Career Advice

“I Made A Huge Financial Mistake At Work!” – Don’t Panic. 4 Steps You Should Take To Recover

So, you’ve made a huge financial mistake at work. The first thought to come to your head may be that your career is over. You’re sure that your boss is going to fire you and that you’ll never be able to work in your field again.

Well, we think not, as your company has ways around human error, making your actions from the minute your mistake is committed important. So, what should you do and how do you avoid a stain on your resume? We’ve got the tips and tricks below.

Can I get fired if I made a huge financial mistake at work?

Perhaps the biggest concern that employees have is whether or not their financial mistakes will allow them to keep their job. The majority of cases do not result in termination, especially if employees work hard to correct their mistakes.

There are some cases where the mistake is large or affects many employees and customers. In these cases, termination is more likely, which means that you’ll have to take steps to keep yourself from negative associations moving forward.

Future employees may see or hear about your mistake, though they will be more interested in finding out if you’ve learned from your mistake.

Read More: How to Be More Careful at Work – 15 Strategies to Avoid Careless Mistakes

I made a huge financial mistake at work, now what?

When you make a mistake, the world may seem like it’s over. However, the way that you handle yourself and act after you’ve made a huge mistake speaks highly of your character. The key is to not panic, admit your mistake, and inform your boss or the person that’s overseeing your work.

When you realize you’ve made a mistake, follow these steps.

Step 1: Breathe

Don’t panic. Take a breath, be present, and realize that mistakes happen. Gather your thoughts and get ready to solve them.

Step 2: Inform your boss

You want to inform your boss of your mistake before they have the chance to find it out themselves. Don’t delay and walk straight into their office and inform them of your mistake. This will show that you’ve taken the effort and are willing to do what it takes to fix it.

Step 3: Discuss solutions

Most bosses will react positively when you stay positive and optimistic. Have confidence that you can fix the problem and that they can trust you to get the job done or find ways to solve it.

Step 4: Keep communication

Make sure that throughout the process of putting things back in order, you keep in contact with all of those involved. Whether it’s other colleagues, your boss, or a third party that’s in the loop helping to get things back together.

How to tell your boss about your financial mistake

One of the most nerve-wracking things about making a mistake at work is telling your boss or manager. There is a lot of fear and doubt, with most thinking that it’s the end of their career. While some cases will result in termination, the majority of cases will not, as long as there are initiatives to fix them.

When it comes time to tell your boss or manager, there are two ways that they can react. They can either get really angry or immediately start looking for resolutions. Most companies employ higher-ups that deal with things more optimistically, solving issues rather than creating them.

So, when you’re ready, ask to speak to your manager or boss in private and just get it out. Start with, “I made a huge financial mistake at work.” Explain the mistake, express your regret, and then wait for a response. You might want to have something to take notes with just in case.

Listen to your boss’s reaction and see what they suggest for dealing with the issue. They likely have more experience handling issues and have a better understanding of overall operations. Depending on the type of mistake made and the parties affected, you may need to inform others too, so be prepared.

How to fix your mistakes at work

Whether it’s a financial mistake or another type of mistake that you made, there are some steps that you can take to get things moving again. Once you make a mistake, you’ll need to take action so that things are fixed in a timely manner.

Be proactive

When taking the steps to correct your mistake, the one thing you don’t want to do is procrastinate. Instead, you should start moving immediately, taking all of the steps to get things going.

Apart from mentioning your mistake to your boss, you may also want to mention your mistake to your colleagues to avoid any gossip around the office.

Reach out to customers and more

Even if you’re working behind the scenes, your mistake could likely hold things up somewhere down the line. For that reason, it’s a great idea to reach out and apologize to those who you might have affected. This not only shows your character but also helps maintain the image of the company too.

Work efficiently

This is not the time to drag your feet or mope. It’s time to take action and use your time wisely. You may need to work toward fixing your mistakes while doing some of your daily tasks. Whatever you do, don’t push either off and kick yourself into gear until you’ve got everything back up and running well.

Getting fired for a mistake at work

Every case is different for employees. Some mistakes are just too big, and employers have no other choice than to terminate. If you find yourself in this kind of situation and are forced to start the job hunt, there are some steps you should take to ensure your success.

Don’t leave loose ends

First things first, make sure that you have tied up any loose strings with your employers. First of all, you need to apologize and show that you’re sincere about your regret for making your financial mistake.

Secondly, you’ll need to take steps to do what you can to fix it, that is if your employer will allow it. You could offer your assistance, at least until the issue is resolved.

Reflect and learn

If there is one thing that your future employer will be anxious to know, it’s whether or not you’ve learned from your mistake. When you realize that you’ve made a mistake, it’s a good idea to reflect on your mistake, realizing why it happened and how you can prevent it from happening again.

It could be a good idea to document and have things written down, that way during an interview, you can explain your mistake and show that you know how to ensure that it will not happen again.

Use competitive advantage

Some employers like to have employees with diverse experiences. It ensures them that you can handle more and that you’ve had experience making a mistake, correcting and learning, and picking back up and making things work once again.

During an interview, you could let your potential future employers know your strengths and weaknesses, leading in with the ability to learn from your mistakes. You could also focus on the great things you’ve done in your career, showing that you have a wide range of experiences and that you’ve handled them professionally.

Ask for backup

Unless you were not a good employee, you possibly have a long list of colleagues and former bosses, and managers that are willing to speak of your hard work. This is especially true if your termination was difficult for your boss and out of their hands.

It could work greatly to your advantage if you have references from your former employer that speak highly of your work. This shows that you made a mistake, handled it correctly, and are ready and able to bounce back.

Be direct

When interviewing, there is nothing worse than talking yourself up beyond your abilities. Bragging is okay, but employers want proof. They want to see what you’re capable of and know that you’re not going to bring any toxicity into the workplace.

Be humble about your achievements, only list skills where you excel (and have proof of that) and don’t be afraid to show that you’re human and you’ve made mistakes, learned from them, and are willing to do what you can to ensure that they do not happen again.

Final thoughts

Walking up to your boss and saying, “I made a huge financial mistake at work” is a bold move. While it can seem intimidating, it’s the best thing you can do to keep yourself employed. You are human, and your bosses know that, responding to how you admit your mistake and the steps you take to fix it.

No matter what the outcome of your financial mistake, you have options. Even if it’s time to start looking for a new job, you can use your mistake to your advantage, showing what you’ve learned and how you will act in the future to prevent your mistake from happening again. 

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About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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