I Hope No One Saw That!

It’s always good to remember that everyone makes mistakes at work.
It’s always good to remember that everyone makes mistakes at work. (Matt Sedensky/AP Photo)

An embarrassing moment at work doesn't mean the end of your career; it just lets your co-workers know that you're human. If you follow these tips to laugh off your mistakes, an embarrassing moment can turn into a personal victory.

It's your first day on the job, you're dressed to the nines and you can't wait to make a great first impression on your co-workers. Your boss offers to take you around the office to meet everyone, and just as you get to the last co-worker, you look down and realize your fly is wide-open. Oh, #$%!

You can handle this in one of two ways: You can dwell on this mishap for the rest of your career and never look you co-workers in the eye again. Or you can laugh it off with some self-deprecating humor and move on.

Humans have committed several workplace offenses -- some much worse than walking around with the "barn door" open -- but they get over them by turning those lackluster moments into career defining victories.

SkyBuilder Systems, a personal improvement and communication skills training company, compiled a list of to-do's when you find yourself in a compromising situation:

Apologize for Your Mistakes and Correct Them Immediately

When Oprah Winfrey realized that her recent Oprah's Book Club honoree, James Frey -- author of "A Million Little Pieces" -- fabricated much of the novel, she initially stood by him. But then Oprah apologized to her audience for standing by the "fiction" novel and confronted Frey and his publisher on her show. Oprah didn't loose face as a result of her swift apology. And her empire remains intact.

Keep It in Perspective

Repeat this phrase: "Today's paper wraps tomorrow's fish." If everyone is talking about how you made a big mistake or hurt someone, remember that it will pass. Pretty soon something else will happen, and the gossips will have someone or something else to talk about.

Stay Busy

If you can't get over your embarrassing moment, try to stay busy. Try to create a sense of personal control by doing something productive. If you stay busy, you can free yourself from feeling like a prisoner of your situation.

Practice Radical Self-Care

It's easy to drown your embarrassing moment in a bottle of beer (at the end of the day, of course). But try to avoid temptation. Stock up on healthy food, go to bed early or try to exercise the stress away. These solutions will provide a positive relief for your overburdened mind.

Get over Yourself

This is the most important solution. As a social society, we are concerned with what others think of us. But nine times out of 10, co-workers have forgotten about your embarrassing moment the next day. The reason: Your co-workers are thinking about themselves.

It's easy to dwell on a workplace gaffe but don't worry. If you're able to remember that you're human and interject a little humor into the situation, you will come off smelling like a rose.

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