How to Explain – and Overcome – Mistakes from Your Past

Have you ever…

…been fired from a job?

…decided not to show up for your first day of work?

…let your bad attitude get the best of you on the job?

It happens. We’re all human. Hopefully you learned from your mistakes, have reformed your ways and are ready to be positive and productive in a great new job.

But now that you’ve cleaned up your act, how can you convince a potential new boss that the past won’t repeat itself? In today’s post, our national employment agency shares practical tips for explaining and overcoming career mistakes:

Related post: Being Blue Will Keep You from Seeing Green

How can I move past a career setback?

Whether you’ve underperformed, made a big mistake in your last job, or even been handed a pink slip, take heart. Amazingly successful people like Steve Jobs, Walt Disney and J.K. Rowling all dealt with job loss, but they didn’t let that failure define them!

Neither should you. Here’s how to move past that misstep:

  • Consider why the situation occurred. Analyzing what happened helps you determine what you don’t want: tedious work, poor workflow, the wrong culture for your personality, etc. List these so you can avoid them in your next position – and lower your risk of future disappointments.
  • Accept, but don’t break. Accepting what’s happened doesn’t mean despairing – it means saying, “Okay, that happened. Now what?”  The “now what” is your opportunity to learn, make changes and take the next step in your career.
  • Make your case in the interview. When you’re face to face with a hiring manager, prepare to answer tough questions like, “Why did you leave your last job?” In the job interview, use these tips:
    • Own up, don’t cover up. Admit you messed up, don’t make excuses and don’t try to blame anyone else. Finger-pointing is a BIG hiring red flag. If there were factors outside your control which contributed to the issue, it’s certainly fair and reasonable to review them.
    • Explain what you learned. Then, offer your plan for preventing the issue from recurring. This proactive approach demonstrates your introspective ability, personal character and desire to learn and grow.
    • Stay upbeat. Explain to your interviewer that you are eager to move forward, prepared to perform your best, and ready to work NOW.

Related post: How to Explain Resume Gaps

Looking for a job?

PrideStaff can get you back to work quickly. With offices nationwide, we offer a wide range of temporary, temp-to-hire and other transitional opportunities to:

  • End your resume gap
  • Regain your confidence
  • Broaden your experience with a variety of temporary assignments
  • Earn money while you look for a full-time job.

Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.