Since leaving college I’ve had several jobs, including internships, freelance work and full-time gigs, and one thing I’ve noticed at each job is that every office has a different culture. You’ll have a different relationship with each boss. The way you interact with your coworkers will be different. Heck, the office Christmas party will be different. (To drink or not to drink? That is the question.)
But, there is one pretty big similarity between every workplace — people look down on those who are constantly saying “Sorry!” You see, when you are regularly apologizing at work, you are making a big mistake. Probably bigger than the one you are tripping over yourself trying to make up for.
Why do I know this? Well, I have to CONSTANTLY remind myself not to do it. So, when I feel the need to blurt out an apology, these are the points I run through to prevent myself from making that mistake.
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Apologizing At Work
1. You won’t be able to focus on getting other things done
If you screwed up, you screwed up. And you should ABSOLUTELY acknowledge it, take responsibility for it and correct it ASAP. But you shouldn’t dwell on it and you need to move on with your next task. You definitely shouldn’t spend the rest of your day saying, “Sorry, sorry. I’m soooo sorry.” Because…
2. It makes you look weak
If you want to get ahead in your career, you need to show off your leadership skills. And leaders exude confidence. I’m not saying that a leader wouldn’t ever apologize, but what they wouldn’t do is let it affect their self-esteem. When you mess up, you take the hit and keep going. Or as Chumbawamba says:
3. It’s a learning opportunity
“Just because you made a mistake, doesn’t mean you suck,” my favorite boss ever once told me. “I don’t care that you made a mistake. I care that you learn from it.” Wise, wise words. For example, I once made a blunder at work that a) was a rookie move and b) could have caused some serious damage. Luckily, it was caught before s**t hit the fan. My boss simply came over to me, and said, quite calmly, “Now you will never make that mistake again.” And, I can guarantee you, I most definitely won’t.