Who is proud of making mistakes? Nobody, of course. But mistakes are inevitable. You know what they say- to err is human. In Croatia, they tend to stretch this saying to everybody who is fortunate to have a job, that is, who works, naturally makes mistakes.
Still, mistakes can cost you a lot and they can be harmful for you if you want to improve and excell at your trade. And if you tend to repeat the same mistakes all over, then nothing is going to help to dissuade the person with whom you are doing business from claiming that you’re a lost case. An irrepairable damage has been done and most probably no second or third chance will be offered to you to remedy it.
I had the most embarassing moment when I had to admit to myself, maybe that first to myself, then to my client, that I had made grave mistake. The problem with freelancing is that your every day is full of uncertainties. You never know what your next assignment is going to be- something which you would gladly take on, because you’re qualified and have all the necessary tools and knowledge required to deliver a quality performance or you will be having something on your desk that you have no vague idea how to approach and how to bring clarity into it. If you’re lucky, you’ll be dealing with a text that you had the opportunity to analyse, decipher and translate not so long ago, carefully stored on your computer and there are some minor things to change. Yes, that’s pretty easy, but it’s unchallenging for me. That would be a safe road, even made safer if the client is a regular payer. If I seek challenge, I also inevitably encounter risks and often need to consult others, which in the end results in outsourcing a part of the text to someone I entirely trust. Whom to trust? It’s mostly you who must do the job, responsibly and competently.
I took on a project hastily. I scanned the many pages of it and deemed myself apt enough to carry it out myself. I was sure I would find resources which could help with the terminology, but I was wrong. The calculation was wrong. I acted too quick with not enough proof on my side that I can indeed deliver a commendable job. What happened after the realisation? I had to pull back. Had to step aside, admit defeat and own up to the client. The client was unhappy about it, saying it was very unprofessional of me to do such a thing – accept and then decline. The remaing part of that day was hugely influenced by this outcome and the days after were also tinged with feelings of guilt and self-reproach.
Now I try not to act hastily and tend to carefully gauge my possibilities. Give a promise you can keep, no matter what it takes. Don’t let your clients down (just like Trump promised today not to let his nation down-is this a bad comparison?). Admit mistakes.