The first time I made a major mistake at work I thought my career was over. I'd joined the team six months prior and was beginning to feel like I was finally getting the hang of my responsibilities — until I realized I'd reported inaccurate figures to one of our major clients.
The kicker? They made business decisions based on this faulty information, and my boss had the painful task of explaining this to our client.
He was livid, and I was mortified. Embarrassed for making such a careless error, I was unsure of what to do next. Should I pack my things and go home? Should I avoid my manager and act like nothing happened?
More from The Muse:
How to Recover From a Huge, Huge Mistake at Work
The Pep Talk You Need if You Can't Stop Thinking About a Mistake
4 Mistakes You're Still Allowed to Make (No Matter How Experienced You Are)
I decided to face the music and set up some time to talk about what had happened.
Was the conversation awkward? Yes. But was it a necessary part of the process? Absolutely.
If you spend enough time working, you'll likely make a mistake (or two) that you'll need to bounce back from. And even though everyone (including your supervisor) knows that this is an unavoidable part of work, it doesn't mean tensions won't run high in the heat of the moment.
Here are three phrases you should keep in your back pocket the next time you need to calm down your boss after you mess up.