DiversityJobs.com

How to handle your mistakes like a pro

No one knows better than a boss that everyone makes mistakes. But not everyone handles them the same way. When you make a mistake, your boss will be watching you closely and asking himself these questions:

Am I dealing with someone who:

  1. learns easily from mistakes or repeats them endlessly?
  2. tells the simple truth or creates confusion to hide behind?
  3. sincerely accepts responsibility or just tells me what I want to hear?
  4. really hears and understands me?

making mistakes at workYour boss will consider the cost of your mistakes to be part of his investment in you. It’s a cost of doing business. Your job when you report a mistake is to convince your supervisor that his investment is a good one. You can do that by following this checklist:

  1. report your mistakes early so your boss doesn’t find out about them from someone else
  2. apologize without assigning blame to others and without sounding defensive
  3. do whatever you can to correct your mistake and do it quickly
  4. show you thought about what led to your mistake
  5. summarize and say back to your boss his message to you, for ex: “I hear you saying that this was a costly mistake for the company at a time when…” and then
  6. commit to not making that mistake again and explain how you will avoid it

Fully accepting a mistake, making repairs and avoiding repetition is extremely difficult. Maybe one of the most difficult things in life. And that’s one of the few advantages you have in this situation — your boss knows how hard it is. So do it right and you’ll show what you’re made of. If you’re lucky, you may just come out ahead!

a faster pc so we can make mistakes faster?

Get the ebook! If you liked what you read here, and think you may want to refer back to this guide later, grab the Kindle version – we’re hoping you’ll thank us with a five-star review on Amazon if you found this material helpful. The ebook also includes our job search guide.

< previous  work-smart  next >

DiversityJobs.com

144 comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • I always make mistakes on the job, I’m human. When I do make a mistake I try not to repeat it for a second time. I’m a barista and when I first started I made many mistakes. My boss whould ask me what I did wrong or what I forgot to do and I would confess what I did, and that it will not happen again. Its simply easy to know you made a mistake take responsibility for it and keep learning.

  • The Bigger the mistake the harder it is owning up to it. On the other hand, the bigger the mistake the bigger the lesson that will be learned. When I was working as a waitress, I would always be as kind as possible but quick on my feet because we were always so busy. We had huge black trays that would hold all of the food as we carried it out to the customer. One day, I had a really big order and I tried to carry everyone’s food on one tray at once because we were busy that day. Im struggling to hold the tray up but I don’t turn around and as I walk out of the kictchen door my arms give out and I dropped the entire order of food all over the floor. I made a huge mistake that day and learned to get the order out as quickly as possible without over doing it.

  • I used to work at a fast-food restaurant where I made several mistakes specially when I started working there.  Not having the ingredients ready and messing up the order were the most common errors I had and every time I made a mistake I would be scared to tell my manager what had happened.  Facing the situation and explaining my manager with the truth what really happened and accepting the responsibility helped me becoming a responsible employee by not repeating any mistakes and later on be ascended to a supervisor position.  On every mistake I made I always told my boss the truth and admitted it was my fault, also I made my best to not repeat that error.  This made me learned from my mistakes and also made my boss to trust in  me.

  • Mistakes happen all the time. However, I believe that it is important to try and prevent a potential mistake first. When working at my internship this summer, there were a lot of rules that had to be followed and I was expected to know them on my first day. For the first couple of weeks I would ask my mentor to help me out to prevent me from making a mistake in the first place as mistakes were extremely costly. Then as I became more comfortable with the rules, I would ask other interns in the office if what I was doing seemed correct. However, mistakes were still made and I would make a list of things to watch for and keep in mind in the future and keep this list on my desk. Preventing the same mistake is also extremely important – it’s not just about making the mistake and accepting it but how you improve and learn from the mistakes you make.

  • People often say that we must face our mistakes, yet we overlook the fact that it can be one of the hardest things to do in our lives. Mustering up the courage to confront those who have been affected by our mistakes is something that many people struggle with and often avoid for various reasons. Despite the difficulty of it, we must all face our mistakes in order to be successful in life. Not only must we face our mistakes but also learn from them. Working in an office this past semester introduced me to many new situations. Once I accidentally lost some data on an important file and I was reluctant to tell my supervisor about it. I could have just closed it and no one would have known that there was data missing until later and also I feared that I could be looked down upon or even fired for making such a mistake. However, I decided to tell my supervisor and apologize for my carelessness. It turned out that the file was backed up on her external hard drive, but apart from that, through this situation, she was able to gain more trust in me. Also, I was able to become more comfortable around my own supervisor. Just by confronting my mistakes without any lies created a more positive working environment. There are many good things that will come from simply accepting your mistakes and dealing with them rather than trying to avoid them for as long as possible because they will eventually catch up to you.

  • As a supervisor one my biggest pet peeves is when employees do not take responsibilities for their faults. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes those mistakes cost the company money, but that is never a reason to deny that the mistake was made. I believe that confess your failures means that you able to self examine yourself as well as learn from what you did wrong. The key to mistakes is learning from them and trying to avoid making the same mistake twice.

  • This is totally common sense in all relationships including in employment.
    Taking responsibility for mistakes may seem hard at first but when considering the cost of hiding and skating around lies, telling the truth makes it so much simpler.  There is the bonus of learning attached to it too! 

  • Taking responsibility for your mistakes is hard for some people, for me its always been easy.  Every since I was a child I wanted to be perfect, perfection is still what I try to strive for.  So when I make a mistake I immediatly find out what went wrong and try to fix things.  I work in a pharmacy and when I first started to work there I made tons of mistakes, But I wouls ask qurestions and learned how to keep from making them.

  • When you make a mistake, no matter how big or how small, you must own it. Try to fix it if possible, if not, do not hide and pretend nothing happened. Your boss might hear about your mistake from soeone else and might not like it. Be responsible and own up to your mistakes, We are only human and as such we make mistakes. The important thing is to earn from our mistakes and stop making the same one over and over again.

  • I completely agree with these points. However, some people have trouble accepting that they can be wrong or just chooses to accept that they are wrong. I use to be this way until I was put into leadership role. Then I realized through other peoples mistakes that is what I look like at times. Now I try to keep on improving on my responsibilties.

  • Shortly after turning 21, I landed a job at a small liqueur store in my hometown. Although there was a fair amount of walk in customers throughout the day, the companies main profit came from delivering alcohol to the bars around our area. So, while working there, my main job was to box up orders, and wait on customers whenever they came in (I was the only person that worked the night shift). 

    One night things were really hectic, and I was way behind on my orders due to the amount of customers that came in. After it finally slowed down, I was flying around trying to catch up, and in my rush, I broke one of the most expensive bottles in the store! While cleaning up the mess, my mind flooded with ideas on how to get out of this without telling my boss what truly happened. Eventually, however, I knew that the only real solution was to tell the truth, and I did (he was happy I told the truth and I didn’t get into trouble)!

    It doesn’t matter whether its work, family, or friends, good morals will get you a long way with people, and they will respect you for it!

  • I have worked for 2 Japanese companies and have learned to accept responsibility for my mistakes.  In doing this, you also gain their trust.  When they see that you are willing to take responsibility for your mistakes and learn the necessary lessons to keep those mistakes from happening again, they are more willing to trust you with greater responsibilities.  

  • I work in a biomedical research laboratory, and this has help me to learn from my mistakes. Sometimes, it is difficult to accept them because make you feel bad; however, we should have maturity to accept and learn from them.

  • Throughout high school, I worked in the dining room of a retirement community. It was my first job and I was new to absolutely everything.  Friday afternoons were the busiest time for the dining room and all the servers would try to help one another. When a server asked me to cover her table once, I did my best to help her, while attempting to maintain my own table’s satisfaction. Being new, I could not manage the quick pace and left my fellow server’s table unhappy. My fellow server was later confronted about “her” poor service. As embarrassing as it was, I stepped up and admitted that it was I that had not properly served her table. It was a serious mistake to try to take on another table on top of my own. Regardless of my mistake, my boss appreciated my ability to take responsibility for my actions and once my waiting skills improved I was promoted to hostess. I’ve learned that mistakes will always be made, but if one can accept fault and learn from their mistakes then one may reap the benefits. 

  • I agree with what was stated above, I believe that if an individual can not accept responsibility for their actions when they make a mistake, they can not change. Accepting responsibility for your actions allows you to be able to improve. This  is something that affects not only your professional life but your personal life as well. I teach my daughter that in every action that you takes there is a reaction, and if you make a mistake accept responsibility, because if you dont you will never be able to improve.

  • As an indoor soccer referee, it was easy for me to make bad calls and not receive a good reaction from the coaches, parents, and players. With indoor soccer, a lot of the rules have been altered to make the game more suitable for the arena. I have found that if I clarify any rules I am unsure of before hand, it makes it a lot easier to make the right call. Even though I try my best, no referee is perfect and I can miss some calls or make the wrong ones. When these mistakes are made, I make an effort to ask my boss what the right action should have been. Since I ask these questions and clear up any misunderstandings, whenever the coaches try to attack me with their own input on how the game should be handled, my boss is always on my side and stands up for me. He knows that I am doing my best and that I know the game. I think this strategy has really helped me because I have been asked to come back four years in a row.

  •  I know the impact of mistakes and costing the company money. In my position I set up corporations and estate plans for our client. Any kind of misspelling of a name or the wrong manger on the list can cost the company anywhere from $125 to $1,000. One day I set up the part of the Estate Plan with the wrong name. I could have easily went in and fixed it without telling my manager. (which is stealing) Although I felt stupid for making the mistake. I took it to my manager saying sorry for the mistake, gladly he told me everyone makes mistakes and to just watch my work a little bit better. It felt good knowing that I told him and that one day if it ever popped up with upper management, At least my manger knew about it.

  • Responsiblity for a person actions are important to the people around, and for yourself worth.  This is the one thing that I believe in when it comes to work ethic and family values.  If only more people learned how being responsiblity for your mistakes can earn you respect.
    Thank you
    Debby BF

  • Taking responsibility for your mistakes takes courage, but doing so shows that you are willing to learn from your mistakes and grow your knowledge.  Making a decision that is wrong is always better than making no decision at all.

  • Being an adult and knowing when you did something wrong is important to success. I have worked in retail a a lot, which is a very demanding work place. Making a mistake is simple in this environment. When learning how to work with a register and do specific things that a customer needs requires a lot of patience. I had made a lot of mistakes trying to charge a credit card or even balancing the drawer. By going directly to the manager when the issue happens, helps to solve the mistake quickly before any others arise.

  • Owning up to mistakes can be a difficult task to tackle.  Adults strive to be perfect and to not make mistakes when working, however change is inevitable and sometimes certain factors are overlooked.

    I have worked as a business manager and often times policies would change without warning.  There are several occasions in which receipts were not documented correctly which would throw off the numbers for the entire day.  My general manager took ultimate responsibility for these errors and would spend hours trouble shooting trying to find the glitch in the system.  Had I not owned up to my actions I would have set myself up for failure.  The truth is bound to come out and because I was honest about the mistakes they were easily corrected.  I found out later in life after taking a few accounting classes that those “minor” mistakes that I made could have caused “major” issues for the owners of the company and the IRS.  Owning up to your mistakes is imperative in the workforce.

  • I believe that when you admit that you have made a mistake it shows that you are willing to learn from it. Everybody makes mistakes but the most important thing is to learn from those mistakes. I think that makes you a stronger person and an employer can recognize that they dont have to call you out everytime you do something wrong because you are willing to help yourself. Also, its better to call out your own  mistakes instead of an employer having to find out later another way. It shows you care about your job and your duties and you are willing to improve.

  • During the journey of our job experiences, we come across different situations that require our professionalism. As humans we are prone to make mistakes due to several reasons; stressful situations, last minute tasks, multitasking, pressure, dealing with other co-worker’s personalities, etc. However, it is our opportunity to demonstrate how we handle our mistakes. Personally, the times that I have made a mistake at work, I have decided to speak with my immediate superior and explain the situation. By explaining the situation, I discuss where I could have addressed the situation differently and how was to be handled. The main idea is to not perform the same mistake and find the root of the cause. In my opinion, this will show your immediate supervisor how responsibly we take our job and how we are finding the solution to the mistake. At the end of the day, our immediate supervisor only focuses on the interests of the company, and by acting professional on a mistake will demonstrate the value we have as an employee and as an important asset to the company. We should never argue with our immediate supervisors and learn to listen. In the professional world, each mistake helps us to improve and become better individuals. Finally, not forgetting how important is each employee.

  • One incident occured where I accidently faxed patient information to the wrong person. After this happened, I confronted my manager with my mistake, instead of trying to cover it up. When something like this happens, we have to take extra steps to make sure that the documents are shredded properly. Because I work in a health care environment, we have to be extremely cautious about protecting patient information. Any mistakes I make will be reported to management. I admit my mistakes, learn from them, and strive to never make the same mistake twice.

  • We have to admit when we make a mistake or do something wrong in especially in the  work enviroment.  It is part of being human, the worst is when people try to hide or cover up there mistakes and comes back and bits them at some point.  Since i  work in customer service it is  bond to happen once in a while, the importance is learning from your mistakes.  This shows your employeer that you are reliable and dependable no matter how big the mistake was. It is always better to come clean before your boss find out by others. 

  • We have to accept our mistakes because sometimes we can’t tell by ourselves if what we did was wrong or not, so I think we have to understand it if someone try to let us know our mistakes. I think sometimes too the bosses have to take it easy on people because I think everyone makes mistakes.

  • Taking Ownership of your mistakes is what makes you an adult. A lot of times we as humans make mistakes and don’t want to take ownership, therefore we don’t learn the lesson. but when we do take responsibility of the mistake we accept our flaws and learn the lesson.

  • It is my experience that taking responsibility of your mistakes shows your employer that you have the company best interest at hand. Your boss will respect and trust you once they know you are a person of integrity. It is far better to admit your mistakes when they first occur, rather than wait to try to cover them up. I remember starting with my company and my boss put me in charge of organizing a district function. I forgot to request the funds to organize and execute the the function in a timely manner. Once I realized my error I immediately contacted my boss and explained the situation, she was able to clear the funds for me. It was a lesson learned. She did thank me for being honest and bringing this information to her in a timely manner. That incident has taught me to pay attention to details. 

  • In banking it is so easy to make mistakes.  My mistake would be to not always check what the customer gave me.  Computers mess up and won’t catch everything.  I’ve learned to always stay on top of what I’m doing.  When money and reputation is involved you cannot afford those mistakes.  I took the loss and learned very early during my career to check behind my customers but most importantly myself.

  • Take responsiblity for your actions and mistakes. We as humans will always make mistakes, however, it is up to us to decide whether to learn from the mistake or just disregard it. One of the most successful basketball players, Michael Jordan, said “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” In other words, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, simply learn from them and come back smarter!

  • Accepting responsibility for mistakes shows growth. The important step is to ensure that mistakes are part of the learning process . Always place honesty first, never cover up, and apply all principles learned in the process. Recognizing mistakes and learning from them can create the path to success.

  • ochesim

    accept responsibility for your mistakes it does not kill you but instead makes you better and not letting you make such mistake next time but instead you improve in your job the next time.

  • My biggest problem is not admitting to a mistake, but rather taking the full blame without making up excuses. There is a very fine line between explaining the cause of a mistake and sounding like you are trying to put the blame elsewhere. As human beings we all make mistakes but it can be very hard to admit that we did so, especially when they are careless. 

  • If making mistakes were a crime, I would be spending the remainder of my life behind bars. I have learned over the years, I will make mistakes and I will have to fix them. Being able to learn from mistakes is one of the greatest abilities someone can master. I have always lived by the motto, “It is not how many times you fall down, but the number of times you get back up that matter.” This is so true with mistakes. No matter the number of mistakes we make, we have to fix them and move on. 

  • In making many mistakes in my life i think it becomes easier with age to admit that you are wrong. Years have passed since ive graduated High School and i have held down many jobs with many different responsibilites. More recently i have been working for a nursing agency in which i am responsible for pulling all of our employees professinal licenses two times per month, however after a mishap i learned that what i thought was my master list was not. Turns out that i had misfed the information into the system and forgotten almost 20 nurses on this monthly check for months. WIthout hesitation i pulled the missing nurses immediantly only to find out that one of thier licenses had been pulled, making them ineligible to work. After notifying my superiors i wrote a formal apology and read it aloud at our weekly meeting. Being wrong never feels good, but it sure feels alot better when you can admit it like an adult. Fessing up to this mistake gained me respect from alot of my coworkers and taught me to double and triple check my work in the future.

  • Without mistakes, there is no learning. The most productive and successful people in this world will tell you that they had the guts to take risks and enough humility to make mistakes. It is from one small mistake or failure that the the road to success begins. 

  • There’s one thing I believe in: if you never make mistakes, your simply not working! Everyone makes mistakes, goodness knows I’ve made my fair share in the past. The intriguing thing is, I am grateful for the learning experience each one has brought, without them I would not be the problem solver I am today, if I was afraid of making them, I would not have the confidence or courage to be an innovator. Even the greatest plans are usually a refined second attempt.  Employers do not want to hear you made a mistake, this was taught to me years ago. Employers want to hear “This is a mistake I have made, and THIS is what I am doing to correct it.” it’s the humility to admit responsibility and show your creative side when fixing the mistake, that oftern sets a good-experience apart from a bad one.

  • I’ve learned over the years to accept responsibility for your mistakes and store them in your memory bank so when you come across that type of situation again, you would be able to handle it differently.  Everyone wants to see you make a mistake, but if you own up to it people will have more respect for you and are willing to help you to correct the problem. Also, it will give other confidence that they can come to you with help with a mistake or a problem.

  • Accepting responsibility for mistakes has been a lesson I learned the hard way. No one wants to be embarrassed by lack of knowledge, but having made many mistakes I learned the only thing to be embarrassed about  was to keep making the same mistakes. I discovered that everyone makes mistakes and by sharing knowledge and teaching others how to avoid them helps both people become better employees. Shared knowledge and working together makes everyone more productive and successful. I have learned more skills from my mistakes and learning how to correct them, than I ever did from my successes.

  • I had an experience in my life in which I had to accept responsibility for my mistake. I had the responsibility of making sure other people do the right thing and warn them if they weren’t. My mistake, while still learning my job, was that I did not warn people properly so that they understand that what they were doing was wrong. As I was confronted about this mistake, I found that I accepted it almost as this lesson stated. I apologized for it without putting blame on someone else, and I repeated the message my boss was telling me in order to let him know that I understood. And in the future, I vowed to do better.

  • Responsibility is not only what we are responsible in our life, profession or family.  The term responsibility means to me is the ability to response even though it may not fall under my area.  In our day today life,  we encounter situations where we have the ability to address the situation or support some one who is in desperate but most of the time we will wait for the responsible person to come and take care of it. Most people are fear about it’s after effect,  if something goes wrong if we do something unusual or go out of way and do something and blame come to us.  If we do anything for a right cause and we done our level best, still had a reverse effect, I will be proud of what I done rather no action. 

  • A smart person learns from his/her mistakes, and a wise person learns from the mistakes of others. 

    I feel that making mistakes becomes a part of living life. When you have made a mistake, it does not mean that you have failed, it means you have another chance to master your craft. We must all accept our mistakes and be held accountable. 
    In relation to your job, learning a mistake and being responsible will strengthen your next task and performance. Many people are frighten what might possibly happen after making a mistake. I would suggest giving it your all and if a mistake occurs, feel good that you did your best.  

  • As many have noted a smart person learns from their mistakes. Well I feel a smart person also makes them as well. If you are making mistakes then you are trying. I would rather be the person that tried and failed rather then a person that failed to try. Failure to try is the real mistake.

  • My first full-time job was my dream job at the time, selling broadcast video production equipment for a well-respected dealer.  I sold the boss my ability to sell and product knowledge and got the job.  I made one mistake after another in what was a critical time for learning.  I dropped a $8000 professional video camera, and I told customers what they wanted to hear sometimes because I feared telling them that I did not know.  Sometimes I believed that I was right and then found out later that I was wrong.  The most important lesson I learned in this job was to acknowledge my mistakes, rather than try to cover them.  This lesson prepared me for other jobs.  I now work in the health care field, and the consequences of reporting information that is not correct just to protect myself can have severe consequences.  If there is one thing that can make a person successful, it is to acknowledge one’s mistakes and learn from them.  I will echo Jay’s sentiment.  A wise person learns from the mistakes of others.  Company policies usually exist because of other people’s mistakes.  A wise person would acknowledge that.

  • My first job I was 17 and fresh out of high school and about to start college. So I was new to working and my boss was always on my case about everything I did. I was either to slow and not working fast enough but the only thing that he hated most was excuses. If I made a mistake I would take responsibility for it but I would alway throw in the ‘but’ something else. It wasn’t till the store manager took me into the office and told me to just stop all she wanted to hear was I made a mistake and thaI was going to fix it. Ever since that day I have always taken responsibility and always combated my mistake with a solution.

  • This is the toughest lesson for me to learn because I get defensive when I make mistakes.  I find it very hard to accept that I make mistakes and have been battling this issue and trying to learn to accept and own up to my mistakes and accept critisism, no matter how hard it is to hear it.  My initial reaction is that it’s not my mistake, something was faulty and it caused the mistake. That, ofcourse doesn’t help the situation and hurts me.  This is dfinitely a lesson that I will have to remind myself. 
    over and over again. 

    Natalia B

  • This is a lesson that everybody should acknowledge and learn from. Being a server at Disney is fun but extremely diffficult. It is Disney, you are suppost to be perfect in everything you do for the guest. When making mistakes cost you and your manager money, it can be a little overwhelming. The first step is atdmitting you made a mistake. Correct the problem in the most professional an timly manner. As long as the guest is happy that is the most important. You learn from your mistakes and move on. Serving for seven years you see alot and mess up occasionally. It is very important to realize that everyone is not perfect and you live and you learn!

  • My first job was as an oven boy for our town’s cheapest pizza restaurant.  I had just turned 16 and was scared that I wasn’t going to make it.  To make matter worse, my training consisted of 10 minutes of demonstration.  I started my first day without any experience and on the busiest day of the week.  The mistakes came tumbling in faster than Niagara Falls.  My boss confronted me on these mistakes and at first I denied them, I blamed someone else, or I simply ignored the accusations.  My boss later told me that he almost fired me because I wasn’t able to take responsibility for my mistakes.  When I began to accept my mistakes my quality of work improved drastically.  Not only did my boss help me learn from my mistakes, he also taught me how to fix my mistakes.  As I began to become comfortable in my working environment I stopped making the same mistakes over and over again.  My Dad always tells me that my first job wasn’t about making money, it was about what I took away from that job.  My first job taught me that it is okay to make mistakes and that taking responsibility for them is the best course of action.  

  • Handling a mistake like a pro is not only taking responsibility for his or her action but also learning from those mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes at some point in their life; however, it is what you take from the mistake that matters. As a stay at home parent, the mistake I face was telling my daughter what to do instead of showing her. For example, I would tell her how important school is but I did not finish school. So, instead of just telling my daughter that having a good quality education is very important, I decided to return to school to be an example for her. The lesson learned here is that action speaks louder than words. My decision to return to school has not only shown her that education is important; but also it is never too late chaise your dreams.

  • As a perfectionist I have to say I struggle when I make mistakes. I mean nobody likes making them, but we know they’re inevitable. The truth is that they are indeed another chance for growth and improvement. All you need is temperance. The first job I ever had was at a local McDonald’s; I will never forget my first day because I dropped 6 burgers. I felt so embarrassed but then I realized the only thing that could come out as a result of that was something called “experience”.

    Mistakes are always forgivable, you just have to have the courage to admit them, it is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving at what you’re doing. Actually, identifying the causes of the mistake is something I like to do and have found extremely helpful, as I take the time to analyze what I should/could have done differently and commit to do it right.

    I also remember my accounting professor in high school would always say: “accounting is 30% theory and 70% practice; do you want to really LEARN about accounting? Get an accounting job”. And so I did; it was only then that I understood what he meant. People can give you advice on what to do or what no to do based on their past experience and mistakes they’ve made, and you can certainly learn some from that; but you will never fully know, until you start living it out and making your own mistakes.

    Not that you should intentionally do things wrong, but there are things that you cannot learn through other people, things that go beyond theory and cannot be understood until you actually experience them. That is why sometimes your mistakes can be great teachers, provided that you learn from them. Something good to remember: if you get to a point where you are no longer making mistakes, it’s probably because you’re not doing anything.

  • Mistakes are always hard, and I know that I personally have a difficult time dealing with them.  However, in the professional world I know that it is very important to admit your mistakes right away, simply because certain errors can have a major impact on the person that made them, and the employer as well.  

    My very first job was at a law office during the summer, and I was under a tremendous amount of pressure in the beginning, simply because I felt that I had to be perfect, because everyone in the office had so much experience.  I remembered that I filed something incorrectly and one of the lawyers could not find the client’s information.  I knew right away that I had made a major mistake, but I came clean for the benefit of the client, myself, and my employer.  Once I confessed my mistake, I started looking for the file, and the problem was solved quickly.

    Overall, the best way to be a great worker is by building a relationship with a boss based on honestly and determination.  Of course it’s normal to make mistakes, but the way one goes about correcting their mistakes is even more important than confessing, because it shows admirable character.  

  • Working in the business world as long as I have, you learn first hand that it is true that everone makes mistakes.  Because mistakes are not something unusual the way you handle them are very important.  I have personally learned that it is better to own your mistake and correct it if possible.  Working as an executive assistant, I am responsible for travel for several managers who travel a lot and it’s very important to make sure that all details for the trip have been finalized and confirmed.  Because many of the trips take place overseas, there is an issue of time zones as well as language barrier. There was an occasion where I made flight reservations for 6 different managers going to six different areas of the world.  I once made the mistake of forgetting to reserve a hotel for one of the managers.  Over the weekend while they were traveling, I remembered in the middle of the night and I had to get up and call the area where he was going to find a hotel that was available.  Luckily for me I was able to find one and send him a message with the information about where to go after he landed.  Being the professional I am, I admitted my mistake after he returned from his trip and told him of my strategy to avoid this type of mistake in the future.  He was very understandable, I would say especially since he ended up with a place to stay. ;-).  If not it could have been very detrimental for me in my position.  An executive traveling 18 hours with no place to stay for the night.  My luck was finding a nice place near the area where he was meeting.

    Since then, I have a checklist that I make for each traveler and I email them their full itinerary before their departure date.  This will immediately make me aware of anything that I may have forgotten.

    For many it is hard to admit mistake because of fear of the consequences, but it’s better to admit them and accept the consequences then to have them exposed later where you may suffere a bigger consequence. The action of being true to yourself is what makes a professional different from a beginner.

  • One of the things I learned early on in my career is that everyone will make mistakes. I have yet to see in my 17 years of work experience to prove otherwise. The difference is how you react to the mistake. If you know you made an error, own up to it. Do you know how many times I have been written up for making a mistake? None! Upon discovering the mistake I would discuss the error with my supervisor and explain what I did wrong, what I could of done differently, and how could it of changed the results. I may of got a tongue lashing or two, but in the end we saw eye to eye. Not always was I the discoverer of the error. In this case I would own up to the mistake, and take the feedback positively. The thing I can say that has made me successful is not making the same mistake twice. On the flip side, if you are the ones correcting someone, make sure you give them the opportunity to discover what they did wrong and how it may of changed the results.

  • Owning up to a mistake is hard but it makes you a stronger person and shows you are human. No one is perfect. I would not expect anyone to be perfect. I had actually made a mistake about a medication and I gave the wrong medication to the wrong person. Though it was only vitamins It could have been worse. I got side tracked and before I knew it I handed the medication to the person sitting next to the intended reciever of the pills.

  • After graduation I worked for the “Urban League” of my area. My job title was to handle the enrollment for the upcoming DayCamp and to help with the food ordering and stocking. I was on a team of about 5 other recent highschool grad. With only a brief orientation of our duties i was on my own. It was difficult hard but i thought i had it!
    The beginning was rough, but once I overcame my pride and realize my mistakes, it became easier.
    Knowledge is for ever expanding and guess what? We dont know it all but there is always someone who can help you. EVERY STRIVING PERSON HAS FAILED OR MADE A MISTAKE , ITS LEARNING FROM THEM THAT WILL MAKE YOU SUCCESSFUL.

  • I am very blessed that this is an area that I handle well. At some point in my life I figured out how to handle constructive criticism well, and have managed to use it advantageously in my career: After a review early in my career concluded with my boss complimenting me on that ability, I realized that it was something I needed to continue to nurture and develop. When I worked for someone who criticized everything that I did, the people that we both worked for knew my reputation, and knew that I could be counted on to be honest and open, even in my mistakes.

  • Mistakes are definitely part of growing and learning – in fact, I’ve gotten to the point of referring to mistakes as “learning opportunities”. When those I’m training make mistakes, I say, “LEARNING OPPORTUNITY!” and proceed to explain what happened, how it happened, and how to correct it. I learned a long time ago that owning my mistakes allowed me to show my employers that I would accept responsibility for my actions, do my best to correct my own mistakes, teach others to avoid making the same mistakes, and that I can be trusted.
    In Billy Joel’s song “Second Wind”, there is a line that says, “you’re not the only one who’s made mistakes, but they’re the only thing thing you can truly call your own” – and this is true. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we are able to realize our full potential and growth.

  • Right is right and wrong is wrong and everyone do make mistakes in the work place but it’s up to you to acknowledge the fact that what you may have done was wrong and accept full responsibility. Everone doesn’t agree with their boss but why put your job in jeapordy and start to create an hostile environment. So as for myself by me having a boss no! I don’t alway agree with what they may have to say but I most certainly isn’t going to approach her wrong. So it’s certain ways to go about resolving problems in the work place it depends on the person so with that being said some people just need to lear how to listen and take the feed back so it can better them later on down the line.

  • I hate making mistakes – I want everything I do to be perfect. However, the one thing I have learned over the years is to own up to mistakes, whether they are my fault or not. I do not believe in laying the blame on anyone else’s doorstep. I will take responsibility, even if the mistake was made by someone else who I am responsible for. I think it was my responsibility to communicate the needs better to the person who made the mistake, and that is my fault.

  • No one is perfect– I admit I am not perfect. If anyone says they are, they are either not telling you the truth or not truthful to themselves. The important lesson about making mistakes is to “own up to your mistakes” and learn from your same mistakes.

    I remember in one of my jobs, I accidentally said something to an employee who misunderstood my statement. The employee went and inquired my statement with the Union representative. After noticing that maybe the employee misunderstood my statement, I immediately went over to the employee to clarify the mis-communication. In addition, I immediately clarified with the Union Rep about our mis-communication and notified upper management. The issue was resolved before anything was escalated and my boss was not put in a predicament.

    I understand that it can be difficult to admit any mistakes or mis-communications. Admitting to your mistakes and quickly taking action resolved a potential problem for myself and my boss. I learned to be very careful with what you say to others and be clear– others may not interpret your intentions the same way that you interpret them.

  • During some points in our lives, it is acceptable for one to make mistakes. I definitely had plenty of them, and because I was so shy and honestly a bit afraid of my boss, I tried to hide them as much as possible. I had my first job as a lab assistant at the community college and I did enjoy it. I however, remember one event in which I had to prepare media by boiling the liquid on a hot plate. I was distracted by a classmate who kept talking to me and all of a sudden I hear the sound of liquid spilling over. I did not have a safety glove handy (which was my mistake) and soon there was a mess all over the lab. I was embarrassed and horrified!

    Right as the incident occurred, my boss walks in furious knowing I was not cautious about watching the media. I knew it was my fault although I wanted to blame my classmate for distracting me. I did apologize and she forgave me (thank goodness) but I did learn a valuable lesson. Always be prepared and have necessary materials ready, and do not slack off from your duties. I never made that mistake again, but I continued working on my other weaknesses.

  • In order to become a professional learn from your mistakes. Once you made that mistake you will
    not make it again and you know how to handle that particular situation. Mistakes is a part of
    learning.

  • I have had the same job now for about a year and a half. I work at a frozen yogurt shop saving up money for college. This has been my first real job experience. This article relates to my job in many different ways. Over the past year and a half of working there I have made one or two mistakes. However, I was scared and nervous when dealing with my first mistake. The advice posted on this page would have really helped me address the situation in a proper, responsible manner. The second time I made a mistake, I addressed my manager right away and asked him what i needed to do in order to improve my work efforts. I took my manager’s advice as soon as i was given it and later that night I received an email from my manager thanking me for the great job I did at work. When making mistakes it is important to know that you have to take the blame, ask your boss what efforts you can make to improve, and lastly apply your bosses advice to your work. If you do those three things the article suggests your job will become a lot more rewarding.

  • Making mistakes is a human trait and since we are all human, we all make them. I my experience, there are two things that will make the boss ‘take note’ of you (in a positive way).

    One is to always be honest with your boss about everything, especially mistakes. Be the first to tell him/her about the mistake.

    Second is to accept that mistake and learn from it, but move on. Don’t dwell on it.

  • My father once told me: “It is not how many times you fall down that defines your character, but how many times you get back up”. As a child I did not understand this, but through my teen years I have come to appreciate the true meaning of these words.
    It is no surprise that the teenage life is filled with a myriad of opportunities to make mistakes, but what turns these mistakes into life-long learning experiences is the ability to learn and grow from them.
    Through determination, hard work, and a drive to improve myself, I have come to realize that I am in control of my future and that I am responsible for all of my actions. It takes maturity and determination to become a better person through life’s experiences.

  • This is something that was exceedingly difficult to learn when I was just entering the job market. When making mistakes at work, I almost felt like a child who was trying to avoid getting into trouble with parents. I had to remind myself constantly that perfection is an impossible ideal; it just doesn’t exist. It takes a great deal of courage and humility to admit when you’ve messed up. But people appreciate honesty and integrity more than perfection.

  • It takes a big person to admit a mistake. In order to learn from your mistake you need to own up to them and learn what you did wrong, so you know hey, not to do that again. Some employers will teach you if you come to them and let them know you mad a mistake and you were wrong, can you teach me the correct way to do it. Even thought some people see admitting you are wrong as a sign as weekness, in reality it just shows that you are learning, and you can admit you are wrong and are willing to learn from that. Most boss’ like that better any day.

  • Handling mistakes properly is not only taking responsibility for your actions but also learning from those mistakes and not allowing them to occur again. MIstakes are a part of learning and they are definitely a part of life. I have made many mistakes throughout my life but I am proud to say that i have learned a great deal from them and I have come out a better person in the end. For example, at my first job I was assigned to file important documents in certain folders, I unknowingly placed the the files in the wrong order to my boss’ liking. I became aware of this and quickly let him know. Although he was very forgiving I felt guilty because he needed them to be in order by a certain time and I had to begin all over again. I continuously apologized and made sure to pay closer attention and not let it happen again.

  • I used to stress over every mistake I made at my last job making burritos. It was only after I came to know that everybody makes mistakes that I learned to accept my mistakes and find out that they show me other ways in which i could do things. In the end my mistakes made me a better worker.

  • I can definitely relate to this post. At a previous place of employment, I sometimes had to place orders online to fill our warehouse for some of the senior buyers in my department. One day, I made a mistake and a $15,000 order got duplicated and became a $30,000 order. You can imagine my horror when I realized the huge mishap.
    I immediately went to the buyer whom I placed the order for and explained the situation. I did not try to sugar coat it or place blame on anyone or anything else, but I told him not to worry because I would do everything I could to correct the mistake. What could have been the worst day at work ever turned out to go very well. My bosses appreciated my honesty and my dedication to fix it myself. I showed them that in a bad situation I could keep my head on straight and still perform well on the job.

  • There is always a leasson learned after a mistake is done. You become a failure when you keep on repeating it. Sometimes it is difficult to accept a mistake but it is human nature. Nobody is perfect!

  • Point number 2, apologize without assigning blame to others, is very important. Early in my career when mistakes would happen, my peers and I would start searching our email looking for any proof that the mistake was not our fault. We’d proudly step up on our soap box and state that the mistake wasn’t our fault and gladly point out who in fact made the mistake. Many times we all shared blame for these mistakes and the fault was rarely black and white.

    As my career progressed, I realized that leadership didn’t care “who” made the mistake as much as understanding how the mistake happened and how the team will prevent it from happening again. They wanted to be informed right away when a mistake would happen so that when Directors and VP’s started asking about the issue they could confidently speak to it.

    I learned that leadership typically wants answers to these four questions.

    What is the mistake and what are the downstream implications?
    What is the short term solution?
    What is the root cause of the issue?
    What is the long term solution?

    I realized that it didn’t matter who made the mistake, what’s important is who is going to step up to correct the mistake and make sure it doesn’t happen again. That is what true leadership is about and this is what makes leadership’s job easier. Many times simple process changes could prevent a mistake from happening ever again. Documenting these changes was key to make sure the mistake didn’t happen again.

  • In March of this year I was elected as President of a non-profit organization at my University. Although my presidency will not be effective until August 2012 I felt it was my responsibility to get started early on.

    Being prepared is something I feel prevents mistakes from happening. So as I began making decisions and assigning duties to my executive board I realized that if information isn’t relied properly then people can become confused and misunderstand what is expected of them.

    I also realized that if I go about completing tasks that aren’t under my leadership position I get a better idea of what the task is asking from others. Successfully taking action and completing a diverse number duties has helped me explain clearly what a board member needs to consider when taking action themselves.

    Not being prepared is just a way of opening a bag full of mistakes. Understanding completely what a tasks expectations are is something everyone should consider. If the boss/leader can’t help you with this understanding then who can??

  • I found this article to be surprisingly informative. Don’t get me wrong, I did not think you were a bad writer before I read this. However, most of these ‘how to’ articles are filled with common sense information. However, this article stands above its cousins. I found the information very useful, and I will definitely apply it to my work place.

    My parents have worked all of their lives and they always told me whether it is just a part-time job, a volunteer job, or your career, if you agreed to work for someone, do just that. Work for them. I am working my way through college and I have come across a lot of people that do only what is necessary to get a paycheck. I love that this article gives tips on how to be great. It is like you said, you need to have a good relationship with any boss because they could be a reference for your dream job.

    I liked the ‘how to handle your mistakes like a pro’ section. I have definitely learned that the best way to handle a mistake is to own up to it. Tell your boss as soon as possible, and do not try to sugar coat it. Its best to just say, “I know it was my fault, but it will not happen again.” The coworkers I have had that try to cover it up or blame someone else were not my coworkers for long.

    Thanks for a great article.

  • I started a job in a field I have never worked before and my new boss HATES mistakes. Naturally while I am learning I am making a few mistakes here and there, but always try my best not to make any mistakes. Nothing is more embarrassing then having your new boss catch a mistake you made that you were not aware of. Last week I had told him what caused me to make a mistake and informed him that I would be making sure to watch for the problem in the future. I smiled when I read that you should do this. But what do you do when they do not care to hear it? I want to prove to my boss that he made the right choice by hiring me. Mistakes are embarrassing and can be cost the business money but sometimes they cannot be avoided 100%. I have to tell myself that it isn’t a mistake if you did not know better because you were not informed it was just a learning curve. I think the most important thing is to not dwell on your mistakes just make sure that you learn from them.

  • Everyone makes mistakes in their respective career fields. However, you can determine a great person from an average person by their reaction to their mistake. I have learned that the key to not making a mistake twice is to take good notes. I use an excel spreadsheet and I review it periodically to remind myself of lessons learned in the past so as to not repeat those in the future.

  • Whatever the case I ultimately agree that it is very important to take responsibilities for your own mistakes, nothing looks worse than trying to hide behind someone’s back. Furthermore, if you do blame it on someone, your boss will find out whose fault it is anyways and in the end you might lose your job. From my point of view, solutions described in this article are on point and young professional like myself should have it handy when starting a career,

  • I currently work as a real estate agent and basically don’t have a boss. However, I do have my clients and they demand professionalism, knowledge and experience.

    Even though we are all human beings and it is in human nature to make mistakes, it is very difficult to ackowlege it and accept it.

    When I was writing my first contract I didn’t know what one of the paragraphs meant and just made something out when my buyers asked me about it. The next day I found out that what I said was complete nonsence. My broker advised me to call the clients right away and tell them simply the truth: that I am a new agent and didn’t know what that paragraph meant.

    I have to admit that was the best advise I received. My buyers appreciated it and respected my honesty. In the end we successfully closed.

    I think that if new professionals like myself follow the solutions on how to handle mistakes described in this article they will be able to achieve a lot in their careers.

  • I consider myself a perfectionist and the thought of making a mistake shakes me to my core. I know I make them, but I would prefer I didn’t. The greatest lesson I have as a perfectionist is to know that making a mistake is a learning experience. No one is perfect and now when I make mistakes I put it into perspective and use it for what it was: an opportunity to learn and grow.

    I currently work as a server in the restaurant business. I have worked in this industry for many years. My first job as a server was at a local family owned restaurant and on my second day I made the mistake of oreding the wrong entree for a table of three. The owner of the restaurant screamed, yelled and humiliated me in front of the entire kitchen staff. In my hysterical crying at the time, I vowed to never make a mistake there again. Needless to say, I did not work there much longer.

    My next job is the one I am currently at and my boss here is completely different. My current boss does not yell, scream or berate any employees. I was so frightened when I made my first mistake but was shocked when he spoke calmly to me. He asked what happened, I told the truth, explained what I did wrong and then explained a way i could keep from making the future mistake. My current job and boss taught me that I didn’t need to be afraid of the mistakes and consequences, just that I needed to face them head on.

    Many, many mistakes and years later, I have learned that I will make mistakes but I admit to them and use them as a lesson to be learned. I often am able to rectify a mistake on my own without my boss, but i always tell him when a mistake and a correction was made. I am also honest with customers when I make a mistake. Most appreciate my honesty and are very understanding as long as I am honest and make necessary corrections. When fellow employees make a mistake, I remind them that we all do it and just learn from it.

  • Today someone from our unit informed another unit that they input some data wrongly and asked them to revise them. They refused to acknowledge or accept the responsibility and this small matter escalate from a junior staff, to his snr, to his mgr and snr mgr. After spending hours discussing and cracking their head, instead of doing something constructive and resolving the issue, they shoot email to push the blame to us and it even go to the director level. I believe in integrity and admitting one mistake. All these year, i stick to it and this never fail.I do not need to cook up excuses to cover mistake. Like in today case, no matter what they claimed and said, i do not need to prove otherwise because the fact is the data are entered wrongly. They tried to cover their mistake and push away responsibility and ended up contradicting themselves. When the leader is not doing the right thing and setting a bad example, his people follow. Very sadly this is what happening in that unit. All new recruit ended up with all these bad habits and wrong value. I use this example to show my team the importance of integrity and that one should not be afraid to admit one mistake and to learn from it. When you try to cover it with excuses, you will end up with having to cover the excuses as well. Only truth is foolproof.

  • I totally agree with the idea of learning from mistakes. Indeed, I believe that life goes by in a trial-and-error basis. The only real fact is that no one is born wise, thus everyone has to go to a process on acknowledgment, learning little by little until becoming what desired.
    A person without mistakes is simply not a real person and I believe that the better and must unforgettable lessons from life are those which come from one’s personal experiences and errors. Therefore, the more ones learn from each mistake, the less changes are that it will happen again, and if it does, one can only learn even more.

  • Great advice! We all have made mistakes at work, some more costly than others. The temptation to hide them and hope they aren’t discovered is great, but it will usually come back to bite you. I’ve found that admitting them and apologizing, if necessary, are good. It also helps if you have a possible solution ready to present at the same time. 🙂

  • As hard as we try to not commit these, we fail in the process. Mistakes happen. Period. I’ve always thought the aftermath of a mistake is what defines us. Me? I own it and suffer the consequences. Integrity is more important that pride.

  • This idea is something that may not be easy to address, but is crucial in the success of management and maintaining a productive team.

  • I have following this method & i have learnt from my lessons. But the frequent number of mistakes I have made (though each one of them were different) this has left a question on my efficiency & quality of my work to my manager & seniors. I have noticed that gradually my mistakes shadowed all my achievements & plus points I have gained in the past 20 month in the current organisation.

    How do I tackle this atmosphere & maintain a positive relationship with my manager & stop myself from doing anymore mistakes?

    • Shruti ..you are not alone same case with me. I take too much effort and do the work wtih honesty and sincerity even though I do mistake.I accept my mistake and try to not to follow same in future but after some day i met with different mistake….I don’t know why it happens????

    • The last few months I have made mistakes. Mistakes that didn’t happen let’s say a year ago. I couldn’t understand why I was making small mistakes and then I realized that I have hit the job burnout syndrome. No matter what I’ve do I am making little mistakes. I hope they don’t leave to a big mistake that will cause me losing my job. So consider have you hit the job burnout wall?

  • Making mistakes is common and human. We all make them everyday: as parents, as friends, as spouses and as employees. I just made the biggest blunder of my career and I’m quite proud of how I handled it this time around. I didn’t show up for a presentation without so much as a call to the agency that for which I was presenting; I actually hadn’t made any reminders for myself, but this was no excuse for my supervisor; however, because I was sincerely apologetic and let her know that I would make certain to keep all of my calendars updated with future events and commitments, it made the situation a little easier to handle. She was no longer in an offensive position, but a suggestive one instead.

  • I know that everyone makes mistakes and we are not all perfect but it is the stronger man/women that admits to it and is willing to stand up for their mistakes. I know I have made mistakes with companies I have worked for and I am willing to take owner ship for them. I work with people now that make mistakes, and you saw them do it, and they denied ever doing it. That to me shows they are afraid and unable to be taken seriously.

  • You can only learn from a mistake after you admit you’ve made it. As soon as you start blaming other people (or the universe itself) you distance yourself from any possible lesson. But if you courageously stand up and honestly say “This is my mistake and I am responsible” the possibilities for learning will move towards you. Admission of a mistake, even if only privately to yourself, makes learning possible by moving the focus away from blame assignment and towards understanding. Wise people admit their mistakes easily. They know progress accelerates when they do.

    This advice runs counter to the cultural assumptions we have about mistakes and failure, namely that they are shameful things. We’re taught in school, in our families, or at work to feel guilty about failure and to do whatever we can to avoid mistakes. This sense of shame combined with the inevitability of setbacks when attempting difficult things explains why many people give up on their goals: they’re not prepared for the mistakes and failures they’ll face on their way to what they want. What’s missing in many people’s beliefs about success is the fact that the more challenging the goal, the more frequent and difficult setbacks will be. The larger your ambitions, the more dependent you will be on your ability to overcome and learn from your mistakes.

    But for many reasons admitting mistakes is difficult. An implied value in many cultures is that our work represents us: if you fail a test, then you are a failure. If you make a mistake then you are a mistake (You may never have felt this way, but many people do. It explains the behavior of some of your high school or college friends). Like eggs, steak and other tasty things we are given letter grades (A, B, C, D and F) organizing us for someone else’s consumption: universities and employers evaluate young candidates on their grades, numbers based on scores from tests unforgiving to mistakes.

    For anyone than never discovers a deeper self-identity, based not on lack of mistakes but on courage, compassionate intelligence, commitment and creativity, life is a scary place made safe only by never getting into trouble, never breaking rules and never taking the risks that their hearts tell them they need to take.

  • In December of last year, I was hired as a student assistant in the school library. This was my first job, coming in as a college freshman. I never had much contact with my supervisor, since it was mostly student-run.

    But two months into my job, I was assigned a task to organize a study jam session for the students in preparation for midterms. This was my first project, and I received help from my fellow co-workers. When I faced a problem, I was sure to ask my supervisor. But two weeks before my event, I found out that my order for food at the event did not go through — this was my fault, as I put in the food order a couple of days late. For a couple of days, I tried to work my way around the problem. I contacted my co-workers and asked them the possibilities of fixing the problem that I caused. It was really hard for me to ask my supervisor for help, let alone admit my mistakes. Also, as a newly hired worked, I wanted him to have a good impression of me. In the end, I had to go to him for help and admit my mistake.

    This is something that I definitely have to work, and I need to remind myself that we all make mistakes and that I must learn from it.

  • I once made a mistake that cost me my job. I was working with a medical administration company constructing schedules for doctors and nurses. One afternoon, hours before his shift, a physician’s assistant (PA) called me to say he was suffering from kidney stones and could not make his shift.

    I followed protocol like a professional. I contacted everyone on the roster in hopes of finding alternative coverage. I notified the physician that would be working without an assistant until I could locate one, and the medical director to alert him of the situation as well. The only person I did not tell was my boss.

    She had told me previously in the week not to disturb her on this particular day as she would be in meetings and taking important calls. I remembered this and decided not to disturb her.

    Unfortunately I could not find anyone to cover the PA. I called to tell him the bad news and that despite his pain he would have to go into work as there was no one available to work his shift. Since he was not answering his cellular phone I called his house and spoke to his son in hopes of reaching the PA. I was unable to reach him for the rest of the day and his shift went uncovered.

    What I did not know was that there was an agreement between my company and the hospital administration that guaranteed PA coverage every day, no matter what. Because I was unable to locate a substitute, we were in violation of our contract.

    Hospital administrators had contacted my boss and were very upset, and I was in a lot of trouble. My boss told me had I just interrupted her meeting she would have been able to alert her contacts in administration to the situation and perhaps smooth things over a bit. The next day I was fired. I am fairly certain it was a decision to save face with the hospital, but I’m still not sure how I could have handled it any better.

  • I have been working at the same company 7 years. In the past two months, I have made more mistakes due to having to work 16 hours plus a day because volume is so high. While I’ve caught my mistakes and re-sent corrections, someone went to my manager and told him how many mistakes I have been making, leaving out the fact that I have corrected them before proposals ever went out. My boss called me and we had a frank discussion. I have been bullied by this person who went to my manager many times before. He is a whiner and a cry baby and very quick to point fingers. What should I do? This most recent call to my manager has put into question whether I should even stay with a company – keeping in mind that I am now a vested employee.

    • What was the result of the discussion? Did your boss express greater confidence in you or less? I would start looking for another job in a low key way. Then I would start looking for an “angel,” a high level person in the organization, higher than your boss. You make contact off the record, such as a “chance” encounter in the restroom, break area, or by having some sort of errand that takes you to that person’s office. You let that person know how much you do for the company. Keep it all positive, no pointing fingers, but definitely blow your horn and offer to do a small task or run a small errand for that angel. Developing support high up offsets any negatives that may come in the future.

    • I read somewhere that if its job related a co worker can inform the manager its no use being negative about him it makes you look bad try to explain to your manager how much stress your under and you did correct your mistakes

  • This article really spoke to me because I have a job so I can relate. In my job, people make mistakes all the time and it’s normal because no one in perfect. Reporting something you did that was wrong should be told to your boss because I feel that they’d be more lenient on you because they value your honesty. When bosses find out what you did wrong rather than having you just tell them sometimes makes bosses feel like they can’t really trust you because you cant be honest about the issue and would rather hide it until it gets brought to light.

    Mistakes, as I wrote before, are bound to be made because no one is perfect, but of course, if one repeats the same mistake many times, bosses will have a hard time wanting to believe your apologies when they confront you about it. These guidelines mentioned in this article to learn from the mistake and apply the lesson aren’t just things you should do n the work force but also apply in your daily lives.

    • Actually, in my current job, there was a rule that said “no visitors at the desk”. It’s hard to not have friends visit only because the location of the desk I work at is in the middle of the university’s hall way where most of the events take place and most of the food venues are. My boss told all of us not to but I happened to be caught with a friend at the desk talking to me about her classes. Regardless of the conversation, my boss got upset and told me not to do it again. I apologized and since then I told my friends to meet me after work because I’m not allowed to have them at the desk. It’s sad because I want to be with them, but I have to do what my boss says because I don’t want her to think that I don’t listen to her or that I don’t learn from my mistakes.

  • Sometime it is hard to handle certain situations like a professional, despite any type of game plan or level of preparedness that one may have. There are many people who feel like bringing there personal lives into the workplace, but not realizing that their job is not the home. We may or may not realize that it will soon affect our work as well as the coworkers around you everyday. When one makes a mistake sometimes it is best to apologize or when you catch your mistake it is best to tell your boss. Your boss your will look at you different and is more than likely to give you more respect. People are going to make mistakes, but it is up to that person to tell the truth. We should be able to grow from our mistakes, by writing down notes and listening to those who can further us in our careers. Meaning asking your boss actually what they are wanting from you and they are expecting from you.

  • Few personal feelings in a work environment are worse than the feeling you get when you know you let your boss and coworkers down. Even when you’ve done what you can to make your mistake right you are still left remembering the mistake you made.

    I recently made a large mistake at work, and I still feel extremely bad for what my mistake cost the company. I work at a surveying firm and part of my job is collecting data points that are then used to create a map of the job site. It was my first time utilizing a method of collecting these points that led to my mistake. I had not done enough research or asked enough questions on how to use the instrument I was using and ended up collecting over 1000 bad data points. I thought everything was going well and that my boss was going to impressed with how quickly I had done the job site.

    When he downloaded the data and started looking at it he quickly realized something was wrong. The roads that I had surveyed had jagged edges and were overlapping in ways that are not even possible, my curbs were 10 feet tall, and I had somehow managed to collect points across the street without even going over there.

    My boss sat me down in his office, the next day, and showed me the map I had created. He asked how I collected the points and I admitted that I wasn’t quit sure what I was doing. He then said that my coworker and I had to go back and do the whole job over and that instead of the company making a profit on this job it was now a lose. Also we we’re supposed to start another job that day but that it would have to wait.

    I still think about this mistake everyday at work. But it has made me a better employee. Never again will I try something new at work without fully understanding every aspect of the technology and the proper execution.

    • In some ways I am fortunate that I cannot hide mistakes at my job. My work is in a cancer lab at the university hospital, where I work with equipment and technologies that are worth thousands of dollars. More importantly, the specimens that we work with can never be acquired again. Any mistakes mean data that we lose and can never retrieve.

      These environments can be stressful, especially as as a sophomore learning many of these lab techniques for the first time. Of the many things I have learned, I can truly appreciate my boss’s advice that I ask as many questions as I need to.

      During a test run of one assay, I misunderstood my boss: she wanted me to run samples in duplicate, but one set would a heat bath and one wouldn’t. Not thinking, I put both sets in the heat bath. Although this didn’t ruin anything, we could not longer compare the two sets to gauge the quality of the assay. Luckily, I understood my mistake almost as soon as she mentioned it. so I told her I would stay later and re-do some of the samples.

      After a year of working in the same lab, I am proud that I have almost never made the same mistake twice. My goal is to address the problem immediately, and then understand it so that I do not repeat it again. Fortunately, my grasp of the lab has grown to the extent that not only am I making fewer mistakes, but I am asking fewer questions as well.

  • I, too, recently made a mistake at work. I work in retail, and the store was having a very big sale. I was ringing customers out for a few hours and frantically tried to give them any assistance they needed. One customer asked if I could stop ringing her items as she was looking for her customer appreciation card. I only had a few items left so I presumed to finish up, scanning quickly. The customer got upset with me, and I replied very defensively. I had never been yelled at by a customer before! I realized right then and there that I should have apologized to the customer without letting my emotions in the way.

    I definitely learned from this mistake. It is easy to react far too quickly in a stressful situation. My boss sat down and talked with me, and we both agreed the situation was a mishap that could have happened to anyone. I agree that when making a mistake, one should do everything he can to fix it promptly and effectively! I committed to not make the mistake again and will surely be careful when interactions with customers get nerve-racking.

  • This article caught my attention because making mistakes is the best part of life. At work of course some mistakes are costly and may cause you to lose your job (ex:health care field); However, for the most part at least for me when a mistake is made I get to reflect on what I could have changed and/or was appropriate in the situation. As the article states, “Maybe one of the most difficult things in life. And that’s one of the few advantages you have in this situation — your boss knows how hard it is. So do it right and you’ll show what you’re made of.” This statement specifically I feel holds most value; being honest, and admitting your wrong is the best part of personal-proffesional growth.

    • Many people can relate to this article, because it is a known fact that everyone has made some kind of mistake in the work place. In the work place many people try to be perfectionist. In my own experience I’ve made some mistakes on the job. I took responsibility for my actions, and I used those mistakes as a learning experience. With that being said I learned to perform my duties in a better manner, and I learned not to make those mistakes again. It is better to be honest, and take responsibility for your actions than try to avoid facing the matter at hand.

      Another way to face the mistakes that are made on the job is to realize that making mistakes is the way we gain experience. If your learning something new you keep trying until you get it right. Your boss knows that you could possibly make some mistakes, but at the same time they don’t want your mistakes to become a routine. They don’t want to see your mistakes continuously happening. Just don’t leave your boss questioning if your able to perform the duties of the job you were hired to do.

    • This article directly relates to my first internship experience. I had never worked in an office before and I was very nervous, could barely breathe. My supervisor had asked me to print out one-hundred copies of the flyer for the summer camp program. I was so determined to have a successful first day; I immediately sent the copy order to the printer. When I went to check on it, the spacing was wrong for the bottom heading and all seventy copies had to be properly discarded.

      I was ashamed, embarrassed, and nervous to tell my supervisor in fear of her reaction. When I showed her what I had done, to my surprise she laughed and tried to comfort me by telling me an embarrassing story of what she did on her first job. Ever since that moment, whenever I was given the task to print or send emails, I always went back to her for her approval before I fully executed the task. Even if I thought I might have annoyed her, I valued accuracy more importantly and refused to make another careless mistake.

      Mistakes are inevitable and personally I believe it is one of the best ways to learn. The mistake is not what is important, but rather the lessons learned and the progress made from that point. I never made mistakes again while I worked there, and since she valued my determination for precision, I was offered a summer job with the company. Had I not made that mistake, the internship could have been a completely different experience for me, either better or worst. What mattered in that situation was that I did not allow that mistake to hinder me from performing to the best of my abilities, and in the end I was rewarded accordingly.

  • This is a great article because it addresses the elephant in the room. We all make mistakes, but how willing are we to admit them, discuss them and improve upon them? This reminds me of a very large mistake I made while pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree. I had a final exam coming up that was weighted as half of my grade. Even though I knew how important it was, I took it for granted and long story short I failed the exam as well as the class. Being an A-B student my entire life this hit me hard and took quite a while to fully sink in. I had moments of frustration, feeling hopeless, feeling helpless, feeling defeated. But at the end of the day, I decided the exam surely did not make me nor would it break me. So I re-took the class the next semester and ended up passing with a final grade of “A”.

    I accepted my mistake and improved upon it. Even to this day, as I pursue higher education, I am determined to never make that mistake again. Additionally, I believe I did come out ahead, because it helped build a character of resilience and perseverance. These are skills important not only in the work force but life in general.

  • Working in the real world, you will have ups and downs and set backs that you will face. You will also make mistakes. It is always best to consider what you would do when you when you make a mistake. I always learn from my mistakes and always try to understand what I could do to improve myself when I make a mistake. I also enjoy when my boss approach me and let me know when I make a mistake. If no one approaches you when you make a mistake you will continue to make the same mistakes and will not grow as a person. Growth is very important because it allows you to elevate and move up in the world and take on new tasks.

  • I can relate to this article really well. This is one of those lessons that took me a while to learn but once I did, I saw my a significant improvement in my performance. I work for a small insurance company as a head of operations. As any other executive of a small company, my scope of work covers a wide spectrum of duties. When I first assumed this role, I tried to do everything all at once and I constantly missed deadlines. It got to a point where my poor performance started to effect the business and it caught my boss’s attention. I always took a defensive route and blamed others for my mistakes. I was not only shifting blame to convince my boss but I was also convinced that I was not at fault.

    In one instance, I made a decision to partner up with local radio station to promote our business at a festival which attracted thousands of residents. This event was going to cost us $10,000 and I completely forgot the date on which this event was to be held. I was reminded by our radio partners just 4 days before the event at which point I panicked and quickly tried to mobilize resources such as staffing for the event and promotional items to be distributed. My last minute planning was evident as we were not able to successfully generate enough business leads at the event. After the event I submitted a summary report of the event and passed it on to my boss. This time my boss called me in the office and asked me to read my report out loud. After I was done reading, he asked me if I notice how I managed to blame the radio partners, office staff, and lack of planning as a factor which caused this event to fail but no where in this report I assumed responsibility even though this event was planned based on my own decision. He then asked me to do pick one of the two things, either write another report assuming responsibility or write him a check for $10,000.

    This was an important lesson I learned the hard way. I have a very good relationship with my boss and he was willing to be my mentor and teach me what I needed to learn. But not all bosses would be the same. I feel that I would have lost my job is my boss wasn’t generous and didn’t care to invest in my well being. Since this instance, I have not only learned to take responsibility for my mistakes but I realize that once I accept my own mistakes, I am not likely to repeat the same.

  • I can relate to this article really well. This is one of those lessons that took me a while to learn but once I did, I saw a significant improvement in my performance. I work for a small insurance company as a head of operations. As any other executive of a small company, my scope of work covers a wide spectrum of duties. When I first assumed this role, I tried to do everything all at once and I constantly missed deadlines. It got to a point where my poor performance started to effect the business and it caught my boss’s attention. I always took a defensive route and blamed others for my mistakes. I was not only shifting blame to convince my boss but I was also convinced that I was not at fault.

    In one instance, I made a decision to partner up with local radio station to promote our business at a festival, which attracted thousands of residents. This event was going to cost us $10,000 and I completely forgot the date on which this event was to be held. Our radio partners reminded me just 4 days before the event at which point I panicked and quickly tried to mobilize resources such as staffing for the event and promotional items to be distributed. My last minute planning was evident as we were not able to successfully generate enough business leads at the event. After the event I submitted a summary report of the event and passed it on to my boss. This time my boss called me in the office and asked me to read my report out loud. After I was done reading, he asked me if I notice how I managed to blame the radio partners, office staff, and lack of planning as a factor, which caused this event to fail, but nowhere in this report I assumed responsibility even though this event was planned based on my own decision. He then asked me to do pick one of the two things, either write another report assuming responsibility or write him a check for $10,000.

    This was an important lesson I learned the hard way. I have a very good relationship with my boss and he was willing to be my mentor and teach me what I needed to learn. But not all bosses would be the same. I feel that I would have lost my job is my boss wasn’t generous and didn’t care to invest in my well-being. Since this instance, I have not only learned to take responsibility for my mistakes but I realize that once I accept my own mistakes, I am not likely to repeat the same.

  • Mistakes give us opportunities to learn. If we do not own up and take responsibility for those mistakes we miss those learning opportunities. Making excuses or not taking responsibility for mistakes may send the message to those in charge that you are not interested in improvement or advancement. No body wants to hear excuses. People want you to validate that you messed up, apologize, and learn to do it right the next time.

    • I was in a position where my job duties and everything that was associated with the job was not clearly defined but i rolled with it and did the best job i could. I was more of a hunter meaning im used to new business acquisition but was never told i would be a hardcore farmer of 100 accounts in 4 days. I made mistakes and owned up to them but was still written up by my middle manager. I had a heavy work load compared to some of the other new guys but was still being constantly scrutinized for making some mistakes but considering I had to manage 100 accounts in 4 days and another co worker had 30 accounts in a full week was crazy. I thought i was doing a good job and I would have to merchandise a weekly order of 100 cases of beer to a huge retail store to shelf by myself before i started my sales day due to a lack of beer Merchandisers and never complained. But they sure complained if i didnt sell one account 3 cases of beer. I felt like i was duped and set up for failure. I wasnt going to quit of course because im not a quitter but after 6 months they let me go after working from 645 am to 530 pm day and opening new accounts in the process. I was one of the first ones there at the office and one of the last ones to leave but still got fired. I felt betrayed, unsupported, and frankly not liked. I felt like this for a while but i am the type of person to never give up and when they fired me it was huge hit to my ego and still is. Ive never tried something and failed. Ive always did something to make it work. But like all the posts its a learning experience. Get back on your damn feet and try again. You will never know if you dont try and success is the best vegence and it will feel good to say fuck you douches im glad you fired me cuz now im doing better. Fuck yeah

  • Even though I was hired for a specific job title, I am constantly being moved to many different areas of the company to fill in when these areas are under staffed. I would say that I am a fast learner but most of my training consists of someone showing me the job responsibilities once and then I’m on my own.
    I am human and I make mistakes. I take notes like nobody else because I might be in this department today and another tomorrow. Each time I make a mistake, I document it. I notate what I did and what I should have done. This way it’s a learning experience and I can avoid making the same mistake again. I’m not always the person who catches my mistakes either; however, I always report it to my supervisor, apologize and explain my thought process that led to the mistake. On occasion, a policy was changed because what I had done was actually more productive.
    I learned early on that “lack of training” is not a reason to make mistakes where I work. I can always ask a co-worker for help because we are a team.

  • It’s not about the mistake, it’s about how you handle it afterwards. I feel that a mistake is sort of like a grace period. It’s easier to forgive someone who made an honest mistake, verses someone who keeps making the same mistake. Obviously they are not trying to get better. Because once you know better, you do better. If you have to opportunity to make the same mistake twice, it is no longer about what the mistake consists of, its about the person answering to the same call they should’ve learned from.
    I myself used to be unaware of the fact that you have a choice. That you don’t have to answer to the same call. But instead, I can do all that I can, as in research if I’m unsure, ask questions if I don’t understand, etc. With acknowledging the power that I have to refrain from making mistakes, or making the same mistake twice, it makes it easier to communicate, work well with others, and so on! Helping yourself and getting power over situations like making mistakes leads to success in all areas.

  • I’m working in sales
    department with a renowned media organization. It’s being almost 10 months and
    one of my good friend has joined one of our indirect competitor, She joined
    just 6 months back. We have same exposure to market besides our product are entirely different. But at this
    point of time she holds more credibility then me. In fact people who were connected
    to me are now connected to her more. It’s bit difficult for me to take this. As
    I’m already prone to worst situations at my work because I’m popular for my
    repeatitive mistakes, which I don’t intend to do… I’m bad at learning things at
    one go.. It takes time for me to understand and I get to learn it unless and until
    it is perfectly fit in my head, I guess because of my slow learning
    capabilities and her fast learning ability has made stick more as a gum to the
    market. And I’m still struggling to be The One.

  • I just made a HUGE MISTAKE I NEED HELP!!!! I’m a brand new F&I manager and one of the car deals I did not collect the $1,000 down payment that the deal was structure… the customer is now lying saying that he does not recall a down payment…… Now accounting is saying they are going do a charge back and withdraw the money from my paycheck if the customers refuses to pay it….!!!!! please help!

  • Owning up to your mistake immediately is of utmost importance and then having a direct plan of action and implementing it speaks of your character and ability to be a valued employee. I will use this valuable information when I begin my internship. Understanding how to handle your mistakes will enhance my ability to be a better intern as well as other future positions.

  • Everyone makes mistakes, however, owning up to it immediately will be very important. I believe that by doing so and then having a plan of action and implementing it will show my character and desire to be a good employee.

  • I think it’s important not only to realize that you will make mistakes, but to know that you will always have room to get better and to improve. And to follow that, to appreciate how far you have already come. When we make mistakes, it can sometimes feel like life might not get better, that you are stuck in the same place and that you will never improve. Not true! We are given strength to complete the tasks that we are given in each moment, and understanding our mistakes is just another part of our efforts to get back up, do it again, and do it better. Who cares how many times you fail- the important thing is to always to know that everything happens for a reason, that your mistakes ground your efforts to become the best you possible. We are all human, we all going to do something that we know we could have done better. Next time, really try to make a difference, to step up and cease the opportunity!

  • I have played team sports all of my life and one of the most important lessons to take from team sports is when you fall, get back up and try again. I remember my coach had me practicing ladder techniques and i would fail time after time, but suddenly it clicked. i learned that practice truly does make perfect and a true determined person would closely adhere to what mistake was made and try to resolve it. Sports give great life lessons and this value of learning from your mistakes is a very valuable one.

  • I think this is a great article. It’s always hard to admit our own mistakes. I’m currently a tax intern at a large public accounting firm and have made my fair share of mistakes. It’s true that the best lessons are learned from mistakes, but those mistakes sure can be embarrassing at the time when they’re made. It’s definitely best to take ownership if your mistakes and not make excuses. Whoever found your mistake likely knows that you simply made mistake, so making excuses and/or blaming it on someone else will only make it worse. When making a mistake, it’s always best to apologize, take ownership, correct, and move on.

  • One related experience in my life that I have had was recently I got a waitress job at a restaurant. It was my was first night being by myself and a lady had ordered off the senior menu, but when I punched in her order I range in their food off of the regular menu. When I was going to give the lady her bill she was confused on why it was so expensive and wanted a refund because she had ordered off the senior menu not the regular menu. I was very embarrassed and went right to my manager to have him help me adjust their check. I offered to pay the extra money and apologized to my manager and the customer. The customer left not the happiest, but I learned to always ask if they do not specify which menu they wanted their food off of.

  • As a college student who has not started my career yet, I can best compare this to the restaurant jobs I have worked part time to make a personal connection. The beauty of this tip however is that it applies to all jobs or task no matter the level on the corporate chain. Learning to handle your mistakes in a positive way is important because it shows that as a worker you can first of all learn from them which decreases the chance of you making the same mistake again, as well as show that despite a mishap you can move past it and complete the job at hand.

    Showing this to your boss will make him or her have more faith in you which can lead to promotion or simply more trust to handle the more difficult tasks in the workplace. This happened to me my first month of my last job waiting tables when my supervisor gave me the same tasks as others who had been working at the restaurant for years. Because I had taken responsibility for the mistakes I made at first and was able to eliminate them quickly, I earned the trust to do such jobs.

  • I remember the first time I started working in the fast food industry and shortly after I was hired, the owner decided my first day would be the night of Halloween (one of the busiest days at Little Caesars) because we had a long line of customers trailing outside the door my trainer was stressed and I made many mistakes trying to help, and recall feeling frustrated that I could not keep up. However I had a very patient manager whom always saw the bright side of the situation and eventually, I eliminated my mistakes to a minimum and some of my best memories were from that year at my job<3

  • I agree with this lesson completely. When I worked as a retail manager, I faced may people who did not want to admit to mistakes. As a manager it was frustrating because it is difficult to help people learn from their mistakes if they won’t first admit they did something incorrect. I also learned that as a leader, it is best for my team for me to admit to them and explain any time I made a mistake. It showed them that we are all human, we all make mistakes, and it’s best to acknowledge them, learn from them, and then move on.

    Approximately a year ago, I worked as an interim administrative assistant at a college. Not only was I new on staff, but I was only going to be there temporarily. Although I had limited training in their policy and procedures, I relied on my general knowledge of best business practices, and followed any and all handbooks/resources they provided me with. Despite my proactive attempts at avoiding mistakes, I still made some. I readily acknowledged when I made mistakes (and sometimes even allowed myself to take the blame for someone else’s minor mistakes), and I would alert my supervisor when I had made a mistake that I was unable to fix on my own. These methods worked very well and helped the whole experience to go well.

    • perhaps you could help me with my little work situation? 🙂 I’d really appreciate it its obvious to me that you have more work experience then I I just recently got my first job

  • I just recently got a job at a fast food place today was supposed to be my 4th day my boss had confused me about what my hours were supposed to be today so I ended up making a huge mistake apparently instead of 8 to 12 I was supposed to be there 12 to 8 by the time I caught my mistake it was already too late I ended up being late for work I I freaked out I didn’t know what to do and the first thing that came to mind was call and lie I called the manager who was the only one there apparently so he was the only one in charge I told him my uncle is in the hospital and I needed to be there for him am I going to be okay what should I do now?

  • Taking ownership of your mistakes is what I believe to be the most noblest thing one can do. It demonstrates that you are humble, and aware that you are not perfect. As the article says, everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how you act after making the mistake that sets you apart from others.

    In school I learned that one of the most important aspects of being a good interpreter is to know when I’ve made a mistake, and take ownership of that mistake. A mistake made in my field will affect the consumer in a negative way, and to not acknowledge the mistake could skew the assignment. The ethical thing to do is to humbly admit to the mistake, and work hard so that it doesn’t happen again.

    I remember the first time I made a mistake. It was really hard to come clean about it, but I remember thinking that what would happen to me as a result of the mistake was irrelevant- I had to protect my consumer at all costs, it wasn’t their fault I made a mistake. If I wouldn’t have come clean, the consumer would have gotten in to trouble, but because I did, the consumer didn’t, and neither did I. I think that making mistakes is expected, and it is okay, as long as you are willing to accept responsibility for your actions.

  • Shannon outlined several very helpful pieces of advice in this article. Mistakes happen to everyone. In most cases, managers will not expect employees to be perfect and mistake-free. They will observe the way employees handle their mistakes to determine whether they will excel in their work environment.

    Shortly after I started my first corporate job, I made a fairly big mistake on a deliverable that was sent to a client. Once I realized the mistake, my stomach sank. I tended to be a perfectionist, so mistakes seemed like the end of the world to me at this point in my life. However, I took a deep breath and approached my boss to discuss the issue. I explained what I had done wrong, and how I planned to prevent the same error from occurring in the future. My boss responded very well and was especially glad that I approached him about the problem. Had I tried to hide the mistake and move forward, my relationship with my boss and anxiety level with my job would not have fared well. My handling of the mistake showed initiative, and also helped me learn how to be more observant and aware in my job.

    Overall, handling a mistake shows much more about one’s character than actually making the mistake. Individuals can learn immensely from their mistakes. Thus, one additional piece of advice I might add to Shannon’s list would be to take a deep breath before anything else if you realize you have made a mistake. Recognize that you are human, and that it is not the end of the world. Do not dwell. Focus your energy into repairing the mistake based on the advice in this article, and you will excel.

  • Ek customer ki attendance machine repair ke liye mere pass ayatha usme fingerprint chalu nhi tha sirf card acess chalu tha so Maine servicing ke liye bheja but aj machine aya toh full band hai chaluhi nhi how raha or servicing Mai bat kiya toh woh abhi bol rahe ki pehlese band hai toh mai abhi customer ke sath kaise bat kru usko kaise ghumau jplz suggest me

  • This is a great method. If you follow every step you can become a better person as well. I learned to admit when I’m wrong or have made a mistake working as a waiter and farm hand. I would make mistakes without trying then never own up. I eventually stopped being scared and accepted the fact that I can’t always be right. My bosses came to trust me more after taking a lesson from their constructive criticism.

    I even started to do this in my classes and found that the teachers will be willing to work with you as long as you give some commitment. With the help of these amazing people I became a better worker and student.

  • Handling mistakes with grace and humility is a skill that I have had to work hard at for a long time to be able to call a strength. It used to be one of my weaknesses. I used to try to hide every mistake that I made for as long as possible and hope that I would have the chance to fix it before anyone noticed. But after failing miserably at this several times, I taught myself how to handle mistakes with maturity instead of covering them up. Between forgetting things, being clumsy, and trying to learn new jobs, our lives can get challenging. I have found, though, that most people will be very understanding and forgiving if you keep your head and are honest about your mistakes. It is certainly true, however, that once you enter the professional work force, your tolerance for mistakes must decrease. There will be true consequences to every mistake that you make so it is imperative that you learn from them.

  • I had a reoccurring summer job that consists of painting houses in the dry, desert heat of Nevada, and one thing I learned from that is that your boss is always cranky. This means that every mistake I made as an employee was like pricking him with a needle, and if I was able to own up to it early, be honest, and fix it quickly, he was much less aggravated and I was a lot less on edge. It makes the whole work environment a little more tolerable.

  • I think this is a crucial lesson to learn, and not just in the job atmosphere. People make mistakes all the time in life, with family and friends, extracurriculars, and, obviously, in the working environment. When I was younger it was incredibly easy to blame anything else on my own mistakes. It was my sister’s fault, or an outside source happened and I just had to do it, anyone or anything but myself was to blame. I distinctly remember my father explaining to me that no one likes when you shift blame, it’s better for everyone when you take responsibility for your actions.

    After working in my first few jobs, I’ve found this could not be more true. When I have made mistakes, I immediately accept that I did it. In addition, I try to help think of solutions to my mistakes to give to my employer. I’ve found so few people have learned this, and that employers will appreciate you actually taking responsibility for your actions and initiative to find a solution.

    Another tactic I believe is essential that should be highlighted is where it says to focus on what you can do to not make your mistake again. Employers are very understanding of mistakes, it’s simply when you’re making the same ones over and over that they get frustrated. I believe after every mistake it is proactive to reflect on the situation and figure out what you did wrong, and what you should do to change it. Again, this is not just applicable to work, but all situations.

  • The first line states it perfectly. “Everyone makes mistakes.” I can be a bit of a perfectionist at times, and one of the biggest things I had to learn was that I would eventually make a mistake at work. I work in an office on my college campus doing basic work on the computer like creating spreadsheets or entering data.

    I usually finish all of my work in a timely manner, and rarely do I make mistakes. When I do make a mistake, I am quick to acknowledge it. When I first started working in the office, I was afraid to ask for help when I needed it, and that led to a few mistakes. I learned it is better to admit when I need help then to try to do things on my own. I believe taking responsibility for my work is extremely important. No matter what job I have. I plan to apply this even when I am a high school math teacher one day. I am a human. I make mistakes, but I will take ownership for my mistakes and learn from them.

  • Reading this article certainly has made me more optimistic about my career future. Something I very often worry about is making mistakes and how to handle the pressure a situation like that presents. It is a fact of life that everyone makes mistakes and that no one is perfect; what really matters is how we handle our mistakes, not that we made them in the first place. Of course, repeating the same mistake over and over becomes a problem, but making a mistake for the first time can actually act as a valuable learning experience.

    Making mistakes has always been something I have anxiety about, but utilizing these principles makes it seem a more manageable situation to find myself in. Rather than resenting the embarrassment or hassle that comes with making a mistake, I should try and take advantage of the situation and change the way I operate in order to avoid an encounter with the same problem on future occasions. This way, a more positive outcome can be reached, which may allow me to grow as a person rather than impeading that growth.

    This article is very instrumental in understanding how to handle making mistakes. I am extremely thankful I had this resource to utilize before going in to the work force so that I am prepared in how to handle any mistakes I may make. I now know to be open, honest, and cooperative when addressing and recovering form a mistake.

  • This is an aspect of my history as an employee that I found very difficult yet managed to handle well. I have made many mistakes as an employee (usually due to my poor memory), and I had the unpleasant experience of having to own up to my mistakes more times than I would’ve liked. However, I found that every time after the initial panic and stress, I would inform my supervisor in complete honesty, apologize, and accept responsibility for any repercussions. Every time my supervisor treated me with kindness and forgiveness. I have learned that we tend to make bigger deals out of errors than they usually are. If you own up to your mistake early on and show you truly are apologetic, but also show that you have LEARNED from your mistake, everything will generally turn out okay. I am just speaking from my experience, and it may be different for other people in different lines of work.

    Something important to also remember after making an error on the job, is to realize it doesn’t change your worth. I tend to be very hard on myself and blame my mistakes on my incompetence. But I have learned that that attitude of self pity gets you no where. Realize that you are human and mistake-prone. Just as you want your boss’s forgiveness, don’t forget to forgive yourself.

  • I worked at a medical supply company for a little over a year. I learned very quickly that every single word you type or say affects your work with your clients and/or patients, even your coworkers. It’s easy to get frustrated and to mess up something when you have several parties telling you different things with other cases in mind. With our company, we were able to fix our mistakes as promptly as we could. It’s uncomfortable to tell your supervisors that you made a mistake but it is a lot better to admit this beforehand so you can save time and money to correct your mistake. It’s important to understand how you got to that mistake enable to deter repeating the same error and to show your boss you can get a handle on your position.

  • In high school of my junior year, I took culinary. There were a few times where we (the class) tried to produce a recipe and things did not turn out that way it was expected. One instance in particular, we were all making bread. I measured everything correctly but I forgot the yeast. It wasn’t until I read the instructions the second time that I found out what the warm water was used for, to activate the yeast.

    Every other ingredient had already been mixed so I was forced to start over. My mistake was moving too fast and not doing the most important step in remaking a recipe, READING. I explained to Chef Serrato what I did wrong and remade my dough correctly. We still made the bread without the yeast just to see what the difference would be. One tasted bland and did not rise while the other was a perfect loaf.

Find Jobs



WORK SMART

What would it be like to stop feeling blindsided by the job search process? To know what the person reading your resume you is thinking? To wake up feeling thrilled to be working for the company you want to work for? You can do it with our new book 'WORK SMART - How to Land a Job at a Great Company and Get Promoted'. Click here to get WORK SMART now.

Tell Us!

Have an interesting career story to tell about beating the odds? We’d love to hear it!

Find Jobs