How Do You Handle Mistakes at Work?

What do you do when you totally messed something up at work? Do you admit the mistake? Do you hide? Do you make excuses? Blame someone else?We are all going to make mistakes at work. It’s inevitable. Some of us will make a lot of mistakes. Learning from the mistakes is what will set you apart from your peers.

Yesterday I messed something up at work. I over-heard my team lead talking to another banker about it. They were concerned about the legal issues that could result from my action but didn’t know who made the mistake. The minute I heard their conversation, I walked over to my lead’s desk and said “Oh no! That was me! How do I resolve this issue?!”

It turns out that my mistake wasn’t as big of a deal as we initially thought it was. From this mistake, I learned how to handle certain legal issues associated with a client passing away, which I have not yet had to deal with in my banking career. I will definitely not forget how to handle this if/when the situation arises again.

I’m really glad I stepped up and admitted my mistake right away. Now I have no guilty feelings or secrets to hide. I also learned a lot yesterday that I wouldn’t have learned if I didn’t readily fess up. I’m hoping that my confession also built trust and respect with my lead so that she knows that I will take responsibility for my actions and fix them when I make more mistakes in the future.

How do YOU handle mistakes at work?

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.

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