The name of the game changes when you enter the workforce, so it’s understandable that a lot of people make mistakes early on in their careers. Here’s how to pick yourself up after the occasional mishap.
1. What if you already hate your job on your first day there?
Things like this happen. It’s important that you maintain integrity and don’t put the people who hired you in a bad position. Show them respect by telling them how you’re feeling as soon as possible. Be honest, but nice. Tell them that you’d like to talk to them privately and explain your initial concerns. Explain that you’re worried you might have had the wrong impression or expectations.
But be sure to leave room in case you misread the situation. Maybe you’re in a special training program, office or project for the first few weeks. Maybe you’re in the wrong position. Or maybe you didn’t understand their expectation. Be specific about what you like or don’t like so far and talk about possible options with the company. The worst thing you can do is be a coward and just not show up again. It’s disrespectful and shows no sign of integrity.
2. What if you take on more work than you can handle?
Again, be honest. Some managers and bosses will want to test you to see how much you can handle – and that’s not a bad thing! There’s nothing wrong with having to prove yourself or earn respect in an organization. It’s good to show people what you’re capable of!
However, use extra caution if you could cause real damage to your boss or company by not finishing the workload or not completing it successfully. Sometimes you can lose more credibility by saying you can do something and not following through, simply for having asked to be trusted. Be dependable. Also, be honest about your concerns and give it your best shot. Recognize that you have to do whatever it takes to achieve the objective – even if that means recruiting the help of another.
3. What if you got embarrassingly drunk at the company outing?
First, make sure you didn’t offend anyone or do anything too inappropriate. If you did, deal with it right away to avoid gossip. Apologize for your lack of judgment and try to make sure the relationship you bruised is still in tact. If it was harmless (ask your closer coworkers to make sure), it might be better not to bring it up and just be on extremely good behavior for a while. If it comes up, acknowledge it lightly. If you sense pain, discomfort, anger or resentment, apologize sincerely.