It happens to the best of us – making a mistake on the job.  No one is infallible, so at some point, it will happen.  But the question is, after the mistake is made, how do you handle it?

The way you handle it will tell others a lot about your character and professionalism.  In fact, the way you handle it may become more important than the mistake itself.

Now, some people, after having made a mistake, will try to run away from it.  They will try and shift the blame – it wasn’t their fault, the assignment was too vague, wasn’t communicated well, another person on the team didn’t do his or her job, or something to that effect.  All of this is precisely the wrong way to handle the situation.

The best way to handle a time when you’ve made a mistake is to confront it head on and accept responsibility.  Admit the error, and do so right away.  Trying to shift the blame, or somehow hide the mistake, or minimize its significance, only serves to highlight all the more your lack of character and inability to accept responsibility.  It also will raise alarms with your superior, who is concerned not only about the mistake itself, but what the mistake means for the way things operate.  The manager will want to know if the mistake was an isolated incident or whether it reflects some shortcoming in the systemic operation at the company or with your work methods.

So, you’ve taken the right course and admitted your mistake.  What now?  Act immediately to do what you can to correct it or somehow mitigate its effects.  You have another opportunity to prove yourself to your boss and to others by working to fix the mistake, instead of just wringing your hands over it.  You want to let your superior know how the mistake happened and what you are going to do to make sure that it won’t happen again.  Your manager wants to be reassured that you grasp its significance, and that you understand how the mistake occurred, because if you don’t, you won’t be able to prevent a reoccurrence.

You should also let others know how you feel about the mistake.  Letting them know how embarrassed you are, or how bad you feel, shows that you understand the significance of the mistake and that you will be more careful from now on.

It comes down to a question of accountability and trust.  By your actions, you let others know that you will do the right thing, and not try to sweep mistakes under the rug, that you are someone who can be trusted.  You have to deal with the consequences of your mistake in some way.  Moreover, how you handle a mistake could have effects on your position in the company.  A promotion is unlikely to be given to people whom managers can’t trust.

You won’t be making any mistake when you contact Winston Resources when conducting a job search. We have many great temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire assignments with some of New York City’s best companies. Contact us today!

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