Recovering from a professional setback can be a challenge. Initially, you may just feel like giving up, quitting and finding a new job. Unfortunately, acting in this rash manner will only throw years of hard work down the drain. Instead, focus on reminding your colleagues why you’ve always been dependable and worthy of your position.
1. Admit your mistake. Forget about pretending nothing really happened or you didn’t make a mistake. Everyone knows you did and probably have gossiped about it at least once around the water cooler. Act like an adult and admit you’re wrong and should have made a different decision. Your openness will earn the respect of your peers.
2. Promise to do better. Recover from a professional setback by letting your boss know you plan on doing better. You understand where you messed up and know how to handle the particular task or project in the future. Apologize for making him look bad and then listen. Whether you agree or not, allow your boss to say his piece so you both can move on.
3. Be part of a solution. Did your error hurt your department or leave a looming problem? Offer to be part of the solution. Make calls. Stay late. Re-work the paperwork or presentation. Then, attempt to do what you should have done the first time around. You might be surprised to see how easily you’re forgiven if all goes well.
4. Lay low for a while. Sometimes, the best way to recover from a professional setback is to lie low for a while. This kind of strategy works best if your misdeed was an unforgettable outburst or argument at a meeting. Your quiet, reserved behavior will take some of the heat off of you. As a result, your peers will either forget about your bad behavior or think you turned over a new leaf. Whichever way they go, you’ll win.
5. Take on more work. Under a boss who’s all about the job? Get back in his good graces by taking on more duties. Do extra work to prove that you are reliable and efficient. Help your co-workers complete their assignments. In other words, show that you are valuable and that one big mistake hasn’t changed this about you.
These five suggestions can help you recover from a professional setback. Use them and get back on track. You can still achieve your goals and build a great career.
Also See: Ten Minute Stress Busters