It is a fact that everybody makes mistakes, and you are no exception just because you are a freelancer. You may have missed a sentence in your employer’s brief about a particular color he wanted in the artwork you were preparing. Or you inadvertently missed a deadline because you were too tied up with another client’s work. You’ve screwed up big time. But you should try to redeem the situation. Read on to know how to make it up to your employer after screwing up.
1) Apologize and take responsibility:
Be genuinely contrite, apologize without offering excuses and take responsibility. Don’t be that freelancer who gets so embarrassed that he disappears for weeks. Doing this is a sure-fire way of making your employer even more furious. The strictest of employers can sense if an apology is genuine. A well-worded apology and a promise not to repeat the mistake will go a long way in winning their trust back. Don’t make lame excuses, blame other people or circumstances. If you do so, then in all probability you will be one employer short soon.
2) Try to make amends immediately:
In case the screw up is something which you can fix, do so immediately. If you have messed up a series of images, redo them. In case you have missed out a deadline, work all night if need be to submit the project at the earliest. At times, some mistakes might not be simple to fix. In such cases, stick with apologizing in a genuine fashion and ensure that your communication is sincere and inoffensive. Do not have a knee jerk reaction to terse words or emails from your employer’s side. After all, they got affected adversely by your screw-up, and they have every right to feel this way. In case they seem upset at you, let them blow off some steam. Lie low for a while and then approach them and ask straight out how you can make amends.
3) Do something nice for them:
Send a box of chocolates or a well-worded apology card. Doing this may seem a bit cheesy, but employers are human too. It might surprise you, but a friendly gesture goes a long way in getting forgiveness for a screw-up. If you are not keen on buying something for your employer, offer to take him or her out for coffee. Have a heart-to-heart conversation with him or her and repeat your apology in person.
4) Offer to do something for free:
Yes, you know you have screwed up big time. Your apology has not cut much ice. Neither has that offer of coffee gone down well. How can you get back lost ground? Try proposing to do some work for them without any charge. If this was your first screw up and you have delivered in the past, offering free work is one of the best ways to get back into your employer’s favor. More likely than not, they will take you up on your offer, and before long everything will be all hunky-dory.
Openness, honesty and genuine regret for the mistake will go a long way in healing any scars that your screw-up may have caused. The majority of employers are reasonable. They will be only too happy to forgive you after you take the effort to show them that you feel bad about the screw-up as well.