Although almost everyone has made some kind of mistake at work, these small mistakes usually won’t get you into too much trouble. However, if you do make a big mistake at work, not only could your job be in jeopardy, but you could also find yourself in trouble with the law. So for those mistakes that likely won’t wind you up in prison but could cause you to lose your job, what can do you to try to salvage the situation? To help with this, here are three things to do when you’ve made a sizeable mistake at work.
Understand Any Gossip Policies
It can be hard to contain or control gossip that circulates around work. However, many companies have gossip policies that could prove helpful to you when trying to minimize the visibility of your mistake. According to Dana Wilkie, a contributor to SHRM.org, gossip crosses a line when it’s concerned with safety, harassment, or people’s sex or race. So while you might not be able to get people to stop talking about your mistake in general, you may be able to speak to your HR representative about how to keep those you work with following the gossip policies laid out in your employee handbook.
Take The Consequences
Once your mistake has been seen, there will likely be some consequences for what’s been done. Depending on what the mistake was, the consequences might be natural, like having to fix the mistake, or they might be brought on by your boss. To show your regret for what’s happened, Adrian Granzella Larssen, a contributor to The Muse, recommends that you own the consequences for your actions and follow through with them without complaint. If you’re able to do this, you may be able to regain some of the respect that you might have lost through your mistake in the first place.
Try To Limit Your Stress
Making up for a mistake can be very stressful, especially if you’re unsure whether you’ll lose your job over it or not. In times like these, it’s going to be helpful to try to limit your stress. To do this, Harvey Deutschendorf, a contributor to Fast Company, suggests trying things like asking for help, taking some time for yourself to unwind, reconnecting with people outside of work, and just trying to gain some perspective on your life and career. Holding onto this stress could cause you to make future mistakes, which is something you’re going to want to avoid at all costs.
If you’ve made a mistake at work and are unsure how things will play out from here, consider using the tips mentioned above to salvage the situation and hopefully save your job in the process.