Mistake #1: Emailing the wrong person
There’s the never-ending thread where you’re trying to find a time that fits everyone’s schedule, the one where your boss is giving you revisions on your latest project, and of course, the maybe-not-appropriate exchange with a co-worker over last night’s primetime show. Most people send dozens (upon dozens) of emails a day, and while you should always double-check your grammar, career expert for Monster.com, Vicki Salemi says you should also give a second glance to that “to” field. “Particularly when there’s confidential information, it’s a no-no to send it to the wrong person. We’re in such a rush these days, trying to do more in less time, and while technology of course expedites that, sometimes it thwarts our efforts,” she says. Though the best thing you can do to prevent an email mix-up is to slow down and proofread, if you happen to send the wrong email to the wrong person, Salemi says acknowledgement is both professional and essential. She suggests saying something like, “My apologies, this was intended for somebody else.” Don’t forget to save the error, just in case it comes back to you too. Be aware of these office etiquette rules you’re probably ignoring—but shouldn’t.
Mistake #2: Missing a deadline
Everyone has deadlines to meet. From sales professionals who have to report their numbers to doctors who must submit claims, staying on-task helps the organization function to it’s highest potential. When you don’t do something you say you’re going to do—even if you have a terrific excuse—it becomes a negative reflection of your job performance and your dependability. “You can recover from missing a deadline by addressing it directly with the intended recipient—maybe it slipped your mind, maybe you input the wrong date on your Outlook calendar, maybe you simply didn’t meet it,” she says. What can help you put a brave—and professional—face on it is to work quickly and shrewdly, making sure you reinforce that this is not your typical work ethic. And though a quick text or email might seem easier and faster, it’s not the best mode of communication. “In many instances, when you make a blunder, it’s a lot easier to recover with a conversation either in person or on the phone. You can express your sincerity much more than in a one-dimensional email,” she says.