Making a mistake when you’re new on the job can be a nerve-wracking experience. No one wants to let down their new team, and mistakes can be embarrassing and difficult to rise above. The good news? No one expects you to be perfect when you’re new to a team, and one mistake won’t derail your entire career. If you’ve made a mistake at your new job, use these tips to overcome the blunder and move forward.
Keep It in Perspective
It’s easy to panic when you make a mistake and start imagining worst-case scenarios. However, the first step in overcoming a mistake is acknowledging it and keeping things in perspective. There are very few mistakes that cannot be corrected. The faster you move to resolve the situation, the easier the fix will be.
Acknowledge the Mistake
As soon as you realize you’ve made an error, take a few minutes to calm down; then tell someone what happened. Let your immediate supervisor know you made an error, accept responsibility (no matter how much you may think it wasn’t your fault), apologize, and develop a plan to fix the problem.
Be Part of the Solution
In some cases, another team member may have to correct the error, so volunteer to shadow that person so you understand the steps they take towards resolution. Involving yourself in the solution shows you want to learn from your mistake.
Plan for Next Time
Once things are fixed, look at the mistake and determine exactly where you went wrong. Then, develop a plan to ensure you do not make the same mistake twice. Your co-workers understand that as a new employee, you will make mistakes, but if you repeat those mistakes, they will question your competence.
Earn Back Trust
While everyone expects a new employee to make mistakes now and then, it can impact their willingness to trust you with similar or more complex tasks. The best way to earn back trust and prove you will not repeat the mistake is to deliver work that consistently exceeds expectations. If you quickly establish you are competent and capable, one little mistake will be quickly forgiven and forgotten.