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PayScale’s VIP Blog Roundup: How to Deal With Being Embarrassed at Work


If you’ve never made a mistake at work, the saying goes, you’re not working hard enough. But, that’s small consolation when your face is red and you’re stammering out an apology to your boss or client or co-worker. In this week’s roundup, we look at what to do when you’re embarrassed at your job – plus, how to find the right corporate culture for you, and how to steer an interview, without looking like you’re embarking on a hostile takeover.


(Photo Credit: nasrulekram/Flickr)

Dan Erwin: How to Deal With Embarrassment at Work

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Embarrassment – and the larger sense of vulnerability that often lays at its root – is never a pleasant experience. At work, it can feel soul-crushing. So how can you deal with feeling vulnerable and embarrassed, without letting it get the better of you? The answer, Dan Erwin says, is in framing.

Vulnerability in business is not about the emotions of fear, embarrassment, humiliation, or even disappointment. It is fundamentally about a lack of knowledge and that’s the problem that needs to be resolved — not my emotions. That insight took me out of trying to resolve my emotions to developing my knowledge of business process, managerial relations and just plain old street smarts. In short, I moved from being controlled by fearful emotions, to controlling the experience and making it a learning opportunity.

Lindsay Shoemake at That Working Girl: How to Find the Right Company Culture for You

“Your job is conveniently located. The pay is generous. The benefits package is all you could ask for. You are doing the exact work you are most passionate about,” writes Lindsay Shoemake. “Everything is perfect, but you’re miserable. Why? Probably because, like many job seekers, you failed to take company culture into account during the job search process.”

Want to find a better fit? The key is to do your homework … and know what you need.

Tim Windhof at Careerealism: How to Take Control of a Job Interview

Job interviewing is such a bizarre social situation. On the one hand, you have your own goals and agenda – learning about the company and the job and figuring out whether you want to work there – while on the other, well, you sort of need to be polite, or you’re going to kill your chances of getting the gig.

Career coach Tim Windhof recently helped a client with just this problem:

Just today I got feedback from one of my resume clients, who was a bit beat up by her recent telephone interview.

“What happened?” I asked.

The answer was that the interviewer had pulled a bunch of old school interview classics like “Tell me a little bit about yourself” and “What are your three main weaknesses?” My client felt that this type of “old-school” interviewing did not result in a natural flow of two business professionals determining a potential match, but rather ended in a “what type of canned response have you got for me” type of interview.

But what to do in a situation like this? After all you don’t want to be rude, and you can’t really tell the interviewer what type of questions you want to be asked.

The first step, he says, is to help the interviewer. In other words, you can direct the interview, if you’re careful about how you do it.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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