How to deal with professional mistakes at work

21 Oct 2022

Everybody makes mistakes. Especially professional mistakes at work. We all learn from them, and of course, when they happen they’re quite embarrassing. And in the workplace, making mistakes can bring in a lot of anxiety and ridicule—and you tend to push yourself harder than anyone else does. What one needs to understand, however, is that it’s completely alright to make mistakes. It’s always how one reacts after making them that takes center stage. Feeling embarrassed or ashamed of making a mistake? Fret not. You might be questioning your entire credibility at the moment, but this is a feeling that will pass. There is no way one can learn only from another person’s mistakes. Making mistakes and learning from them is essential for any career to grow. However, there are methods using which one can grab onto their reputation after making an embarrassing mistake. Here are some ways one can deal with professional mistakes at work.  

#1. Don’t feel too bad for too long

It’s okay to feel bad that you’ve made a mistake. In retrospect, this is the only way one can make time and figure out why the mistake happened in the first place. You know you’ve done something wrong, but there’s always going to be a way to fix it. When you make a mistake, it’s natural to feel bad. However, sometimes this feeling doesn’t quite go away. It’ll swim inside your mind and the growing anxiety tends to make things worse and put you down. Feel bad about your mistake, but not for too long. Because rectifying it is in your hands.  

#2. Stay calm and think things through

It’s hard to remain calm when something has gone wrong because of you. But, you should try. Your mistake is not a life-or-death situation unless you’re a doctor or a pilot or in the military. The moment you realize that you can rectify your mistake, you must be confident enough to think things through. Figure out how you can rectify the mistakes you have made, and try to think of solutions.  

#3. Apologize

If you need to apologize because you’ve made a mistake, then do it. However, do not become a suck-up or overdo your apology. It’s always good to hold your ground and not be completely ashamed of yourself for a mere mistake. Don’t give any excuses or justifications as to why the mistake happened and do not blame it on anyone else. Take full responsibility and showcase your seriousness in rectifying your error rather than dumping the blame on someone else.  

#4. Make a to-do list

Create your next game plan. Make a list of what you can do and a plan to execute this plan on bettering your mistake and turn it into a good sign. Always use your pitfalls to your advantage and make use of this time to create your to-do list to excel your performance. Make a list of what you need to carry out differently in order to get better results. Was it because you handled too many things at once? Then cut down things you handle at a time and focus on priority tasks. Only you can figure out how to manage things, and it’s best to make a list to figure things out. 

#5. Take care

Ultimately, take care of your mental health. It sometimes gets to us that we’ve let something go wrong, but we must remember that even the best make mistakes. If your boss has reprimanded you for it, do not take it to heart. 

Several things cause people to react the way they do and you do not need to be held accountable for their reactions—even if you’ve made a mistake. Instead, take a breather. Yes, something went wrong but it’s not the end of the world. You’ve got a lot on your plate and tomorrow's a better day. You can do this. While it mustn’t be encouraged that people make mistakes to learn, but when it happens, it’s definitely a learning opportunity. Do not let it bring you down and do not let it affect your confidence in yourself. You are aware of your mistake and you intend to rectify it. Therefore, keep your head held high and focus on achieving the best!

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