Want A Better Life?

Last night while talking with my wife, she shared a comment that someone she knows often makes. The fellow said, “I’ve had a lot happen in my life.” This, apparently is what he says as a way of both explaining why his life isn’t that good and why it won’t get better either. Like people all over the world, this fellow has had his share of challenges, but it’s like he wears his as a badge of honour not choosing to actually make some changes and do things in the here and now that will alter his future for the better.

It struck me then as it does now, that it might be useful to talk about how to go about improving the future; your future. After all, it’s a safe bet you’d like yours to get better whether your past and present have been a series of disasters or quite good. There are some, many I suppose who actually like chaos and disappointment but let’s look to focus on making life a better one in the future for you.

So here’s some ideas to get you started. Share these with anyone you feel might benefit from reading them with my thanks.

  1. Change has to happen. If you want a different future than your past or present change must occur so see making changes as a good thing. This will take some getting use to and it may be uncomfortable at times when you do things differently. However, expecting a better future when you keep doing what you’ve always done hasn’t worked before and it won’t work now. Welcome changes.
  2. Make better decisions. Those changes I spoke of in point 1 can only happen if you make different decisions than you’ve typically made. The key is not only to make different decisions but better decisions. Again, these better decisions won’t always be easy or comfortable but you want a better life right?
  3. Take responsibility. This is your life, and it’s made up of your decisions in the past, the present and the future. Stop blaming your parents, family and friends, former bosses and co-workers for what life has ‘done’ to you. Stop giving them power over you and admit this is your life to live and yours to make. That’s empowering and with that power comes responsibility and accountability.
  4. Get help. If you had the necessary skills to make better decisions, it’s highly likely that you would have done so right? Yet, here you are wanting things better than they are which indicates you need some guidance and advice when it comes to both making those choices and support on the follow through.
  5. Move on. The thing about the past is that it is…well…the past. You can’t go back there, you can’t live there. Move on. Try walking forward down a sidewalk with your head facing backwards and you’ll run into a lot of obstacles. Turn your eyes forward and you can avoid those collisions. Look forward in life and move on.
  6. Learn and not re-live. Making the same mistakes over and over and re-living the errors of your ways isn’t productive. When things go wrong – and they will – learn what you can from the experience with the goal of making better decisions in the future when you find yourself in similar situations.
  7. Eliminate temptations. You might have good intentions but fall to temptations if you don’t remove yourself from what’s caused you problems up to now. So it could mean dropping friends who are bad influences, moving from a bad neighbourhood, clearing the house of the alcohol or the chocolate and fatty foods. You have to want your end goal more than your temporary fix.
  8. Set Goals. Know what you want in this better future you imagine. Picture that job, the ideal partner, a better apartment or condo, a clear complexion, a new set of teeth, no criminal record. Whatever it is, set a goal; maybe several that are meaningful to you personally.
  9. Develop plans. Goals don’t turn into reality without some planning. Again, get some help from someone you trust. Start with one of your long-term goals and come up with a plan that will eventually cut the things getting in your way of having this better future. Big problems will take time and a lot of effort. Small problems are easier addressed. Both big and small need attention.
  10. Commit to yourself. You’re going to have setbacks, make some spur of the moment decisions you regret but don’t pack in the, “I want a better future”, plan. When you have a setback, re-commit to yourself what you’re working towards and focus on what you’ve accomplished so far.
  11. Forgive. A big one. Don’t carry hate, anger and bitterness around with you because it’s not attractive, certainly doesn’t help you and always hinders you. Let it go and forgive those who harmed you, set you back, let you down and disappointed you. This is your life not theirs; you’re forgiving them because YOU’VE moved on.

Look it’s not going to be easy and few things in life that are worth having are. In fact, ‘easy’ hasn’t been your past life has it? Nor your current life? So, ‘easy’ has nothing to do with it. Yep, you’re going to have to work for what you want and all that’s going to do is make you proud of yourself when you get it. It’s your call.

THE Key To Successful Change

Perhaps the single thing defining whether you will ultimately be successful or not when it comes to both finding a job and advancing in your career is the degree to which you take full responsibility for your circumstances.

I am convinced that taking personal responsibility for what happens in your future gives a person a huge advantage over the person who is in a similar situation but tends to blame others. Here’s how I see it…

When we are very young, we have no control over the families we are born into; be they upper, middle or lower class. We can’t control whether our parents have superior or inferior parenting skills, the part of town our parents raise us in – in fact we can’t even control whether we grow up in a town, city or the country. When we are in school, how we are raised by our parents and the atmosphere in our homes can be supportive or not. If our parents don’t see much value in school; if there is constant tension, open yelling and fighting etc., none of this is going to really help the child trying to do their best.

Of course we also have no control over whether we are raised by two parents, a single parent or whether or not our parent(s) are employed or not. Yes there are a lot of things beyond the control of a young and growing child. These years are critically important to getting off in life to a good start or not and there can be no doubt about this. The things we value are largely shaped early in life, what we learn or fail to learn, what we are exposed to or sheltered from.

As we develop, there come times when all of us start to test our independence and grow. We start to think for ourselves, make our own choices and learn that for all the decisions we make there are consequences; some good and some bad. Some of us learn to rely on ourselves when we are far too young to have to do so out of necessity. Unfortunately there are some parents that wash their hands of the responsibility that comes with being a parent; and kids that should be playing and having fun have lost their childhood and are thrust with the responsibility of looking out for younger sisters and brothers when they themselves are barely in their teens.

I get therefore that all of us arrive at being an adult with a varied past. And don’t think for a second that having every advantage early on in life guarantees a person will turn out just fine. There are plenty of examples of this in the news on a daily basis!

The thing is however that each and every day when we get up in the morning, we have this wonderful gift of having choices to make. The choices we make are, with rare exception, ours to make alone and like I’ve said earlier, each of these choices has consequences. Look, I work daily with people who are out of work. Almost all of them when asked will say they want to work, but it is their actions which reveal truthfully whether or not they are prepared to take responsibility for ultimately being successful or not.

I’ll give an example of two fellows I met recently. Both are unemployed, in their 40’s, with no computer skills. While the one fellow signed up and is taking an introductory computer class, the other decided not to attend. The reason the guy gave for not attending is that he didn’t have a computer to use at home and as no one was going to give him one, what was the point? Just an excuse for not taking the class perhaps, but there he is, refusing to learn the self-help skills which would give the ability to compete for employment better, and pointing the finger at others for not giving him a computer in the first place. The first guy as it turns out doesn’t have one either, but he plans to get one once he learns the skills needed, and until then is happy to use a library, the resource centre and ones owned by others in his extended family.

You find yourself here in the present largely based on the decisions you’ve made in the past. You can’t change those decisions any more than you can change how you were raised. You can however, decide to change your future if you’d like, and it starts with taking responsibility for what happens from today moving forward. This is after all your life to live as you choose. If you continue to make similar choices and decisions, your life will largely stay fairly much the same. If you take responsibility for your life and want a future different from your present circumstances, you have to make different choices that will bring about different outcomes.

So change can be good. Change will involve a struggle to learn some new things; you will be tempted to revert back to your old habits and your old ways which will seem the easier thing to do. There will be times; you’ll wonder why you don’t give up. Stick with your plans for change however, take responsibility for your future, and you’ll create opportunities for yourself that only you can bring about.

Feeling Pressured?

You’ve probably heard somewhere along the way that life is a journey? I imagine so, or some other analogy such as life being thought of as an adventure, etc. Whether you use the word, ‘journey’ or ‘adventure’, both suggest movement; heading from one place to another. So who is plotting the course in your travels? Is anyone behind the wheel or are you aimlessly floating along being sent off in numerous directions based on how the wind blows?

Some misconstrue this idea of Life being a journey meaning they aren’t really living unless they go out and physically travel the world. Whether you are a jet-setter visiting different time zones or countries on a regular basis or someone who has never been out of your town of birth, you’re still on that journey.

But I want to talk about things from a more personal perspective and at a different level. Forget for a moment the idea of physical travel to far away places, and let’s look at the regular day-to-day existence. In your daily life, who is calling the shots? For example why are you in the kind of work you are now, or looking for a certain kind of employment? Did you choose the job because it was expected of you by someone else? Did you make the consciousness choice on your own because it presented itself as something you wanted to do?

For many people, parents are one of our earliest guides. We take for granted they know what’s best for us, they steer us along helping us grow up. Some parents give their kids at some point the freedom to make their own choices and with that, the consequences of those decisions in order to prepare them for bigger decisions later in life. Other parents do everything for their kids and make all the decisions, which can ill-prepare those same kids as adults later on who haven’t developed those decision-making skills and the responsibility for the consequences that follow.

Conflict can happen when family members put pressure on a young adult to, “do something with your life”, and comments like, “you should have figured things out by now” made to a 21-year-old are really value judgement statements. These can be detrimental because they come across as negative assessments of the person. You haven’t figured out at 21 what you should be doing for the next 40 years therefore you are a failure; a disappointment, somehow faulty.

The same kind of feelings – not measuring up in some way – can occur when a person compares themselves to friends or other family members. “Why can’t you be more like Brenda? Brenda has a great job, she’s a real go-getter, and I hear she’s expecting!” Or the classic, “Why can’t you be more like your big brother?” Ouch. The only thing that might be worse is if you are being compared to a younger not older sibling.

In trying to please everyone you may please no one, and that can lead to poor self-esteem. If the people closest to us who know us best all see us as a disappointment and underperforming, then maybe it’s true; we are. That leap in thought is dangerous and wrong.

Your life is, well…YOUR life. I’ve always thought the role of parents is to help their children when they are young develop some life skills. In teaching their children as they grow with small decisions and consequences, exploring choices etc., they then can consider themselves to have done a good job of parenting if the children can then go out into the world and continue to take responsibility for their own choices. Certainly most parents want their children to succeed, but being successful can have many meanings.

So are you living your life or the life someone else wants for you? Are you in University or College because it was determined by someone else that you would pursue a certain career? If you enter school for one career but learn about others are you free to switch your major and go after a different degree leading to a different career or job? Would you parents approve if you announced you were going to be an Electrician instead of a Nurse?

There is in my opinion, too much pressure on young adults to have the next 30 or 40 years all mapped out. Your early years as an adult is a great time to experience many jobs, learn about work you didn’t even know existed, dream a little, try things; some that will work out and some that won’t. Even jobs that you thought you’d enjoy but find out you don’t are still valuable experiences. I really think any work you do be it paid or volunteer will at some point down your road pay off and give you a richer appreciation or understanding later in life, and that makes it useful.

Sure it’s good to talk with people: parents, guidance counsellors, career advisors, friends, teachers etc. All the advice and suggestions you’ll get could be helpful. In the end however, finding your own way – whether it’s by design or accident is still your way and it’s perfectly okay.

Trial and error, falling and getting back up, falling again, rising again, getting hired, maybe fired, rejected and accepted; that’s the journey. And if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.




This ‘Resume Expert’ Goofs Up

Every now and then I am gently reminded that I’m human and making an error is not out of the question. This is a good thing I tell myself if no one is adversely affected and I can learn from the experience. And so today my colleagues and much-appreciated readers, I would like to share my latest mix up.

It was just before Christmas and I was sitting down with a woman who had come into a resume writing class for help. On that day, it turned out that we only had four clients and we had four staff available so we opted to go one-on-one instead of a formal group presentation. So there I was sitting with this woman as I say, spouting off my accumulated expertise and feeling pretty grand about how much she herself was getting out of it.

Now she didn’t have much working experience being in her early twenties, and it was a challenge to put together a strong resume with the limited jobs she has held to date. One of those jobs was stocking and facing products in a store overnight so the shelves were ready for customers the following day. I get this job, I understand what’s involved, and I spun the two bullets I’d written for her into useful transferable skills. “Well done”, I may have said to myself that day – although I honestly can’t say I said it for sure.

So it was with horror and amusement that I saw just yesterday afternoon what I had actually put on that resume when she stood before me and pointed out the error I’d made. Yes folks, there it was in all it’s black and white glory, plain as day and you can laugh out loud if you want. The job title read, “Night Stalker” instead of “Night Stocker.”

Well I couldn’t believe it. We had both joked about this very thing on that day we’d first met. Here I had actually typed it in and both of us had overlooked it in the proofreading. Yep, me the big ‘resume expert’; the guy who takes pride in his work and is constantly advising others to have an, ‘expert’ look over your resume for errors – yep I goofed up. “You haven’t actually handed this out anywhere have you?”, I asked in horror. Thankfully the answer was that she had not. “Whew!”

So no real harm done beyond my smarting ego and we both had a good laugh. It had the potential to cost her a job interview had she sent it out somewhere by now, and for once I was glad somebody hadn’t used it right away. I obviously apologized and corrected it for her and the copy we retain for our own records. Night stalking is a job you don’t actually need a resume for anyhow. I wonder if night stalking goes in the job description of a private eye, pest control technician or burglar?

Here’s why I’m sharing this with you really. First and foremost I think it’s healthy to share our mistakes with each other which keeps us humble. My intent for the immediate future is to improve my final proofreading and also to use this story when helping others so they themselves don’t rely on other people solely to review their work. If your name is on the top of a document that someone else wrote up for you, you yourself have to be accountable and responsible for whatever is on it just as this lady did.

I’m also sharing my error with you in an effort to illustrate that mistakes are going to happen. Yes despite our best efforts, you and I are both going to error from time-to-time and it’s more what we do when the errors come to light than the error’s themselves depending on the scope of what we’ve tripped ourselves up on. I got lucky here as it is just my reputation and pride that got slightly dinged. I can live with this.

Sometimes however, the errors we make can also work to our favour. In this case I feel fortunate that this brought her back into the Centre where I work, and it gave me the opportunity to touch base with her. She still really appreciates the overall resume, and it is far better and stronger than what she had when we first met. How I responded to her by immediately owning the error I’d made, allowed her to just see the humour along with me. Had I somehow blamed her for not proofreading it better herself or blamed the noise around us etc. she might have actually thought less of me yesterday.

I admit this is a small error in the grand scheme of things. If you error and people suffer for it, or a company loses a great deal of money over it, the stakes for you personally can be huge. However it is the measure of a person in how quickly they own up to their errors and face the consequences that is important. Mistakes can cost us our jobs and sometimes damage our reputations, but flaws in our character by lying about things or denying responsibility tend to stick much longer and do more long-term damage.

When you goof up – and you will, I pray that your mistake is as small and easily fixed as mine.

You Can Only Blame Others For So Much

You’ve witnessed it yourself I bet; saw someone do something they are clearly responsible for and then listen to them lash out at other people around them demanding someone else take responsibility for their mistake. Examples are when a person pumps the wrong gas in their car and then blames the attendant whose inside the station for not stopping them; or the person who orders their food, gets exactly what they ordered and then insists that’s not in fact what they meant when they ordered.

When it’s someone else, it’s so easy for us to see that the person is denying any responsibility, and we may just want to tell them to stop blaming other people for their situation. So isn’t it just as likely that you – you and I – we’ve blamed others for things we are responsible for? Of course it is. And other people around us likely shake their heads and mutter things like, “Suck it up”, “Deal with it”, or “Grow up”. And that last one, “Grow up”, implies that when we take responsibility for our situation, we actually grow; we become wiser. Hmmmm…who’d have thunk?

Now the last thing I want to be appearing to advise is that you should blame yourself for your current situation. In fact, I don’t want you to play the blame game at all. Because whether it’s you or someone else, pointing the finger and assigning blame doesn’t do a thing to change your present situation or your future. All assigning blame does is identify the person or people responsible for the past. And living in the past isn’t productive. Just try walking in any direction with your feet going forward and your head turned looking behind you. Great view of what’s behind you, but you’re smart enough to know you’re going to bump into things so you pivot your head instinctively. Good call.

So here you are in the here and now. This is your life be it great, average or poor. You can’t control what others think, who will offer you a job, who will rent an apartment to you, which company will grant you an interview, or whether or not someone will rob you of all your life savings. These things are beyond your personal control, but not beyond your ability to take action and influence an outcome.

So you can apply for work with a solid resume or CV and increase the odds of getting an interview, you can practice your interview skills and do your research so you increase the odds of getting a job offer. You can provide references, look neat and tidy, and increase the odds of getting approved for an apartment, and you can change your passwords and install a home security system reducing the odds of being robbed of your life savings.

One of the most significant and life-changing things you can do if you haven’t done so already, is change what’s going on between your ears. I’m serious. When you make the mental shift in thinking, and take responsibility for things that are in fact you’re doing, you realize suddenly that just as you are responsible for some of the so-called bad things in your life, you are equally now responsible for the good things that can come your way. YOU and you alone have the capacity to bring about change in your life.

Change starts with your own attitude, where yes, you assume the full responsibility for the present and the future. Many people don’t want this responsibility because taking it on fully means if things don’t work out perfectly, they can’t blame anyone else, and they actually want to be able to do this to preserve their fragile sense of self. As long as they can blame someone else for something like losing their money at the racetrack, (stupid horse!) it’s not their fault. This issue of finding fault is actually the problem as I see it.

In the beginning of this mental shift, things will probably not work out all that well. You’ll have many moments of saying to yourself, (sigh) “I’m responsible”. However, make some good decisions – one of which could be to get help making big decisions from people you respect – and you’ll be saying to yourself, (now standing slightly erect with head held higher) “I’m responsible for this!” and you’ll feel empowered and positive. String together a few good decisions that you feel personally responsible for and you’re establishing a pattern. Establish a pattern and your decisions get better because you learn what to look for when confronted with choice and you make consistently better decisions.

Ever notice how some people get loud when they blame others for something they know deep down they are responsible for? Their often just mad at themselves but have a hard time admitting it.

You aren’t responsible in any way for where you were born, the family you were born into, or much of your early life. If you were victimized – possibly abused – you certainly are not responsible for that either. However, here…right now…you are responsible for what you do with this day, and tomorrow. How will you spend your day?

The choices you make; the ones we all make, have consequences. Consequences need not be bad or heavy, they can be positive and give you reason to feel positive and proud of the outcome – and you’ll have all the credit because you assumed 100% responsibility for it!

Take The Responsibility

Okay so you’re unemployed; what are YOU doing about it?

I was speaking recently with a woman who is currently unemployed and in order to get an idea of her background and current situation, I asked her to share her work history. Well she started to tell me about her last job and mentioned she had been fired, but quickly explained that away by saying she wasn’t very happy there anyway so it was no big deal. Prior to that, she had worked for a company for about 2 years, and coincidently she was fired from there too but the boss was a jerk so it was actually a good thing. The job before that was only a month-long, and it didn’t work out. “Why?” I asked. “They wanted me to wear a hairnet and I wouldn’t do it so they fired me”. Idiots.”

Do you see the same pattern I do? The person I was trying to help couldn’t or wouldn’t take any responsibility for her own actions, which ultimately resulted in her being fired from all three jobs. You’ll have to trust me when I tell you that the details she provided on all three came down to being asked to do reasonable things that she objected to, and therefore left the employer with no options but to terminate her employment.

It is not only a good idea, but absolutely critical that you – yes you the reader – take responsibility for your actions, your words, your thoughts and your decisions. That goes for me too by the way. It goes for anyone and everyone. Everyday we make all kinds of choices; some of those choices are relatively small and some huge. Should we have toast or cereal? Should I wear my hair up or down? Brown casual socks or brown dress socks? Pretty minor decisions without ramifications down the road.

Then too there are the big decisions. Go to work today or goof off? Keep calm with an irate customer or give him a piece of my mind too? Show up on time or show up when it’s convenient for me? It comes down to picking your battles, making decisions that will positively affect your career, choosing to do the things required to keep a job or not. It’s not even about what is common sense. Unfortunately there are all kinds of people out there who grew up with poor role models from which to learn from, and what seems like common sense to them isn’t mainstream common sense. For example I had a guy once tell me that he punched his boss in the face because the boss told him to go home earlier than he had expected; there just wasn’t enough work to keep him for the rest of the day. Seemed like the right thing to do for him but it wasn’t.

All the decisions you make have consequences. Some of those consequences might have a long-lasting impact on your life. Deciding to do something illegal and getting busted will potentially cost you job opportunities for years. How many years? I know of at least a dozen people who are totally qualified to accept employment in various jobs who cannot be hired due to a 25 year or more DUI charge. They get annoyed and say it was something every teenager does, so why should I pay for it now? Again, not taking responsibility for the offence, and quite frankly not taking the responsibility to do something about it over the course of 25 years or more.

So you are out of work. Fine. How motivated are YOU to DO something about it? Take some responsibility for your current situation and get going. Update your resume, practice your interview skills, take a course, start the pardon process, call somebody you are on bad terms with and start mending the relationship, apply for a job, write a cover letter. Maybe you might want to see an Employment Counsellor, a Mental Health Counsellor, an Addicitions Counsellor, a Literacy Tutor, get your grade 12, update your First Aid / CPR certificate, your WHMIS certificate, your computer skills.

An interviewer might look at your resume and ask what you’ve been doing since you were last employed. Think about that question NOW and ask yourself the same question. What am I doing about things NOW? Sitting at home on the couch, feeling sorry for yourself and mopping around criticizing the world and blaming everybody else for your situation isn’t healthy and it sure isn’t going to land you a job. Obviously not all unemployed people fall into this category. Most in fact, take responsibility for their actions and are actively involved in doing what they can to gain employment.

If you haven’t been taking responsibility for your situation of late, pause and think about that. Sure some things are beyond your control. Being laid off because of a shortage of work, being terminated because the company closed up altogether are two examples of things no individual employee can control. Fine. However, there’s a difference in the out-of-work employee who rolls up his or her sleeves and throws themself into a job search, and the employee who wallows day-to-day lamenting being fired by idiots. Responsibility vs. Lack of Responsibility.

By the way, you may have the makings of an exceptionally unique and effective interview answer if you get going and own up to a few things. Consider this reply to the question,

“So what have you been doing in the two years since you last worked?”

“I’m happy to relate that briefly. Initially I was angry, resentful and blamed everybody but myself for losing job after job. Then I decided to take some personal responsibility for my situation and that decision has led to some pretty significant changes. I’ve recently completed the last remaining course I needed to achieve my Legal Administration Diploma. I’ve also been volunteering on a regular basis for the past six months with a Community Legal Clinic, and have updated my First Aid/CPR Certificate. More importantly, I’ve adjusted my attitude, and improved my self-respect and self-confidence. I am now ready to work, take direction and demonstrate my appreciation to an employer who is willing to invest in me and give me the opportunity to support myself financially.”

All the best to you today!

When You Mess Up

Everybody makes mistakes. When you make an error, what’s your first thought? Do you immediately take responsibility for it? Perhaps you try to cover it up before anyone notices. Maybe you wait and see if someone will even notice or perhaps take responsibility for it themself. Worse yet, are you one of those people who intentionally try to blame others for your errors?

Okay so some mistakes are bigger than others and some by consequence have more financial implications. While that’s true, taking responsibility early for mistakes – ESPECIALLY THE BIG ONES – shows you to be a person of integrity. Now I know what you might be thinking; “If I get fired for admitting I goofed up, at least I’ll have my integrity! I should have kept my big mouth shut and lost my integrity but kept my job!”

Owning up to errors is part of the growing experience. A good Supervisor or Manager will only put an employee in a position that they are able to succeed or possibly fail with calculated risks that the company can survive. For example, if you are being asked to head up some promotional campaign for a new product of one of your company’s clients, you can safely assume somebody higher up in the organizational chart thinks you can do the job. After all, the don’t want to lose the client now do they? Not only do they think you can do the job, but if there are regular meetings along the way scheduled to check on your ideas and your progress, input from the client or senior personnel can act as safeguards to ensure the end product is in line with what the client will be happy with.

The more responsibility you are given, the more you probably have earned it, and that’s something to be proud of. Newer junior employees often start out with very limited responsibility because if they make errors, others around them can catch them in time, minimize the impact on the organization and hopefully the person learns from the experience.

And more than anything else, LEARNING FROM YOUR MISTAKES is really a fabulous way to grow as an individual and position yourself to move on and up in an organization. Most of the people at or near the top of an organziation have made considerable mistakes in their rise, but they were able to learn the lessons along the way, and minimized repeating the same error. For this reason, it’s helpful to at some point pause and think about an error you made and consider where in the decision-making or implementing phase something started to go wrong. Maybe you didn’t bring in the right people on a project. Perhaps a miscalculation in a budget, a formula, an estimate etc. is where the error occurred.

One of the worst things anyone can do however, is fail to acknowledge their error when it has a direct impact on clients or customers. Should a customer bring some issue to your attention directly, there is usually but not always, an initial window of opportunity where you can appease and perhaps even please the customer or client. In other words, the client or customer is usually willing to see what your response will be to the problem. Right the wrong and you can often impress. However fail to acknowledge or take responsibility including an apology, and now you run the risk of losing the customer and having your name and that of your company badmouthed.

Now if you have the ability to FORESEE problems before they arise, or potential problems, you might want to inform anyone else who will possibly be affected in order to alert them. This action can be very beneficial in that it gets others more watchful for any small issue BEFORE the issue grows.  Not every Supervisor will appreciate being told directly when you mess up, but the best Supervisors will. Of course there is a limit to how often you should be making errors and if you are constantly messing up it could be that you’re in way over your head in the first place and you might well consider a change in jobs, responsibilities, employers etc. Doing this is not an admission of yourself as a failure but rather, a sign of your wisdom and recognition that you would be better suited doing something different.

Imagine then going to an interview and being asked, “Tell me about a time you messed up and how did you respond to your error?” The interviewer is not so much interested in the error you made ironically, but rather your response to realizing your mistake. What did you do? Did you fix it alone? Did you preserve a relationship with a client or even improve it in the end with your actions? Did you own up to the gaff or turn your head, whistle to the ceiling and with your hands in your pockets, casually walk away?

Lastly, when others around you have their moment in the spotlight and make mistakes, realize that they might already be stressed, worried or embarrassed. Not much will be gained by making them feel even worse by talking about it extensively. How you support or ridicule someone at this time often says more about you then them. And of course what goes around comes around.

I”ll leave the blog today with this then; Mess up? Fess up!