Your ability to succeed in the first few months on a new job will depend as much on your relationship skills and attitude as it does on your technical skills.
In my book How to Succeed in a High-Tech Career: Why Your Reputation and Relationships Matter, I provide a mentor’s perspective on things successful people consistently do and stories which model these behaviors. Having worked in the computer industry for 29 years as an engineer and manager, I have discovered how to get started on the right foot in one’s career. You have to develop relationships and reputation with a foundation of integrity.
One of the primary tenants of integrity is to accept the fact ahead of time that you will make mistakes.
This is normal. When you look back at the mistakes you made later with some perspective, you’ll realize these were the times you learned the most.
The important thing to know about mistakes on the job is that the consequences of them are minimal and they go away quickly when you admit you made them, say “I’m sorry” and “I learned from it.” The moment you do that, the problem is old news and the page is turned.
However, if you attempt to hide or bury the mistake it will eventually come back to haunt you. Your reputation and trust will take a hit with the team – and people will be less willing to admit their mistakes to you. This is a deal-breaker if you plan on ever being their manager.
You have to prove you can handle mistakes humbly and move on from them with a good attitude. This will allow you to accept other’s mistakes as well, which is a key factor in good team relationships.
As bad as fleeing the scene of a mistake without making things right is, there’s one thing that’s worse – looking for someone else to blame.
“If only they had done this (whatever it is) I wouldn’t have been in that situation.”
“If they hadn’t done that (whatever it is) I wouldn’t have blah blah blah…”
Remember this, to blame is to BLame (Be Lame). You wouldn’t want someone else blaming you for their mistake, so man up, tell the truth and get past it.