Everyone makes mistakes. But what happens when that mistake is at work and so egregious that you’re concerned about what happens next? Before you panic, you should consider the ways you can make amends before the problem gets out of hand. Here are four tips for owning up to your mistakes at work before it’s too late.
Far too often, we feel the need to pass the buck when we’ve made a grave error. It’s human nature, but that doesn’t mean it’s a healthy response. You need to own up to what happened and take responsibility for it to be resolved in any meaningful way.
Talk to your boss, as well as anyone the mistake affected. Tell them you’re sorry and then let them know you’re going to take care of it.
Create a Plan to Fix It
The next step is crucial. Once you’ve taken responsibility for your error, it’s time to make a correction. Don’t automatically try to jump in and make a quick fix because you could compound the problem. Instead, take a few minutes to create a plan that fixes the problem in the moment and for the future.
Once you’ve created the task list to fix the problem, dive in. You can ask for help if you need it. You don’t have to do this alone.
Avoid the Blame Game
Even if other people were involved, don’t point fingers. If no one else is willing to take responsibility for the issue, go ahead and take it yourself. This won’t reflect poorly on you, but it could eventually reflect poorly on the others. Be the bigger person.
Spending time blaming other people doesn’t solve the problem, it only makes it worse. Your insistence that it was someone else’s fault will only make you look immature, even if you’re right. There is no moral victory here, so just move on.
Treat Yourself Gently
You my also find that, throughout this entire process, you treat yourself much worse than those around you. This is also unhealthy human behavior. Sure, take a moment to beat yourself up, but if you keep coming back to mistakes you’ve made in the past you’ll never progress to the future.
Mistakes are a part of learning. Take the lesson and move on to ensure the same mistake doesn’t happen again. Be kind to yourself in the end.
Can you recover from a big career mistake?
The team at FJC Personnel can help, so contact us today.