The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

Overcoming Your First Mistake At A New Job

Hello, this is Laura Lee Rose.  I am a speaker and author.  I am an expert in time and project management.

I help busy professionals and entrepreneurs create effective systems so that they can comfortably delegate to others, be more profitable and have time to enjoy life even if they don’t have time to learn new technology or train their staff.  I have a knack for turning big ideas into on time and profitable projects.

At the end of the day, I give people peace of mind.

Today’s question came from a busy professional interested in freeing some time and space to advance in his career.

Overcoming Your First Mistake At A New Job

bag headWhat advice do you have for new hires having to own up to their first big mistake on the job? Is there a professional way to apologize? What is the best way to bounce back after making a mistake?


First recommendation is to relax.  Everyone that starts a new job is focused on making a good impression.  We all want to prove that they were right to hire you.  Everyone would be a little nervous about making a mistake.  The good news is that everyone makes mistakes.  It’s just that we feel more vulnerable at a new job, versus when we’ve been at a position for awhile.  So my first recommendation is to relax.

Next is to avoid the term “mistake” and replace it with the idea that you were trying something new. Professionals makes “mistakes” when they are trying something new, experimenting, and stretching beyond their comfort zone.  This is a good thing.  People that never make mistakes are not growing, exploring or evolving.  Every action or decision that you take merely generates more data and results.  The results are either moving you closer to your goals OR giving you more data that will get you toward your goal.

The last concept is that your mistake doesn’t ruin your reputation.  It’s how you respond to your mistake that makes or breaks you in the eyes of your coworkers and employer.  By taking the initiative to correct, improve and eliminate the repetition of that same mistake is always a good step.  By creating an automated procedure, utility, better documenting the steps, or sharing the knowledge with others not only stops you from repeating the error but stops everyone that follows you.

Think like the owner of the company.  What would the business owner like to see come from this situation?

Under no circumstances would you try to cover up or blame someone else for the error.  Taking responsibility for a situation isn’t taking the blame.  Taking responsibility is actually being able to respond to the situation (response – able).  Being able to respond to any difficult situation is a sign of a leader.

I know your situation is different. Why don’t we schedule an appointment, where I get to know more about your unique situation? And then I will be happy to make recommendations on what your best steps are moving forward.  To schedule an appointment, book it HERE.

With enough notice, it would be my honor to guest-speak at no cost to your group organization.

I have a monthly presentation on “how to say YES to everything but on your own terms”.  To sign up for the complimentary course, go to


About the Author

Laura is a Corporate Exit Strategist for the Blooming Entrepreneur. She is a certified business and personal life coach, specializing in time management skills, project management training and work/life balance strategies. She has been in the software and testing industry for over 20 years. She’s worked with such companies as IBM, Ericsson, Staples, Fidelity Investments and Sogeti in various client advocacy and project management roles. The techniques she uses in her business coaching and client advocacy work saved these companies both time and money, which resulted in on-time, quality product delivery with higher client satisfaction. Laura now uses her client focus, project, quality and people management skills in her personal life coaching career. As a personal life coach, she helps people transform their life by integrating their goals and dreams into their everyday lives. Laura uses creative and practical tools to help her clients realize what really matters to them. She helps others to easily transition into their next chapter whether it’s the next ladder of success within their corporate environment or into the entrepreneurial playground. I am not a fan of choosing to act in spite of fear. Rather, together we will collaborate toward a plan of inspired action. We will develop a plan together that you feel confident and excited about. For us, Taking The Leap will be magical, exhilarating and natural. If you are eager to take that next logical step but are unsure what it is signup for the Corporate Exit Strategy Coaching group. We have books, tapes, training materials, twice-monthly group coaching events, 3-day workshops, and individual coaching sessions to help you on your way toward your freedom and prosperity.
Creative Commons License
Note: This work and all associated comments are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Leave a Reply