Sometimes we just mess up–big time–at work. Maybe you got drunk at an office party, or perhaps you said something inappropriate in front of a client. Now, your reputation at work has been badly damaged. Dont despair, the situation is most likely fixable–with a few steps. Most importantly, you should not go into hiding.
Showing up to the office the day after a fiasco of scandalous behavior or other form of embarrassment in front of your coworkers is potentially one of the most painful experiences you may have to endure at some point in your working life, notes Valerie Streif, a senior advisor with thementat .com, a San Francisco-based hiring organization.
But no matter how difficult, you have to address the issues straight on, otherwise, your reputation will be permanently shot. And this can severely damage your career. Your reputation is as relevant as your input; you need to always learn from every mistake. A recurring bad reputation leads to resignation, bad records, recommendations and references, so you might want to turn those red flags into green lights, Ubani Samuel of international entertainment site OneJamzNetwork .com points out.
So how can you repair your reputation? Follow these 5 steps:
1. First, own up to your mistake. Realize this has happened, that the deed has been done, says Samuel. Accept that you have faulted and clear your mind.
2. Show up. Even though you may want to call in sick to lay low and give the tension an extra day to settle, your absence in the office will make everything even worse. Whether your embarrassment is because you drank way too much at the holiday party, or you crossed a line in a meeting, being present the following workday is an essential step in preventing your reputation from being damaged any further. As far as how you are in the office, once you’re at work, it may be a good idea to avoid unnecessary conversation with coworkers for a few days, until things settle down, to avoid stirring any questions and further stimulating the rumor mill, explains Streif.
3. Say you’re sorry. When required, apologize. You don’t need to drop to everyone’s feet and beg for forgiveness, but a few genuine apologies and showing that you recognize that you were out of line can go a long way, explains Streif. People will see that you are conscious of the fact that you made a mistake, and will be far more willing to move on and let things go rather than if you carried on as if nothing happened. That can send a red flag to people that you may not be aware of the consequences of your actions (hint, sociopathic behavior in some cases…). But once youve made your apologies, dont overcompensate for your misdeed. Move on and don’t dwell on it. People who apologize too much or try to overcompensate for their mistakes create more of a problem than they had in the first place. Accept that everyone screws up and does things out of character that leaves stains on their reputations. It won’t ruin your life, so get over it and don’t obsess, advises Streif.
4. Make a change. Change your behavior. Whatever you did that caused you embarrassment, figure out what steps you need to take to make sure it never happens again. Improve yourself, offers Streif.
5. Dont make the same mistake again…and again. Learn from your mistakes. If you don’t allow yourself to learn from the mistakes you’ve made, you’ve wasted them. Don’t let your mistakes go to waste! Mistakes can be the absolute best teachers, and keys to your future success, suggests business and personal efficiency expert Dawn Roberts, owner/entrepreneur of consulting company Dawn Roberts Consulting. ?