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When the Job Goes Wrong

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the from way I see it, you can either run from it, or…learn from it.”
-Rafiki, The Lion King


You know the ones I’m talking about: the job or project that seems so fun and almost exciting, until the first “speed bump” pops up. Then it’s like a chain reaction.  No matter which way you turn, there always seems to be another speed bump.  We have all had those jobs.  A communication failure, expectations that fall flat, or personality conflicts; there are a number of reasons why a project can go wrong. But it’s what you do after that really counts.

1. Take ownership if necessary
2. Do what you can to fix it
3. Learn from it

Recently, I have gone through a similar situation myself.  The project did not go as planned, for a variety of reasons, all starting with that first speed bump.  Now some of you may be thinking, “why are you telling people you had a bad project? That just makes you look incompetent and amateurish.” I don’t think so, I think it makes me human. Sometimes, no matter what precautions you take, a project goes a little off the rails.

This was the first project since starting my own business that did not go as planned.  And I admit, it is hard to accept.  What am I going to do about it? First, I have already taken ownership of the aspects of the project that did not go as planned.  (Sometimes there are variables no one can account for). Second, I have done what I could to rectify the situation. And lastly, the most important step has been to move forward and stop reliving it. I have learned from the mistake, so it will not be happen again.

Mistakes happen. No one likes them, but we can either dwell on it or learn from it and move on.

How do you or did you handle a job that did not go as planned?

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