6 steps to fix a mistake at work

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It is not easy to be a perfectionist. Yet, the IT sector is packed with them. The better an IT engineer, the more obsessed with perfection. Even though there is nothing wrong with being thorough, people who take it a little too far usually have a hard time dealing with mistakes. “We all make mistakes”, “It is only human to err”, “Only the ones who do nothing make no mistakes” - don’t even try, a frustrated IT engineer will not even listen. These well-known truths are no help especially when the bad news has already spread around the company and you feel like you are being pointed at with a finger. 

Mistakes DO happen to everybody. Of course, the idea is to try to avoid making them, but in case a mistake occurs - we suggest the following tips on how to neutralize it and reduce the damage to your self-esteem and your professional image. 

Fixing a mistake in 6 steps:

  1. Calm down. So you’ve made a mistake, you can’t undo it. The best thing to do now is to take a few deep breaths and let your emotions settle. Don’t beat yourself up.
  2. Tell your superior your version of the story. Explain what happened as objectively and thoroughly as possible.
    Take accountability for your mistake. Don’t deny it and never EVER try to blame it on other people. Slippery explanations and excuses will only damage your team’s or your boss’ opinion about you.
  3. If offered help or support - accept it. Don’t take it as a personal attack or a way to undermine your competences. 
  4. Turn the page. Once everything relevant has been said and the situation is back under control, there is no use crying over spilled milk. It’s time to go back to work at full speed and face new challenges.
  5. Learn from your mistakes. Draw your conclusions and make sure a similar mistake doesn’t happen again.

Each mistake is a lesson for the future. It is important to learn how to deal with them before they cause even deeper problems at work.

Don’t forget what they say: the greatest inventions were created by mistake ;)

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