Subject: 26 Women on Their Worst Career Mistakes

I’ve never made a career blunder dastardly enough to get me fired, but I’ve made plenty of small ones I subsequently mulled over for weeks on end, like Everlasting Gobstoppers that never failed to run out of stress juice. I think work mistakes feel particularly anxiety-inducing because unlike disappointing a parent or friend or even yourself, disappointing a colleague — especially a hierarchical superior — can have immediate, rippling consequences for an entire business that depends on its employees to keep it running. Those are high stakes!

The thing about messing up, though, is that literally everyone does it. Your capacity for failure doesn’t mean you are terrible or special — it just means you are human and ordinary. But I know that’s easy to forget in a moment of crisis, so to buoy all of us with the comfort of solidarity in those moments, I asked a whole bunch of women to tell me about their worst (or best, or funniest, or most memorable) career mistakes. Enjoy them below, and add yours in the comments if you have one.

During my first college job interview, when asked why I wanted the job, I said, “Because I want to make money.” My subconscious totally took over!

Hannah, 21

“I was managing Instagram for a young brand that was taken very seriously at my corporate company. Every piece of content we posted ran through at least four rounds of back and forth, down to the most minor retouching notes for what was meant to be a ‘casual’ shot. In a time of social media spontaneity and sharing content in the now, we did nothing of the sort and it was an absolute nightmare. One sunny afternoon, I was rummaging through my purse when I realized that I had left my Polly-O string cheese snack in there to marinate all morning long. I thought it would be hilarious to post the discovery on my personal account, bouncing the cheese against my desk for the full effect. I penned a witty little caption, clicked send and posted the video onto my account. Roughly four minutes later, checking back to see if anyone had replied to my story, I quite literally dropped my phone in horror. Not only had I posted to the brand’s account, but it was our debut story so Instagram SENT A NOTIFICATION TO ALL OF OUR FOLLOWERS TO COME CHECK IT OUT!!!!! After an immediate delete and a mild panic attack, a coworker talked me down from the situation. Her main piece of advice? If someone had seen it, I would’ve already known. Turns out she was right, and I never heard anything from anyone in the company about it. Long live The Great String Cheese Incident of 2016.”

Paige, 30

Continue reading over on Man Repeller


Kind regards,

The Intern

Hannah Rafter