5 Common Career Mistakes (and How to Recover From Them)

Not many people reach professional success without a few blunders along the way. Little mistakes come with being human, and can usually be forgotten unless they come in high volume. Great, big mistakes, on the other hand, come with big consequences and equally big learning opportunities.

Below are some common mistakes made on the job and our tips on how to recover with your reputation intact.

  1. You botch the project and let your team down

Nobody’s perfect, right? And you’re living proof because you just dropped the ball in a major way. When this happens, facing consequences might be unavoidable. But, how quickly and effectively you shift into damage control can make all the difference when your reputation is on the line.

Fess up right away, be genuine, and be part of the resolution. While it might be tempting to point fingers or list excuses – don’t! Demonstrate your commitment to the work by putting your ego aside and focusing on the solution.

  1. You’re in over your head

Displaying the right level of confidence in your own ability can open up opportunities for growth. But, eventually you have to catch up with your confidence and meet expectations. If you feel like you’re struggling to deliver, don’t wait until it’s too late to ask for help.

Manage expectations before the situation gets out of hand by having an honest chat with your superiors. If you feel ill-equipped to fulfill your responsibilities, consider engaging a mentor for guidance or looking into what training resources might be available.

  1. You let loose and your reputation suffered

When your personal reputation is called into question at work, it’s time to talk about values. A good employer will encourage you to have a fulfilling existence beyond your work life. At the same time, your employer will expect that your personal image aligns with the company values.

If the expectations don’t sit right with you, it might be time to find a new job. But, if remnants of your (maybe too colorful) personal life are affecting your professional reputation, it might be time to reassess what parts of your life are out in the open and how this can affect your career.

  1. You want out

When tensions start to build up at work, it is sometimes all too tempting to just walk out. When you’re thinking about quitting, don’t do anything rash. It’s not always a mistake to quit; just make sure you leave for the right reasons. And, don’t leave without a plan.

Be sure to have your next move confirmed prior to ending your current gig and give at least the standard two weeks’ notice. And on your way out, try to leave a positive last impression – with gratitude for the opportunity and those who helped you along the way.

  1. You’re a perfectionist

You’re being a perfectionist to avoid making mistakes, right? Well, you may not be doing yourself or your company any favors by doggedly living by the book.

Don’t be afraid to incite change and take calculated risks – the results just may surprise you. And should your well-planned leap of faith turn out to be wrong, you’ll have new information and insight which you can use to try again.

What were some of your biggest career mistakes and lessons learned? Don’t be shy! Share them in the comments below!

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