Dealing With Work Failure


The word failure sounds so nasty. But even big career mistakes can be turned into successes. Setbacks and failures are inevitable in life, particularly in the workplace. But living in permanent fear of failure is as crippling as failure itself, if not worse. Learning how to cope with it is more productive than not, because if we avoid it we will end up being frightfully overwhelmed when faced with adversity. So what are the ways you can fail at work and how can you fix it?

The Fail: You Take The Fall For Someone Else’s Mishap

The Fix: Paper Trails Are Critical In A Professional Environment.

People often struggle to admit that they are wrong so it is imperative that you protect yourself by keeping an electronic track of every communication, especially when working on small group tasks. No matter how relaxed you are with colleagues, treat business relationships as just that: business. Your professional image is very precious. Fight to uphold it at all costs. What can take years to build needs only a fraction of a second to destroy. As firmly and as unemotionally as you can, set the record straight about who did what wrong. Don’t accept to be thrown to the wolves. This earns the professional respect even of those who tried to blame you for what you didn’t do.

The Fail: You’re In Over Your Head

The Fix: Real Simple; Ask For Help.

It is true that asking for help is a sensitive affair, but when done right, it’ll get the job done faster or better. In the long run, remember that the successful completion of a project means good things for the organisation as a unit. Success also creates an environment of camaraderie and good will. So when you feel stuck, instead of torturing yourself for hours, days or even weeks going round in circles, just admit that you need help.

The Fail: Worried You Will Never Be Good Enough

The Fix: Get Out Of Your Head.

The professional world is a scary, mostly anxious place to walk through, but it has to be borne. Always check yourself when you find that you are mainly living inside your worries. It’s tough to fight the biggest enemy of progress; the brain, but when you block or mute that negative voice screaming at you every morning when you are heading into the office, good things will start to happen. Tunnel vision occurs when you live in your head. It makes a simple problem look and feel like a tsunami. All it takes is a change of perspective and perhaps even scenery. Step back, breathe. Reassess everything about your current state; list the good and the bad, and the solutions to the seemingly unfixable may just pop out of the paper.

The Mistake: You Made A Very Sloppy Error

The Fix: Bite The Bullet And Fix It.

 There are no two ways about approaching this. Big noticeable mistakes translate to bad business and are therefore frowned upon severely. Sloppy mistakes happen when you let down your guard or get complacent in your role. It occurs when you’re doing something you already have the expertise in and the knowledge required to execute a task but end up doing it incorrectly because of loss of concentration. Granted, everyone makes tardy mistakes occasionally because we’re human after all, but when mistakes become the order of the day in the workplace, you become a liability rather than an asset. And in this case, what’s to stop your boss from showing you the door? Decent employees take responsibility for their mistake and admit them readily. They don’t make excuses for their mistake. They openly show that although they did mess up, they learned valuable lessons from the experience and going forward they would be the stronger for it.

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