Making mistakes can always leave your gut feeling tossed and turned, but when you make a mistake at work it just has you feeling tense the entire day. Mistakes are no fun and we totally understand how one mistake at work can leave you feeling like the world is about to end. On the bright side, there are ways to bounce back from a work mistake!

bounce back from a work mistake

You can learn from your work mistake and redeem your strong work ethic. Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes, but the key is how you bounce back from the mistake that helps keep your professionalism. Check out these 5 ways to help you keep your sanity and bounce back from a work mistake that you think could cost you your job.

Don’t Hide

Don’t try to ignore the mistake and bury it with other items! Owning up to your mistakes at your earliest convenience can help save yourself, whether you think so or not. It might be frightening to tell your boss that you were the one to lose or delete an important file, but it’s better to share with them sooner than later.

In many cases, there are multiple files saved in different locations due to things happening so the sooner you share the mistake was done the sooner a resolution can happen. Whatever you have to do to fix the mistake, it’s best you do it. Also, try to do it to the best of your ability because your leaders and colleagues will see how serious you take correcting a mistake.

Stay Calm

Staying calm is the absolute best thing you can do after a mistake is made, and while fixing your mistake. Keep repeating to yourself positive affirmations like “I’ve got this” while working through the issue. Bosses tend to freak out at high levels and you won’t be able to bring them to a level head if you are freaking out too.

Keeping your composure and showing that you can fix the mistake sets the tone that you work well under pressure. If you want to keep your boss from freaking over the mistake, it’s important to keep your cool and stay level headed until the dust settles. Not to mention, when the mistake is remedied and forgotten about, your actions are what will be remembered.

Be Prepared

Once you know a mistake has been done, be prepared to have a chat with your boss to keep them in the loop. Before going into their office or having a conversation with them, prepare a plan or a suggestion to try to fix the mistake.  You can offer to work late to reverse the mistake or call up the client to personally apologize for the mistake. 

Being prepared to take ownership and find a solution shows your boss that you aren’t lazy and you’re willing to take responsibility instead of pushing it on to someone else. Stay ready so you won’t ever have to get ready, which in work term means expect the worst but wish for the best!


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Show you’re still capable

Actions speak louder than words, so if a work mistake is made, show your boss that you are capable of handling tasks given to you whether big or small. Of course, when the moment happens it’s as if time stopped and everyone is staring at you. Everyone makes mistakes, so bounce back!

Rebuild your manager’s trust by guaranteeing your work ethic is just as strong and take on projects to help rebuild that trust. Simply start with easy projects and work your way back to the level you were at. Small moves can go a long way and before you know it your boss will have forgotten about that simple mistake.

Don’t label yourself

The first thing we do when we make a mistake is label ourselves as a failure. It’s unfortunate we do that to ourselves, but we have to come to a place in our minds and hearts to know that no one is perfect and mistakes happen more often than we think.

Dramatizing the mistake into something bigger only leads to more mistakes getting done in a day. Everyone in the office has messed up at least once or twice. You aren’t the first and most definitely won’t be the last. Know that mistakes will happen and be careful to not blur the lines of being someone who always makes mistakes.

Related: 6 Ways to Advance Your Career


Your job should be taken seriously; it’s your livelihood and source of income. So, when a work mistake is made it’s not great to dwell on the mistake. You’re human and your colleagues can understand the daily stress employment can put on a person. As long as you don’t let the mistake define you, you’ll be just fine and that small mistake will be forgotten before you know it.

Have you ever made a mistake at work? What tips would you like to share with the CGS community? Check out our Facebook page and engage with fellow CGS members. Also, like and comment on our Instagram posts and stories we love hearing from you all. Lastly, don’t forget our Twitter account, all accounts can be found @citygirlsavings.

The CGS Team

Taelor CageContent Contributor