We all know the feeling. You slip up on something important, your face flushes into a deep red color, and your heart sinks as you realize you just made a mistake that could potentially disappoint the people setting you up for success. Internship mishaps happen, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.
Keep reading and see how we suggest dealing with these five common mistakes.
1. You missed a deadline.
It’s a normal day at the office when all of a sudden your boss approaches you asking for that report you’ve been working on. Oh no. She means that report she asked you to have done for today’s meeting, except you completely forgot about it!
Relax. Before you enter panic mode, stay calm and explain that it slipped your mind and you didn’t get the chance to put as much time into it as you wanted. If need be, offer to stay late or work through your lunch break so you don’t leave them hanging.
2. You forget someone’s name.
You stroll into the office when a friendly (and important) executive greets you with a polite good morning.
You confidently reply, “Good morning, Bill!” only to get a confused look in return.
Oops. His name is Tom, not Bill. Now what? It might get even more awkward if you harp on your mistake and profusely apologize. Instead, simply correct yourself and laugh it off. It’s okay to poke fun at yourself!
3. You arrived late.
You had a rough morning before work and you ended up getting to the office an hour late. As long as you don’t make it a habit, it shouldn’t be a big deal. Look, we’re only human and these things happen, but you can ease your mind by offering to make up lost time and stay late.
In the future, shoot your boss a quick text as soon as you hit that patch of traffic or notice you’ve missed your alarm. Your boss will appreciate the heads up rather than watching you stroll in late without a word.
4. You’re afraid to admit you don’t know how to do something.
As much as you know you’re there to learn, it often feels like a failure when you’re not sure how to do something that seems expected of you. You don’t want them to regret hiring you, right?
This is often simply a case of overthinking, so don’t just attempt to wing the project! Let your boss know that you’d like some assistance so you can ensure you’re putting forward the best work. Simple!
5. You messed up a huge project.
Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t do first. As tempting as it is, do not try to cover up your mistake or brush it off onto somebody else. It’s really hard owning up to something you did wrong—and it’s even harder when it’s in front of the people you want to impress—but that’s exactly what you need to do.
Muster up some nerve, let your boss know what happened, then offer to help fix it in any way possible. Realistically, mistakes happen all the time in the workplace. No need to be too hard on yourself!
Do you have a story to share about your internship mishap? Talk to us in the comments below!