Mistakes are just a part of life. Nobody is perfect. In most situations, it is not whether you made the mistake but what you did to correct the mistake. Most employers will be forgiving to the mistake but will not be forgiving if you did nothing to make it right. Here is some helpful advice about what to do when you make a mistake at work.

Tell Your Boss What Happened – Immediately

Do not put off telling your boss about your mistake because you are scared. The longer you wait to tell them about it the worse it could get. Identifying and correcting mistakes can help you grow as an employee. Being self-aware can not only help you, but also can help your coworkers and the company to run more effectively.

Tell the Truth the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth

Make sure you tell your boss the whole story, do not leave anything out. You do not want any lies or information that you left out to come into light later. Take responsibility for the mistake, do not try to cast blame on your coworkers. A simple phrase to say would be, “This mistake happened on my watch, and I am sorry.” Apologizing is okay, but don’t over apologize. Your boss wants to know that you know that you made the mistake, that way they can trust that you will try to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Like we said before, mistakes on the job will happen, it is inevitable. Don’t immediately think worst case scenario, that creates fear that will keep you from making things right. If you stay feeling sorry for yourself and beating yourself up, the negativity will keep you from reporting the mistake and doing better the next time!

Ensure That it Will not Happen Again – and Have a Plan to Do So

After taking responsibility for your mistake, explain how you plan to avoid the mistake from happening again. Write down a list of instructions on how to do your job duties, that way you can always read through your list to ensure that you are not missing anything. Earn back any trust that is lost through actions and not just your words.
Following these steps may not be pleasant. We know that it’s hard to come forward and admit a mistake. However, if you admit the mistake first, then your boss won’t need to come to you about it, and if that happens, it will be a lot more unpleasant.

Don’t let fear keep you from admitting mistakes, and don’t let the fear of making mistakes keep you from finding your next opportunity. Click here to see our full list of open positions!