How to Deal With a Big Mistake at Work

April 4, 2014

Career Advice

I hope you never find yourself in this situation, but one day you will: you’ll mess up at work. Big time. And it won’t be pretty. Maybe it’s a missed deadline, a blown budget, or an angry client. Before your heart begins to pound and your palms begin to sweat, there’s one thing to keep in mind: everyone makes mistakes. The company won’t come crashing down, you won’t lose your job, and everyone will not hate you — especially if you follow a few of these steps to right your wrong.

Step 1: Fess up.
Don’t brush your mess under the rug, and don’t wait around to see what happens. Address your mistake immediately. It’s even better if you can bring your boss’s attention to the issue before they notice it themselves. This isn’t the time to make excuses either. Just explain what happened and apologize. That’s all there is to it.

Step 2: Come up with an action plan.
You were part of the problem, but hopefully you can be part of the solution as well. If you don’t have a Plan B, at least offer to be a part of the action committee who will fix your mistake. It’s likely that more work has been created because of your error. Don’t let others work late on this problem unless you’re working late too.

Step 3: Make sure it won’t happen again.
Maybe there is too much leeway for error in the process. Maybe the mistake could have been easily avoided if you had known more information. Whatever the issue is, find it and figure out a way to prevent a déjà vu situation. Your boss will be happy to hear that you’re proactively preventing another disaster.

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About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

View all posts by Spectrum Brands Careers

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