No matter how good you are at doing your job, you will — eventually, someday, possibly even today — make a mistake This could be something as innocuous as misspelling an important company executive’s name, or as serious as getting the “must ship today!” project complete and out three days late.
Here are some tips on how to handle these mistakes with grace, professionalism, maturity — and only a teeny bit of damage to your reputation.
1) As soon as you learn you’ve made a mistake, own up to it. Tell your supervisor about the mistake as soon as you can, especially if it’s a mistake that could be very embarrassing or costly to your company. When you go to your boss, be sure to tell him or her how you’re going to fix the mistake or that you’ve already done so. If you need help righting the problem, ask for input, but be sure you’ve already thought of different solutions for fixing the error.
2) If your mistake was a minor one, and more embarrassing than critical, apologize as quickly as possible. If, for example, you sent an e-mail to the company president and misspelled her name, e-mail her your apology right away (or as soon as learn of the mistake). If the president is the one to point your mistake out, apologize profusely and let her know it will never happen again.
3) Some mistakes require that you explain how the mistake was made. If this is the case, never try to foist the mistake onto someone else. Always take responsibility for your mistakes. This shows maturity and professionalism. Since you explained how/why the mistake was made, tell your supervisor the steps you will take to make sure it never happens again.
4) If your mistake embarrassed someone or proves embarrassing to your department or company, let your supervisor and/or the person or people you embarrassed know how badly you feel about it. Telling your manager how terrible you feel for making mistake lets him know that you know that mistakes can and do affect others. This also helps your supervisor believe you truly will be more careful in the future.
5) Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake. You’re human and therefore imperfect and imperfect beings make mistakes. The best thing you can do is own up to your mistake, apologize and then figure out ways to never make the same mistake again. Do so and your mistake actually could make you a better worker and person.
Making mistakes goes hand in and with the job search. Misspelled names on cover letters. “Failing” critical job interview questions. But don’t despair. If you live in the Syracuse, NY area, give C.R. Fletcher Associates, Inc. a call. We can help you get over your job search mistakes and steer you to great positions in some of the Onondaga County’s top employers. Contact us today.