9 Steps To Take After Making A Mistake At Work


We in Dr. Job Pro know that making a mistake at work is a common issue that most employees face; that’s why we’re discussing it today.

Many people think that making a mistake at work represents the end of their careers, which is not true.

Making a mistake might be a new beginning for career prosperity, but it depends on dealing with and perceiving the situation.

Here are nine steps to take in case of making a mistake at work.

1- Admit your mistake

That’s a courageous step to take. But, unfortunately, people usually don’t own up to their mistakes but blame others instead, which makes things worse.

Admitting your mistake will make others respect you. Take responsibility for what you’ve done, and remember that mistakes are okay.

If it’s a shared mistake, take responsibility for your part of it. Don’t point fingers or mention what your co-workers have done. Just represent yourself and talk about your share of it.

When an employee admits their mistake, it shows how responsible, honest and mature they are.

2- Acknowledge and apologize

The act of apology and how you introduce it reveals a lot about you. Your apology should be genuine and sincere.

Some people apologize, then ruin it with the wrong follow-up actions or words.

For example, say, “I am sorry for sending the wrong e-mail. I will pay attention next time.” However, don’t say, “I am sorry for sending the wrong e-mail, but it wouldn’t have happened without the other co-workers talking in the background.”

Moreover, please make sure not to beat yourself up. There’s a difference between beating a sincere apology and calling attention to your error.

The first one makes people respect you, but the second one gets them to blame you more.

Focus on correcting the mistake instead of blaming yourself constantly.

3- Communicate with your manager

Making mistakes isn’t something new to your manager. Employees aren’t meant to do their jobs perfectly.

Try to take it easy and talk to your manager about the mistake that you’ve made. Then, start your speech by admitting your mistake, but don’t be harsh on yourself.

Learn from your manager’s vision and experience. They might tell you helpful advice that would help you in your upcoming work.

Don’t come up with excuses, and don’t keep blaming yourself. 

4- Look for the reasons

Ask yourself about the real reasons for making that mistake. Try to think logically instead of panicking over it.

Sometimes we make mistakes at work because of a wrong pattern that we’ve followed. Some other times we make mistakes because of being pressured or unorganized.

Get a notebook and write down the mistake. Follow this with analyzing the reasons behind that mistake.

Talking to an experienced co-worker or a manager would be extremely helpful. They might be able to recognize what led to this mistake in the first place.

For more information, 10 Tips To Deal With The Anxiety Of Career Uncertainty

5- Show your commitment

After figuring out the mistake and the reasons behind it, you need to show everybody, including yourself, how committed and determined you are.

Make a plan and try to follow it. Even the simplest acts would be noticeable in such situations.

Please don’t be late to work and try to be there as early as possible. Be helpful to others and show the change you’re trying to make.

Try not to be whiny and don’t complain about everything. Take direct actions instead of talking about your abilities.

6- Make it up for your work

Try to be extra active and challenging working for the period following making a mistake. Prove to yourself that you can make things go on the right path.

Remember that making mistakes is necessary for the process of learning. What matters the most is how organized you can be to correct those errors.

7- Take steps for prevention

It’s essential to take serious steps to prevent the mistake from happening over and over again. Then, after tracking the reasons, please try to fix them.

Sometimes you have to dig deeper to find out more about the reasons behind any mistake. For example, there might be lifestyle-related reasons instead of work-related reasons. For example, lack of sleep, unhealthy food, poor mental health maintenance, or even lack of movement.

Please talk to a therapist to figure out what you need to stop to fix any mistakes you’ve made before.

8- Move on

People will eventually forget about your mistake, but it’s you who matters the most. So please try to keep moving forward and forget about what has happened.

Forgetting about it doesn’t mean avoiding or ignoring it, but this is a needed step after taking all the previous ones.

Make sure not to let the past stop you from achieving new goals or dreams. For example, ask any of your co-workers if they’ve made any mistakes before; their answer would be, “yes.”

They will assure you that everybody does, but work goes on anyways. So please don’t keep reminding yourself or everybody of your mistake as that’s not healthy at all.

If you have a bully co-worker who keeps annoying you with your past mistakes, please deal with them strictly. Bullying another human being is not acceptable or respectful by any means.

9- Be easy on yourself

It’s okay to make mistakes at work. All people do at some point. Getting trapped in your thoughts doesn’t help at all.

Sometimes we cause errors because we don’t take enough care of ourselves.

Please be kind to yourself. Pay attention to your lifestyle, your routine, and your food diet.

Moreover, remember to have a good sleep and to breathe.

In conclusion,

making a mistake at work is expected and usual. However, by following the previous steps, you’ll get over your mistakes and turn them into the best life opportunities.