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Mistakes at Work

What to Do If You Make a Mistake at Work

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Everyone makes mistakes, they say. Usually you can correct your error or just forget about it and move on. Making a mistake at work, however, can be more serious. It may cause problems for your employer and even affect the company's bottom line. Repercussions will ultimately trickle down to you. Simply correcting your mistake and moving on may not be an option. When you make a mistake at work your career may depend on what you do next.

Admit Your Mistake: Tell your boss about your mistake immediately. The only exception is if you make an insignificant error that will not affect anyone. Otherwise, don't try to hide your mistake. You will look terrible if someone else discovers it.

Present Your Boss With a Plan To Fix Your Mistake: When you go to your boss to confess your mistake, you must have a plan for correcting it. Present your plan clearly. Tell your how long it will take to implement your plan and if there are any costs involved.

Don't Blame Anyone Else for Your Mistake: Pointing fingers won't help anyone if you make a mistake. Encourage those who may share responsibility to follow your lead in confessing to your boss.

Apologize for Your Mistake But Don't Beat Yourself Up: There's a big difference between admitting your mistake and beating yourself up about it. Take responsibility but don't berate yourself for making it, especially in public.

Correct Your Mistake on Your Own Time: If you have to spend extra hours at work to correct your mistake, don't expect to be paid for that time. You can also use your lunch hour or come into work early.

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