How to Save Your Job after You Screw Up


Perhaps you just got a performance review which, let’s face it, isn’t quite good. Somewhere you have a feeling that it might be bad enough that your company doesn’t mind letting you go. Before jumping to conclusions that you are heading straight into unemployment, there are some other options rather than just accepting the writing on the wall.

Take a look at these situations and how to turn them around with some strategies to save your job and facilitate the criticism into shaping you as a beneficial employee to your company.

Slacking at work

There are many times we are guilty at work for overpromising and under delivering. But there is a fine line between this and straight up slacking. Poor work performance is one of the top reasons why an employee is fired. Maybe you have fallen prey to the various modes of distractions such as smartphones, social media, and the internet.

The fear of losing your job should be enough to inspire change in you. To remove the tag from you of being constantly lazy, you need to look up for the roots of the problem. Are just those distractions causing the laid back behavior from you or something deeper like low motivation to complete a task?

Figure out what are the tasks that you have the most trouble completing and devise a plan to get things done. For instance, you could keep the least interesting tasks for the time when you are feeling the most productive.

If you plan to work in a certain manner consistently that helps you to become more productive and increase your performance and can change your slacker reputation.

Failing to deliver an important project on time

There are endless reasons why you could not complete a work given. When you miss a deadline, it’s enough to leave you panicking about your employment. It is okay if you fail once or twice but delays in finishing a project too many times can be a major setback.

When you fail to complete a task before the due date, let your manager know that you understand the adversity it generates on the business when you delay in delivering a finished work. Present to them certain solutions and let them know that it will not happen again.

Always take the responsibility for any delay of work from your side. Never make the mistake of pointing your finger at others. Employers hate someone who cannot take the accountability for their actions more than they dislike an unreliable person. At the same time, you create a bad environment at the workplace if you go about pushing your coworkers under the bus which is more likely to get you fired.

Conflict with a client and now the client threatens to take their business elsewhere

Clients can be very excruciating. The special attention, the 11th-hour revisions when they request and picking up urgent calls after hours all seem to be less in satisfying them. Sometimes with a difficult client, you might lose your calm as natural human instinct. But no matter how much in the right you may be you cannot win against a client which eventually leads to them threatening of pulling back their business.

Let your colleagues know about the situation and ask them their opinion. Get a reliable advice on whether you really did cross the line or were you sticking up for your team. Know the impact of the client in the business such as are they one from the hundred other clients or hold the quarter of company’s revenue.

Prepare a strategy to explain the situation to your boss. Accumulate the facts to back up your story and ensure you tell the truth. There was a reason you were hired and your boss will respect your honesty, even if that means losing a deal of business.

Getting caught while spreading unpleasant gossip

Every workplace has a set of gossip and set of workers that have gained the reputation of spreading them. Perhaps you tried your best to avoid this group but your failed efforts got you somehow knowing an unflattering secret about a colleague. It somehow reached to your boss and everyone else including him thinks that you are the source of all the gossip.

This one is a tricky situation as the people in your office have lost their trust in you and you need to regain it. Most of the higher ups think of this kind of rumor spreading as creating a negative work environment.

You need to own up to the situation and genuinely apologize before any damage is done. At the same time talk to your boss and explain to him that you fully understand the severity of the situation and it will never happen again.

It is always wise to stay proactive and never fall behind at your job to avoid any chance of losing your employment. However, if any of these situations has occurred don’t panic but be determined to turn things around by communicating well.