Hi i'm an Intern working in a highly reputed tax firm.

My problem in my work is that I keep making mistakes in my work. Even in the simplest thing i will make silly mistakes. I find that when working with specific people, I am try harder not to make any mistakes, but still some creep into my work.

My manager is so angry that I can't even handle simple tasks, no matter how hard I try I keep making these mistakes.

I used to be really good in school, but now I feel as if I am not capable of working anywhere. Sometimes I feel like I have chosen the wrong field. Most of the time I'm frustrated with my mistakes and with the way I behave in my workplace.

Is there any specific reason for making mistakes like this? Is there anybody who also face similar situation like this?

  • 1
    Is your boss really 'so angry' with you for making mistakes?
    – pay
    Nov 9, 2016 at 18:54
  • 2
    Don't smoke anything that might make you paranoid of your boss and/or impact negatively on your concentration.
    – Kilisi
    Nov 9, 2016 at 20:08

3 Answers 3


Simple, you don't. Everybody makes lots of mistakes.

How to deal with making mistakes:

  • Accept that everybody makes mistakes.
  • Find and fix your mistakes.

The difficulty lies in finding a good balance in how much time to spend to find and fix your mistakes. There is no universal answer to that, since it depends both on the person and on the task. Keep in mind that finding and fixing a mistake early is always easier than finding and fixing it later.

You seem to be scared about making mistakes because you feel your boss is angry whenever you make mistakes. This is an unhealthy situation, because this will make you more nervous and thus you will make more mistakes. I recommend you talk with your boss about it, because it is rather common for situations like these to be misunderstandings and cases of unintentional body language.


Paradoxically, I have found that I made a lot fewer mistakes once I got over my fear of making mistakes.

How did I get over my fear of making mistakes? I stopped giving a damn. What's the worst thing they could do to me, fire me? If they want to fire me, that's out of my hands. I don't worry about stuff that's out of my hands.

Since you are doing tax work, how do you check your work? You need to check for both accuracy and consistency i.e. the numbers you generate have to make sense to you. If a result does not make sense, then something is wrong either with the inputs or your calculation itself. Don't let anyone distract you say with a question while you are in the middle of a calculation. Always make sure that you document your calculational work so that you can easily retrace your calculations if someone questions your results.

The next time your manager reviews your work, ask him how does he go about checking your work so that "I can do a better job of checking myself". Because he seems to be pretty good at catching stuff that you miss. You might as well learn from him. And by Loki, stop it with the anxiety attacks if you have them! :) The more anxious you are, the more likely you are going to trip over yourself over something stupid or silly that's as plainly visible as a wart on the nose.

Learning how to check yourself may be the single most important thing you're going to learn as an intern. It will affect both your professional life and your career.

Once you've reduced this immediate, important and high priority issue to a manageable level, you might want to look at the bigger picture and ask yourself what you need to do, learn to do and practice doing to turn your internship into a successful experience for both you and the firm. You should consult your manager on this, and you should ask your manager what it is that the most successful interns have done that the manager really likes.


This is assuming that your mistakes are not something that you cannot do, but mistakes that seem stupid and avoidable.

There's a method that helped people that I know: Focus your thoughts on doing things right. Give your subconscious mind positive thoughts. Think "I will do a perfect job". No way for your subconscious mind to misunderstand this. If you think "I won't make mistakes" your subconscious mind turns it into "Mistakes! Mistakes! Mistakes!".

Think about what you want to do right, not what you want to not do wrong.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .