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5 Ways to Handle Being Completely Lost at Work (That Won’t Make You Look Bad)

By | Lily Herman |

If you’ve ever watched an episode of Charlie Brown, you probably remember his interactions with his teacher in class. No matter what she’s saying, it always sounded like a distorted megaphone to Charlie.

Sometimes, the office can feel just like those Charlie Brown scenes. Your boss or co-worker is giving you instructions or explaining an important project, and all you hear is, “Womp womp womp womp womp.”

If you’re having a moment where you have absolutely no idea what’s happening at work, don’t just give up. Instead, check out these five strategies to get yourself out of the metaphorical hole.

1. Fake it ’Til You Make It

The good old “fake it ’til you make it” strategy is one of the oldest in the book, and pretending you know what’s happening can definitely come in handy, especially if you’re in front of important people and don’t want to sound like you don’t have a grasp on what’s going on.

The technique can be particularly useful if you’re in a situation where you’re being given a great deal of information and know you’ll need time afterward to digest everything that’s being thrown at you. In this case, it’s better to smile, nod, write down the information (including anything you don’t understand), say “I’m going to process this, and I’ll let you know if I have any questions,” and catch up with your boss later.

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