Toxic relationships are all around us. We encounter them almost everywhere; whether personally, spiritually or professionally. While you may not be willing or able to change certain aspects of toxic cultures that you are in, your professional environment should not be a place of disdain, and can easily be changed if you choose to do so. If not addressed properly those added stress levels caused by your poisonous workplace issues it has the potential to spiral out of control and the overall resentment you have being in that type of situation can and will spill over to other aspects of your life. However, the best way to make a change is to BEGIN. Begin to make positive steps towards getting out of toxicity of your professional environment and find something that’s more conducive to your overall level of professional standards. The first step is to recognize and acknowledge that you are working within a toxic and hostile workplace. What do I mean by a toxic workplace? A “toxic workplace” can be defined by a workplace that is marred by significant drama, issues and infighting, where professional battles often hinder and sometimes even halt overall productivity. A toxic workplace can ultimately cause a negative impact to the feasibility of an organization, which will ultimately cause additional stress, displeasure and dissatisfaction for you. Some signs that this may be your environment:
- Afraid to share your ideas because of public embarrassment
- Your manager never listens to you
- You are never appreciated for your hard work
- Others are rewarded for poor behavior
- Constant unwanted advances are not prohibited
- You have been lied to by management
- Your compensation is not closely aligned with your production
- The workplace is fiercely competitive
- The workplace is very inefficient/disjointed
- Your manager uses emotional manipulation
Once the acknowledgement is made, the second step is taking the steps necessary to find a better working atmosphere. Keep in mind, sometimes finding a better atmosphere can be much more than benefits, or more money (don’t get me wrong…those are very beneficial especially for your overall professional and financial goals). Your ultimate goal should be ensuring peace of mind, sustainable and encouraging employment order.
The third step is to start looking and stop waiting for the perfect job to fall in your lap. Now if you’re anything like me you have a life and there are other things you rather be doing or other obligations and priorities that you have that takes up more time in the day then you have. We make excuses why we don’t pursue something better; I don’t want to spend more time in front of a computer after 8 hours at work and my bad commute home, I need to cook dinner and take care of my family when I get home, I am tired after work and the gym, I need to update my resume first… However, positive changes starts with you and your ability to take the necessary steps to change to fix what is broken in your career.
Eight hours a day is a really long time to endure that kind of environment, unfortunately so many people are trapped in a toxic work environment because of things like health benefits, favorable commute and tenure but the usual culprit is fear. Fear of the unknown keeps people anchored in these toxic relationships and for most management who engage in this behavior they bank on that fear. It’s the whole “devil you know vs the devil you don’t” that keeps people in this situation year after year. The bottom line is we usually wait until it’s severely painful before we start taking action and there is no real reason to wait. Everyone has something or someone in their job they don’t like; the loud overbearing cubical neighbor, the lunch thief, the cologne/perfume abuser could all disappear and everyone would be happy but they aren’t toxic. Neither are the team whiner, the meetings that should really just be emails, the “everything is urgent” person are all people that we don’t like but they are not reasons to pack up and leave for another job because let’s face it you will find these are found in most jobs. Toxic relationships are a form of emotional abuse and even though you are being paid for the time that is no reason to endure them. With most abusive situations recognition is essential, so if this seems like this is your situation don’t you feel that it’s time to make a change? The time is now…let’s BEGIN.