New to HR? Making Your First Mistake

new to hr: making your first mistake

Being an HRNewbie, any type of newbie actually, you will mess something up. Mistakes happen at many points in your career, but it’s a different feeling when you’re new to your career and you make your first mistake.

I remember my first mistake in my HR career like it was yesterday and I’m still not right from it. I have some filing cabinets in my office (1st sign I’m in HR) and we have so many paper files, I had to add more (the 2nd sign I’m in HR). All of the files in my office are the inactive ones, the people who have been termed, voluntarily and involuntarily. Well, I decided to rearrange those files by year instead of by name only and it went really well. That is until my boss asked me for a file from the 2015 records and I could not produce it.

*Inserts picture of me passed out here*

There were a number of steps that had to be taken to correct my problem because it was MY problem. I was the one that rearranged the files, I was the person responsible for those files, and I would be the one to fix this problem. The 1st step was to inform my boss, being new to the job, it was important to create the best environment and it’s all about building trust. I know it can be very difficult to go to your boss and admit a wrongdoing on your part, but believe me as an HRNewbie, it will be a lot better for you in the long run.

The next step, after fixing your mess-up, is to learn from the mistake. Break down what went wrong in the situation and how you corrected the mistake. Mistakes are bound to happen. They’re the part of your life that teaches you, and if you have a great boss they will be able to help you grow from the mistake. Now don’t go firing somebody because you had a bad day or forget to file a workers comp claim. I once heard someone say, “A great HR person always has a notepad on his/her desk.”

The final step in making a mistake is to grow from the mistake. Don’t drown yourself in it because you have others that will come. It was a way for you to learn something and now it’s time to move on from that. As a newbie the trust that you are gaining with your company is important. They need to know that even when you do wrong, you will come to them before the situation gets worse.

I did find that file and then I went through the active files in my boss’s office and found all of the termed files that had not been moved over. I created a problem and presented a solution – always look at your mistakes in this way. Your team will appreciate you a lot more if you’re able to come with solutions or just a simple idea.

Making Your First Mistake

So go and make that mistake, your lesson is on its way.

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Jazmine Wilkes

Proud millennial human resource leader focused on sharing HR insights, learnings and resources. Sharer of memes. Author of HRJazzy. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


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