Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes. They occur often and can be cleaned up easily. If you are like me,
it can be easy for you to fixate on your mistakes and overthink what the occurrence of a mistake
means. Recently, I forgot to show up for my shift at work. I just got a new job working as a
student receptionist on campus, so I have been adjusting to my new schedule. It completely
slipped my mind that I had to work that day because at my previous job I didn’t work on
Mondays. I completely freaked out when I realized, two hours after my shift had ended, that I
didn’t show up to work and it was my second week on the job. I Instantly thought I was a terrible
employee and that I was sure to get fired the next day. After my initial freak out, I had to level
my thinking and mend the situation. Mistakes are completely okay; however, things turn sour
when you don’t attempt to correct your path and communicate with those who were affected.
Here are some steps that I took recently to correct the mistake that I made:
1. Don’t try to hide your mistakes
Making a mistake can feel embarrassing and shameful, but there is so much power in standing
firm in your mistake and owning up to where you went wrong. It is important to not shy away
from your errors because then you won’t learn how to not do the same thing again. In addition,
as much as everyone wants to seem as though they are perfect, we are human. So, being open
about your mistakes creates an open environment for others to feel comfortable to make and
share their mistakes.
2. Communicate often and early
I immediately began to write an email to my boss as soon as I calmed down from my initial
shock. I wanted her to know that it was not my intention to forget and that I sincerely apologized
for my mistake. I could’ve waited till the next day, when I had my next shift, to apologize, but I
knew that time would allow for misperceptions about the situation to creep in. You don’t want
people to lose their trust in you, so it is important to communicate clearly what happened on your
side of the situation and own up to your actions. However, do not obstruct your apology by
providing excuses for your mistakes. It puts a dent in your credibility.
3. Time to try again!
The most important part of the process is to take what you learned and try again! After emailing
my boss, I brainstormed some precautionary steps I could take so that I wouldn’t forget about
work again. I updated my work schedule in my calendar, since this was a task, I had been
procrastinating for a while. In addition, I set reminders for myself so that I could receive a
notification when I had a shift coming up. Like I said, there can be a lot of shame in making
mistakes, but there is so much more power when you are intentional to correct them! Looking
back at it, I am glad that my situation happened because now I feel more organized and
comfortable communicating with my boss when I make a mistake.
Always give yourself some grace when you make a mistake. They don’t define who you are or
measure what you’re capable of doing. The greatest lessons can occur from mishaps. Honestly, I
think Hannah Montana said it better than I ever could: everyone makes mistakes, everyone has