Want to run from a toxic workplace? These 4 tips will help you think straight
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Do you hate the idea of getting up for work each day? The feeling of frustration, stress, and anger sets in as you get your shower, brush your teeth and get ready for another day at the same toxic place holding you back from pursuing your dreams. You’d love to quit the job and move on, but worry about how you’re going to afford to live without it. Instead, you continue to allow your mental and physical health to deteriorate by pushing yourself to stick with a job that doesn’t meet your needs or provide anything of value to you.
No one should ever have to endure toxic work culture, but unfortunately, too many people put up with these uncomfortable and stressful situations because they have built their lifestyles around their current job. However, tolerating a job you hate for too long often causes individuals to end up in toxic workplaces that destroy their self-confidence, self-esteem, and mental health. This perfect storm of events can have a detrimental impact on one’s ability to make intelligent career decisions.
If you’d like to avoid making emotional career decisions and attempt to exit your current toxic role and get into a position that meets your expectations, consider following the tips below. These tips are summarized based on my personal experiences and interviews with ten working professionals in different fields, including IT, product, and finance companies.
Decide what you’d like to do in your next role
Finding a job you love means determining what you’d like to do in the following role that you’d have. Grab a journal and make a list of the tasks you wouldn’t mind taking on when hired to work for your dream company. Be sure to document the short-term goals before anything. Knowing your short-term goals makes it easier for you to figure out what it would take for you to achieve a desirable role that leaves you looking forward to getting up and going to work each day. Develop both short-term and long-term goals to give yourself things to look forward to in the future.
Make sure you include a list of the reasons your current job is toxic. These are the things you want to avoid in other workplaces when searching for the right position for you. For example, you may feel like you’re overworked, disrespected, and constantly expected to pick up the slack for other employees. If these are the things that make you feel like you’re dealing with a toxic workplace, be sure to find companies that don’t treat their employees that way.
The grass always looks greener on the other side. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t jobs that are better than the job you currently have. However, it does mean that you need to pay close attention to the culture and environment in different workplaces to determine how different they are from your workplace. When you document all this information, it’s easier to understand what your ideal job looks like, making it possible for you to easily evaluate companies, hiring managers, and their workplace culture.
Consider the job for what it is and not what it can become
Avoid getting into a position that is too different from the kind of job you’d like to have. Sure, you might feel tempted to take on the new role because you’re desperate to get out of the situation at your current workplace. You may even think that there is great potential with the job, even if it’s not what you expected. The problem with taking this approach is that it can take time to unlock the potential to craft your career. If it’s taking too much time for you to get to that point where you’re doing what you love, you’re going to feel discouraged. However, don’t let the potential of working your way up the ladder keep you from pursuing new opportunities that have more to offer, even for new hires.
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When you accept a job because of its potential and nothing happens for years, it leaves you feeling frustrated. You’ll start to wonder if things will ever get better or if you’ll ever get to the role that you expected to have by a particular time. As a result of this situation, you’d find yourself back at square one, searching for new roles that are perfect for you. Therefore, always consider a job for what it is and not for what it can become because anything can happen, and there are no guarantees.
Avoid underselling yourself and your talents
Dealing with a toxic work culture is difficult. Rather than focusing solely on getting out of your current role, start thinking about the things you’re most passionate about and then search for jobs that allow you to do what you love. The objective is to find a position that will enable you to utilize your skills and enjoy what you do. In addition, the right job will meet the needs of your lifestyle, whether you have children at home or not.
When a job is too toxic to the point that you know your mental health is suffering because of it, quitting the job makes the most sense. You may need to take a break, get back into the right headspace, and reflect on what kind of job you need in your life. But, on the other hand, it’s never worth staying at a job that takes a drastic toll on your mental health, leaving you anxious, stressed, and even depressed.
Don’t undersell yourself in an attempt to get out of a toxic workplace. You may take a pay cut by accepting a role at a different workplace, but that causes you to lose out on the money you deserve because of all you do. The desperation of taking such a cut because you want to get out of the toxic work environment will come back to haunt you, so be sure to make wise decisions when leaving one position for another.
Ask the interviewer some questions
When going on interviews with different companies, don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer questions. It shows you’re interested in the job, the person interviewing, and how they feel about the company. It allows you to get to know the interviewer a bit more and feel what the culture is like at the workplace. The potential employers will ask different questions to assess you and see if you’re a good fit for the role. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to evaluate them to see if the available position is a good fit for you! You want to find out what the person interviewing likes most about the job, such as the co-workers, the company culture, or something else.
Staying in a toxic work environment is the last thing anyone wants to do. Nothing should be more important than your mental health and the well-being of your family. Follow these tips to evaluate your next role objectively.