Whether you’ve botched an interview question, cancelled an important meeting last-minute or missed a typo in an email, you can recover from a career fumble and still land that coveted opportunity. We all have career moments we aren’t proud of. According to LinkedIn, more than half (55%) of all professionals admit to having made an interview or career fumble. Some of the most common fumbles include: not being prepared for an interview, forgetting to respond to an email, oversleeping, forgetting to follow up after a meeting, mispronouncing a word during an interview and accidentally replying all.
While mistakes are inevitable, the most important thing is your action plan to fix them once they happen. LinkedIn Career Expert Blair Decembrele has a three-step recovery plan: apologize, ask for help and commit to fixing the mistake.
Offer an apology
Although it may feel awkward, a sincere apology is usually well received. According to LinkedIn, apologizing is one of the best ways to recover from an interview or career fumble. Do it as soon as you realize you’ve made the mistake. Send the apology to all those affected by it. “In the instance of typos, especially when applying to a job or sending a follow-up note to a prospective employer, apologizing and sending a correction shows that you are accountable and able to recognize and fix mistakes as they occur,” says Blair.
Ask for advice
If you don’t know how to fix the fumble, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your professional community. Where should you turn? The majority of working professionals have sought help from someone at work—their boss (27%) or a co-worker (46%), while another 29% found help from a connection outside the office. Go to people who are mentor figures in your life. You will find that many of them have had a similar experience and will have seasoned advice for moving past the challenge. Your professional community is an invaluable resource in navigating difficult situations.
Commit to “fixing” the error
Once you’ve evaluated what went wrong and apologized, figure out how to ensure it doesn’t happen again and go above and beyond to make it right. “For instance, if you missed the mark on an interview question, email the hiring manager with additional thoughts on how you should have tackled the topic,” Blair recommends. While you may be too late in some cases, this will teach you a lesson that you will apply to future situations. The best way to recover from a fumble is to educate yourself on the issue and commit to handling the situation better the next time around.
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