from a mistake. Did you miss a step in the approval process? Were you juggling too many projects or rushing to meet a deadline? It’s important that you give the situation an honest appraisal so you can keep from making a similar mistake.
- Consider the Worst-Case Scenario
One way to recover your composure quickly is to imagine the worst-case result of the mistake, then let it go. Think about it in personal terms. If the worst result is that you are fired, remember that you’ll get through it. You’re not the first, and you certainly won’t be the last, person to be fired.
If your worst-case result is the loss of your job, Beacon Resources can help. As one of the top San Francisco financial recruitment agencies, we have the resources you need to get back on your feet. We are one of the top Chicago finance recruiters as well, and we are ready to help.