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Surviving a Professional Faux Pas

From the RIPS Law Librarian Blog

Years ago, at an on-campus interview, questioning librarians asked me if I realized there was a typo in my resume.  Decades before spell check and Grammarly, it was easy and common to see typos of various sorts in all types of documents.  My mistake of only one letter created a very different meaning to the word than what I originally intended.  We all laughed it off and went on to a very good dinner and what I thought was an excellent interview despite my typo and the fact that I was also dealing with a very nasty summer cold. I did not get the job.  Nor was I offered another position with the same library years later.  Now, there were likely only one or two people left from the first time I interviewed, but I often wonder if my faux pas was the reason I was not hired not once, but twice.  Recently, there was another position open at the library.  I did not apply for a number of reasons.  Of course, some people would say a third time is a charm.  I also thought three strikes and you’re out.

A professional faux pas is something we all will likely encounter along the way of our career paths.  I am not sure if they are actually as life-changing as we think they are in our minds and at the time they happen.  A faux pas is a significant or embarrassing error or mistake   Given our slow and difficult climb out of the Covid pandemic and an array of social awareness changes in the world, it should be understood that faux pas are likely to occur to everyone. The opportunity derived from such an action lets us develop as professionals. How else are you going to learn when something happens and it was not exactly like what you read in textbooks?  In your professional life, you need to accept mistakes with grace and confidence.  Every situation brings with it a learning experience.  We grow, we evolve, and we learn.  Here are some basic things you can do once there has been a faux pas in your work life.  For more, click here.

Photo by DALL-E

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