If you’ve been employed for any length of time, you’ve likely made a work-related misstep along the way. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s blog post “Mistakes Happen: Lean on Your Professional Community and Recover From a Career Fumble,” “55% of all professionals admit to having made an interview or career fumble.”
So whether you forgot to respond to a client email, missed a critical deadline or showed up unprepared for a job interview, you’re not alone. Even more important to know: You can recover!
This is helpful information for cancer patients and survivors, in particular — some of whom seem to hold themselves to a higher standard in terms of performance and perfectionism on the job, when returning to work or when looking for a new position.
Below are some of the steps outlined in the LinkedIn article that can help you bounce back from a career blunder.
Offer an apology. As soon as you recognize your error, take ownership of it and apologize. If there’s a typo in your pitch letter to a key prospective client — or in your post-interview thank-you note — acknowledge it right away. According to LinkedIn, “apologizing and sending a correction shows that you are accountable and able to recognize and fix mistakes as they occur.”
Ask for advice. If you’re unsure of how to address your misstep, ask for guidance from those in your professional network. A supervisor, colleague or mentor are all appropriate sources for advice on how to fix or manage the situation. If you find that you’re feeling particularly stressed or emotional regarding what happened, it might help to speak with a social worker.
Commit to “fixing” the error. After you’ve assessed the mistake and apologized for it, the next thing you need to do is determine how to avoid repeating it. “Many professionals say the best way to recover from a fumble is to educate yourself on the issue” and “commit to being better prepared next time around.” For example, if your blunder is related to an oversight that you believe is the result of “chemo brain,” there are simple things you can do to help improve your focus and avoid a similar situation in the future. If you took on too much at work and weren’t able to fully deliver, figure out how you can set appropriate boundaries so you don’t overextend yourself the next time your boss approaches you with a new project.
To read the full LinkedIn blog post, click here.
For tips on building a professional network that you can rely on, click here.
And for advice on how to prepare for an interview so that you feel confident and empowered (and are less likely to make a blunder), click here.