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I made a couple of mistakes at my new job - should I point them out?

(5 Posts)
beansmum Sun 11-Nov-12 20:37:21

I'm a law student and I've just started working as a volunteer for a community law service - giving legal info on the phone and booking people in for appointments with solicitors if they need them. I made a couple of smallish mistakes on my first day, and I've been lying awake at night worrying about them! They're not fixable mistakes, but they won't cause any major problems for anyone. There's a good chance they won't cause any problems at all and nobody will notice.

Should I tell someone? There's nothing anyone can do now, or I would have sorted it out already. But at least if I point it out they'll know I did eventually realise my mistakes and I won't do it again. Or should I just wait until someone mentions it? I only work one day a week, so if I do mention it myself I'll have to either make a special trip in or wait until Thursday. Which would make me look less insane?

It's really a tiny problem, but it's an amazing job and I don't want to muck it up in my first week!

amazingmumof6 Mon 12-Nov-12 04:29:50

your poor thing, lying awake at night

opinions - tricky...

you sound like an honest person, so I don't think it will sit right with you to do nothing at all.

Is it possible to call someone and explain your mistake? as you say it's inconvenient to travel in, but also it's harder to say it face-to
As you say it's nothing major, so why worry until Thursday?

I think if you worked for me I'd respect you more for admitting it - also that you are smart enough to realize you made a mistake!

definitely try and sort it asap, I'd say phone is best (not email!) or if it really bothers you go in, so it's done.
waiting and worrying is worse in my book.

good luck

MortimersRaven Mon 12-Nov-12 05:37:39

Without knowing what the mistakes were it's hard to say... but are you sure they can't be fixed? In my first sales job I made a couple of absolute clangers that I thought were totally irretrievable, but when I told my boss he was fine about it and in fact helped me to sort it. It was my inexperience that had caused it and he understood, and saw a way round it that I couldn't.

On the other hand, if they were really minor I wouldn't rush in specially and start stressing everyone out over them since they might think you've lost perspective!

HollyMadison Mon 12-Nov-12 07:03:21

Hi. I'm a lawyer and just wanted to say that everybody makes mistakes, particularly when they start. I made a corker in my first few weeks as a solicitor. It is a hard job and requires a lot of judgement which doesn't come easily when you're starting off.

Without knowing the mistakes, it's hard to say what's best. I think if you phone in or make a trip it is likely to make things look bigger than maybe they are and you might not get the chance to speak to the right senior person. When things get difficult it is best to do things face to face.

If it were me I'd wait till you go in next (if you're sure the mistakes are minor and not going to lead to a client suffering cost or anguish over the next few days) and chat to the senior solicitor there (when I worked at law centers there was always a senior practicing solicitor there).

i wouldn't say "I think I've made a mistake...". I'd say " can I just check the completeness of my advice with you as it's been playing on my mind and I just wanted to check you agree with my suggested way forward as there are some other factors and I'm wondering if they impact things...". Or some such thing. The senior person will no doubt help you with the best thing to do. Whatever you do don't try and brush it under the carpet as those are the files that come back to haunt you and give you nightmares! If you have to contact the client do it promptly and just say "been chatting it over with a senior person and we think we've come up with some further options" or something...

Good luck and best of luck with the legal career x

beansmum Mon 12-Nov-12 21:21:35

Thanks everyone! I won't rush in and make a big deal out of it, I'll wait until Thursday and mention it to the solicitor in charge of the volunteers.

I have a bad habit of blurting things out without thinking, particularly when I'm nervous, but I'll try not to open with "I've made lots of mistakes and they've been keeping me awake at night". I did start my interview for this job by telling them that I was ridiculously early and had been walking up and down outside for 30 minutes, so they already think I'm a bit weird.

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