“No one expects you to be perfect,” says Gunsalus. “They do expect you to own your mistakes.” There is a slim chance that your boss won’t notice that you’ve messed up, unless you’re able to correct the mistake in record time. Managers will be more impressed if you’re proactive, admit to the mistake, and come armed with a plan.
“One of the really important tenets I always teach is you want to bring your boss solutions, not problems,” says Pollak. Gunsalus suggests an apology that includes four key elements: remorse, responsibility, rehabilitation (explaining what you’ve learned), and recompense (your plan of action). If you can apologize like a professional, move on, and learn from your mistakes, you’ll be known for your solution-driven skills, not your minor mistakes.