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How to Guide: Coping with Embarrassment in the Workplace


It is approaching the end of the day and stress levels are going through the roof. Paperwork has to be completed, you are understaffed and the coffee machine is broken – what a nightmare! You are really looking forward to going home.  Fatigue has started to kick in and you have the attention span of a goldfish! So you should really look out for that laptop bag in the middle of the floor………..


(Man falling – displayed perfectly by our use of a generic stock image)

We did warn you!

Embarrassing situations arise all the time in the workplace (trust me!), so it is important to deal with them in the correct way.  Otherwise you could start to gain a reputation as the office klutz. The same rules apply whether you have tripped up, walked into the wrong meeting, accidently sent an inappropriate picture to a colleague or have been caught photocopying a body part.

Unless you have a human sized rock to hand – that you are willing to hide under, I would suggest you just take the following advice:

Make a joke

You have to become a stand-up comedian almost immediately! As you are mid-air, start thinking of how you are going to laugh your way out of this.  Address the issue, make your apologies and throw in some light hearted humour. Move on quickly!

Don’t be afraid to discuss your mishap!

If I do something that is rather embarrassing I tend to tell anyone who will listen! It is better that they hear it from you, rather than through office whispers – they just lead to uncomfortable looks.

Help others by awarding yourself

Was it the most epic of falls? The most cringe worthy text message? The most awkward of rejections?  Award yourself with an embarrassment rating from 1-10.  When a colleague does something embarrassing – bring up your own. I am sure they will appreciate you diverting the attention.

Are you still hiding under that rock and convinced that you need to move on?  Find your next job at CareerBuilder :)

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