Mistakes happen to everyone. Would it be amazing if they didn’t? Of course it would, but if everything went smoothly 24/7, then we wouldn’t appreciate the perfect moments when they come along. It’s the same in the workplace, especially when you are in an area where your work is in the public eye.
No matter if you are writing a release, a tweet or even just a regular email, punctuation and grammar can get you every time. Have you ever heard of the old saying, “Do something right, no one bats an eye, but do something wrong and people will never forget?” I feel like a missed comma has the same type of weight, especially if you accidentally send an email without too much thought – the resulting impression of you may not be so great.
There are some easy solutions to prevent this type of embarrassment. The first is to pay close attention to what you are writing and review line by line. Have others look over what is written before you send it off to your editor or client, just for a pair of second eyes.
A second solution is to keep it professional. As a person in the working world, professionalism should be a key part of your persona. This is the part of you that holds it all together when everything falls apart – and the part that holds your tongue when you’d prefer to let a few choice words fly. It’s very rare to have someone you agree with on every aspect of a project, and it’s natural to want to vent something. If you choose to vent about your problem with someone else, make sure you are ranting to the right person and in the right setting. The easy solution to this is to pay attention or, maybe, wait until you’re home and rant to someone completely unaffiliated with the situation.
Finally, while you may not always be able to prevent mistakes, you can certainly take steps to resolve them as quickly as possible to avoid making the situation worse. When a mistake happens, the worst thing you can do is pretend that it never happened and just sweep it under the rug. If you text the wrong person, don’t try and spam their inbox with a million texts in an attempt to hide the text. If you have a grammar mistake, don’t blame the editor. When a mistake happens, you need to tell people as soon as you realize what happened. If you try to fix the situation right away, it will help minimize the damage. You can try and hide things, but in the end, everything always comes out – and when it does, it comes with a fury.
Nobody is perfect, and while you should always aim to do your best, it simply will not always happen. The important thing is to keep your head up and learn from the mistakes. The game isn’t over until you decide to retire, so there are plenty of quarters to go through to get back those points.