Even the most meticulous worker can make mistakes every now and then. No matter how diligent you are at work, it’s perfectly normal to have a bad day, and human errors do happen. Maybe you forgot to attach the document to your email before hitting the “send” button. Maybe you made an obvious mistake that simply unacceptable, like missing an important appointment with a client and he complained about it to your boss.
Redeeming yourself at work after making a major mistake may seem like an insurmountable feat. However, the quicker you deal with it, the quicker it’s over and people are forgetful. Here are four suggestions for you:
1. Own your mistake
This may sound really easy, but some may find this really overwhelming. Be honest and don’t pretend you didn’t do anything wrong or try to push the blame to others. Own your mistake and be accountable for it. The first step to redeem yourself is showing your boss and colleagues that you’re willing to admit your mistakes, take responsibility for it, and do your best to rectify the issue.
2. Find a solution
Find out what you need to do differently to prevent the same mistake from happening again. Were you juggling too many tasks at the same time? Were you too eager to get things done and overlooked small details along the way?
Evaluate these scenarios and find out the problems that you can address, then implement measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It could be as simple as keeping a reminder sticky note on your desk!
Whether it’s a minor issue or a major mistake, it’s important to nip it in the bud. If you aren’t sure what the best solution is, seek advice from more experienced people like your mentor or do your own research.
3. Don’t dwell on what went wrong
“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.”
– Denis Waitley
Don’t let your mistake get the best of you. Accept the fact that you’ve messed up and know that it’s okay as long as you learn from the mistake and move on. Be your same old self at work, in fact you should be more proactive to earn the respect back from your colleagues. If you’re constantly beating yourself up over one mistake, it will show in your behaviour and attitude.
4. Earn back respect through your actions
Work harder and deliver good work consistently to earn back the respect and trust from your boss and colleagues. Remember, one mistake doesn’t have to derail your entire career. You can fail but it’s up to you to reinvent yourself and move past the mistake, instead of drowning yourself in guilt and refuse to move on.
Learn to let go and focus on what you can do to make things better.