What to Do When Things Go Wrong at the Office

We’re going to come right out and say it: SUCCESS.com has had a rough few weeks. And we’re pretty sure you’ve probably noticed its moody behavior, such as A) slow loading times, B) 404 error pages, C) other random error pages or D) all of the above.

We’d like to apologize for our site’s behavior, and sincerely appreciate your patience with us. The good news is that we’re getting back at it, ready to provide you with more inspiring and motivating articles, blogs and videos to help you grow personally and professionally.

Even though it’s been tough, these hurdles have taught us a few things on how to react when everything doesn’t go according to plan. These are specific lessons from our site outage, but you’ll find there is wisdom for what to do when something goes wrong at work:

1. Communicate. When we got to the office last week, SUCCESS.com was not feelin’ Monday morning, refusing to load pages to say as much. The editorial team met almost immediately to discuss exactly what errors we were experiencing. We talked about our plan of action and how we could best, most accurately explain what was happening to the right people—because our goal was to fix it, fast. We alerted the IT department with all the pertinent details for troubleshooting, and notified our team members how they’d be affected. We wanted to communicate upward and outward as much as possible.

2. Move on and work ahead. Once our IT department began working on the issue, we had two options: Rather than sitting and stewing, letting the obstacle block our momentum, we could find other ways to work. We moved on to other tasks, things that still needed be done. And even though SUCCESS.com—our whole (professional) world—was high on our minds, we worked through the worry so we would be ready to jump back on the site as soon as it was fully functioning again.

3. Get creative. The site issues also kept us from sharing our content with you on Facebook and other social media channels. Instead of posting nothing at all on our social channels, though, we got creative with our posts. We stepped out of our box to try something new, sharing more motivational videos and inspiring pictures to keep us, and you, moving forward.

4. Laugh a little. While it was difficult to perform our day-to-day duties without the site cooperating, being angry wasn’t going to fix it. To make light of the situation, our boss, Shelby Skrhak, who’d be normally consuming the most Pepto as SUCCESS.com Director of Digital Content, left on our desks a photo of Katy Perry’s Left Shark—who became an Internet star after an embarrassing performance during Super Bowl 49’s halftime show. Needless to say (or is it?), the shark is hanging on our cubicle walls—just in case we need to look up for a laugh. Because SUCCESS.com wasn’t intentionally performing badly; it was just having a “Left Shark” time at things.

5. Learn from your mistakes. Bad days happen, but they don’t have to last. It’s easy to let frustration evolve into defeat, but we took SUCCESS.com’s “bad day” as an opportunity to really work as a team. We evaluated what happened—to make sure it doesn’t happen again—and worked with everyone involved to resolve it. It was a step-by-step, hour-by-hour kind of thing, but we refused to let it get the best of us. Instead, we decided to learn from it.

As the late Jim Rohn said, “Learn how to turn frustration into fascination. You will learn more being fascinated by life than you will by being frustrated by it.” We hear you, Jim.


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