It happens to the best of us. We are busy doing multiple things, on a time crunch, or we’re new and learning the ropes. Whatever the reason for the screw up at work, know that you can and will bounce back. In fact, how you bounce back is just as important as the mistake. Use these 4 ways to recover when you messed up at work.
Admit your mistake
The worst thing you can do is lie about a mistake you made. Especially in this day and age where everything is electronic and time stamped.
The best thing to do is admit and acknowledge that you did it. This is so important because it speaks to your credibility and reputation in the office. Whether you caught the mistake or someone else did, admit you were wrong and bring it to your manager’s attention. When you do this, you are owning it and establishing a level of trust. Your supervisor will appreciate it so much more and you will go further in your career when you are honest.
For more on the benefits of admitting your mistake, take a look at Time’s article Should I Admit to Making a Major Mistake at Work? It gives the managers thoughts and details why admitting the mistake is absolutely the way to go.
Learn from it
This is key because you want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Make sure you fully understand what you did wrong so you don’t repeat it. If you need more training, make sure you let your manager know. Also, gauge your manager’s reaction. Is she/he really heated? Are they understanding? Learn from their reaction. How it made you feel to see them upset can be just what you need to take your time and never let it happen again.
Accept the consequences
Accepting the consequences is another key to recover when you messed up at work. We’ve already determined that owning your mistake is better in the long run but it may be a little uneasy at the office for some time. If it is a big enough mistake, you could get pulled from the assignment altogether. I know this first hand!
I was once responsible for the accounts payable at a small firm and overpaid a bill by $30,000! Needless to say, that task was taken from me and I know I deserved to be pulled from it. It sucks but I accepted what I did wrong and was extra cautious with everything going forward.
Actually recover when you messed up at work
We all make mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Instead, work twice as hard to prove yourself. Focus hard on other assignments and try and do an amazing job. Remember during the interview when you were told what the company or department was looking to improve? Use that! Be a part of the solution and solve a problem that you already know exists and I assure you the mistake you made will be long forgotten.
Most importantly, know that this too shall pass and you’ll be back on your game in no time.