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Women in Focus

10 Work 'Mistakes' That Make You BETTER At Your Job

Stephanie Ashley
by Stephanie Ashley Published on 3 May 2014

Little mistakes are unavoidable at work. Coffee will get spilled and words will be misspelled. But there are some workplace behaviours you might think are wrong, but are actually crucial to making you better at your job. Here are 10 workplace 'mistakes' you need to start making!

Sometimes we get so caught up with being professional that we fall into negative work habits and load ourselves up with unrealistic expectations. But there are some mythical 'mistakes' that you definitely shouldn't feel guilty about making - in fact you should make more of them and see how they can accelerate your career.

1. You Speak Up About Your Opinions.

Aren't subordinates supposed to be seen not heard? Not anymore! If you have an opinion, it's often best to voice it. No, not an opinion on whether your boss' tie belongs in the 70's... Offices today run on open conversation and innovation, and if you have innovative ideas that would otherwise go unheard, speak up. Your opinions will make you a force to be reckoned with in the workplace.

2. You're Constantly Checking Your Email (Even On Weekends).

This might not be the best choice you can make when it comes to your personal life, but when you have your entire online life in your pocket via iPhone, it's a bit hard to avoid checking that work email. If you're always up to date on emails, then you'll always be on top of things in the office.

3. You Think Out Loud.

If you think out loud to no one in particular ALL THE TIME, it can become quite annoying to your colleagues. Next time you need to talk your way through a problem, ask a colleagues if you can bounce some ideas off them. That way, you can get a third person point of view on the situation AND make a new buddy in the office (instead of a very annoyed enemy). Talking through projects can lead to some of the best results.

4. You Take Feedback VERY Seriously.

No one should take feedback so seriously that they want to curl up in a corner and cry, but constructive criticism is one of the key ways we grow! Don't get depressed whenever someone gives you some feedback, but also don't fall on the other end of the spectrum: where you absolutely don't care about it. Take criticism to heart enough that next time, your work will be flawless.

5. You May Over-Share A Bit With Your Colleagues.

Okay, no one wants to know about your fun, dirty romping in the sheets last night, but you should definitely be making friends in the office. Go out for drinks with some of your colleagues! Conversations in social situations outside of work can be completely different than those in the office. Just because she's your work-mate, that doesn't mean you have to chill at the bar talking about nothing but work!

6. You Sometimes Go Into A Project With No Set Plan.

To-do lists and organisation are very important in the workplace, but sometimes, you have absolutely no clue what you're supposed to be doing with a certain project. If you've asked about it and it seems you're just meant to take some, ahem, creative license, it can be hard to come up with a specific outline. Instead of sitting there, waiting for divine inspiration, just dive on in. Sometimes, the greatest creations can come out when you have no clue what you're doing.

7. You Take Breaks During The Day.

If you're not on lunch break, you assume you're supposed to be at your desk, working like a hamster on a wheel. That's not entirely true. Taking breaks is actually no big deal, and it's one of the best ways to give your brain a breather. Walk around, grab some water, and refocus yourself. When you get back to the desk, you'll be twice as productive. See, not a waste of time after all!

8. You Push Back Deadlines Sometimes.

No one wants to be THAT person who turns things in late. NO ONE. It is certainly not a habit to get into. However, sometimes you need a little extra time to pull a project completely together. Unless you want to turn in a sloppily rushed version, ask for a bit more time. Then you can turn in a piece of art that your bosses will thank you for!

9. You're A Social Media Addict.

So, you really shouldn't have Facebook up during work hours just to message with your friends, but checking up on social media isn't really a bad thing anymore. By checking out all the newest trends and top stories, you can keep tabs on what the world is most interested in at that exact moment, and that's a good thing in any career field.

10. You're Not Afraid To Make Mistakes...

There's no need to live in fear of the next mistake you might make. You should be as focused and organised as possible at work, but that doesn't mean you should live your life in a constant state of paranoia. If you take things in stride and have a more relaxed outlook, your office life will be smooth sailing.

What smart working habits do you have? Tweet us @sofeminineUK!

by Stephanie Ashley

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