Even the most diligent worker can mess up from time to time. No matter how good you are at your job, you can have a bad day, and there are always mistakes to be made. As at least one quote in your high school year book probably says "It's not falling down that matters, it's getting back up", or something to that effect. Stuff happens. Sometimes it happens because of something you've done, something you've done wrong, or something you've omitted to do. You just have to find a way to deal with it and move on, because the world doesn't stop turning just because you f-ed up.
Redeeming yourself at work after you've messed up sometimes seems like an insurmountable feat. Especially because it can be embarrassing to be in the wrong and have to draw further attention to that. But that's being an adult: A state of near constant awkward responsibility taking. (And trying not to laugh at poo jokes in public.) Take it from someone who's made some blunders professionally: the sooner you deal with it, the sooner it's over and everyone forgets what you did. That's one of the wonderful things about work. Every day brings new accidents and stresses for you and your boss and co-workers, so it doesn't take long for your mistakes to get buried in other ordeals. Here's how you can redeem yourself after you mess up at work:
1. Own It
Don't pretend you didn't mess up or try to shirk responsibility for your mistake. Own up to it. Apologize for it if it's made someone else's life differently. The first step to redeeming yourself is showing your co-workers that you understand, you're willing to admit your faults, and do what it takes to fix the problem.
2. Ask For Help
Don't be afraid to ask your co-workers for help. For instance, if you messed up because of a blind spot in your understanding of something in the workplace, ask someone to help you understand better. Learning from your mistakes is the silver lining of making mistakes.
3. Be Proactive
Don't wait for the answers to come to you, find them yourself. Go out of your way to do things your job hasn't asked you to do yet, and look for your own pathways to cleaning up your mess. Being proactive will show everyone you work with you're committed to fixing your mistakes.
4. Implement Measures To Stop The Same Thing Happening Again
Once you've identified the "why" of your mistake, you can implement measures to make sure it doesn't happen again. It could be as simple as putting up a post it note with a reminder on your desk to remind yourself to do things differently next time.
5. Get On With Your Job
Don't put other aspects of your job on hold just because you messed up. Focusing on one mistake and redeeming it while sacrificing other work is just going to cause more mistakes. Don't let one mess up overshadow everything else you do at work.
6. Don't Let It Get You Down
On a personal note, don't let it get you down. Don't retreat into yourself at work. Keep speaking up, joking with your co-workers, coming up with creative ideas and suggestions. If you're constantly beating yourself up about one mistake it will reflect in your demeanor. Stay positive, and don't be too hard on yourself.
Images: blackCAT/E+/Getty Images; Giphy (6)