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.
Mistake #3: Insulting the boss (and she overhears you)
Who are you allowed to vent to about your employer when you’re having an off-day (week, month, or year)? Your best friends who hold your secrets under lock and key, your partner who can soothe your anxiety and frustration, and your pup, who will never bark a peep. Who can’t you dish to? According to Salemi, anyone and everyone at the office. Though you may have reliable work spouses or friends, any negative discussion about your boss can pose a danger to your career. “You shouldn’t insult anyone at work, even if you feel they deserve it, and even if you’re at the point where you don’t care of you will get caught. You always have to assume that you will,” she explains. Unfortunately, recovering from this blunder is tough. “The damage has been done. You might start apologizing, state it’s not what they thought they heard, and more, but then it just raises additional reason for concern,” she says. “You can recover from it by realizing less is more and move forward.” Your boss expects you to act a certain way without having to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing, these are the other secrets your boss won’t tell you.