Nope, you don’t need to pack your knives and go…at least if you listen to the advice of our new columnists, Mika Brzezinski and Daniela Pierre-Bravo.
The two savvy career gurus and authors of Earn It!: Know Your Value and Grow Your Career, in Your 20s and Beyond are here to salvage even the cringiest office mistakes. Read on for their priceless advice.
Q: “DURING MY FIRST MONTH AS AN ACCOUNTANT, I MADE A TYPO—AND CHARGED A CLIENT $10,000(about R 143,124) INSTEAD OF $1,000(about R14314.10). HE WON’T LET IT GO, AND I HAVEN’T CONFESSED. IS IT TOO LATE?”
Mika: Well, that is a bad day. Even though time has passed, don’t pretend it didn’t happen in hopes that the client (or your boss!) will forget. Owning up to your mistakes, even now, will make people respect and trust you. It’ll be tough, but with hard work and attention to detail, you’ll turn this around.
Daniela: I’d also tell your boss that you’re going to implement some kind of triple-check plan that’ll prevent this from happening again. Oh, and bring cookies. Lots. Of. Cookies.
Q: “I’M A PHOTOGRAPHER, AND I ACCIDENTALLY DROPPED A REALLY PRICEY CAMERA DURING A SHOOT. EVERYONE WAS PISSED, TO SAY THE LEAST. WHAT DO I DO NOW?”
Mika: Sh*t happens. It’s about moving through these moments with grace. If you can afford it, offer to replace the equipment. They might not take you up on it, and it shows that you want to do the right thing.
Daniela: You’re human, so try not to take their response personally. Apologize profusely, and next time you see them, stand up and engage in small talk without bringing up the camera. If they see you’ve moved on, they will too.
Q: “I STARTED MY FIRST-EVER JOB HUNGOVER FROM COLLEGE GRADUATION. AND WHEN MY NEW BOSS ASKED ME TO SHARE A FUN FACT, I SAID I’D PARTIED ALL WEEKEND AND SLEPT THROUGH THE CEREMONY. I’M STILL CRINGING.”
Mika: You should be cringing. Never brag about screwing up!
Daniela: Mika’s right, but don’t beat yourself up. Instead, just prove to them that you’re not a party girl whenever there’s a work situation involving alcohol, like your holiday party or a happy hour. Your strategy: Have one drink—or nothing at all. It’ll shift their perspective of you.
This post first appeared in Cosmopolitan US.
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