It’s a horrible feeling: you’ve just realized you made a big mistake on the job, possibly affecting other people’s tasks or disrupting an important project. You might even be worried that your mistake could be grounds for termination. Now, the question becomes… how do you recover from the mistake, learn from it, and move on?
Use these five steps to recover from a mistake on the job and make the most of a less-than-ideal situation.
Admit Your Mistake
The first thing you must do is admit your mistake, and that means admitting it to yourself, your coworkers, and your supervisor or boss. Pretending that the mistake didn’t happen — or even worse, lying about it to shift the responsibility away from yourself — will only make things harder. Plus, if you deny the mistake and it’s discovered later that you were indeed the responsible party, your supervisor has grounds for termination. Honesty is the best policy!
Make it clear to your coworkers and supervisors that you were responsible for the mistake; explain how and why it happened, and demonstrate that you’re aware what you did wrong so that it won’t happen again. Ensure everyone involved that fixing the mistake is your responsibility from the very beginning.
Remember: everyone makes mistakes, and no one is perfect. It’s very important that you forgive yourself for the mistake you’ve made! Sometimes, people dwell on their on-the-job mistake and never forgive themselves for the trouble they’ve caused, and that can affect confidence and job performance in the long run. Don’t allow your mistake to ruin your standing at your company.
Set Things Straight
Now, it’s time to set things straight if you can. Take the action steps necessary to correct your mistake or make up for what you’ve negatively affected. If there’s nothing to be done, apologize. A simple “I’m sorry” can go a long way! The coworkers and supervisors who are worth your time will appreciate that you’re being honest, and a genuine apology shows others that you care.
Think About What You’ve Learned
The final step is to think about what you’ve learned from the experience. If you don’t take anything away from your on-the-job mistake, what’s to prevent it from happening again? Think about what you could have done differently, how to prevent the same kind of thing from occurring again, and what lessons you’ve taken away from the entire situation.
Of course, not every mistake at work is able to be fixed. If you think your best option is to seek other opportunities, OakTree Staffing is here to help with your search. Contact us today to learn more.