Leaving Your Toxic Job

Leaving Your Toxic Job
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    Every individual should be able to recognize their worth in the current position they hold. However, employees tend to lose sight of their long-term career goals, especially when they are working in a toxic environment. This results in an inability to let go of where you are and gain focus on where you wish to go. How do you recognize when your workplace is toxic (or at least, toxic for you)? As a result of this article, you will be able to identify toxic employment characteristics that should be avoided and will be able to break free of them in order to continue your career path toward a happier, more stable, and less toxic occupation that will allow you to achieve your professional goals.

    What is a Toxic Job?

    The term “toxic job” refers to a position in which you are no longer satisfied with your duties due to circumstances beyond your control. In spite of the fact that there are a number of characteristics that describe a particularly toxic job, there are a few that prove to be the most important.

    Lack of Retention

    Firstly, there is an inexplicable turnover rate among employees. There is no doubt that this is the most noticeable characteristic of a toxic job, and one of the reasons might be the fact that everyone else has already recognized the toxicity in the air. Consequently, they have decided to part ways with the company at a higher rate than usual. Other employees who still reside there and are unaware of the current circumstances can find this very alarming. It can, however, raise red flags for applicants who choose to apply there. When companies are toxic in nature, they lack the capability to give their departing employees an opportunity to express their opinions before leaving. This leaves the problem of ongoing toxicity on the table, which most higher-ups cannot alleviate.

    Negativity Among Chats

    Observe the level of gossip that is passed from employee to employee in order to identify a toxic workplace. This does not necessarily have to be in person; it can be via email, text message, or even video chat such as Zoom or BlueJeans. It can be about fellow employees, higher-level executives, or even a lack of strategy by the organization as a whole. A culture of gossip will negatively affect everyone’s morale and depress productivity levels.

    Extreme BoutsĀ  of Low Morale

    Nevertheless, low morale among employees and teams is also a warning sign. There may be instances of this occurring during typical working hours, and it may appear during team meetings, team building exercises, or even just basic working hours during which nothing special is taking place. There is a general feeling that these employees are drained of their energy and are unable to work effectively. To put it mildly, the entire office (or floor, line, etc.) will appear depressed in their current state and nothing will change that for an extended period of time.

    Transparency is Inexistant

    One of the most obvious signs of a toxic workplace is the complete lack of transparency. It can occur when managers or leaders withhold information that may be pertinent to the company and its employees. It is these very same individuals who often give off the impression that they are leading the company in the wrong direction because they are only concerned about their own well-being or paycheck and do not care about the concerns of others. When new information becomes available, employees tend to be blindsided by it, which can result in a rather uncomfortable atmosphere in the room.

    Underdeveloped Skills

    Initially, employees enjoy their jobs for a number of reasons. Their ability to bring a wide range of skills to the table is one of those reasons. Consequently, when those skills are undeveloped over time and even underutilized, the environment screams toxicity. In addition, you will not be able to adapt to the modern world. In the event that you decide to move on in your career, this will cause an unhealthy problem.

    Doing Little to Get By

    An obvious sign of a toxic job is the tendency for employees to complete only the bare minimum requirements of the employer. This indicates that the employees are unmotivated and unsatisfied in their positions; however, they continue to work to earn a paycheck each week. As a result, toxicity is at its peak, and the company requires a facelift to return to a normal working environment.

    A Non-Employment Environment

    An employee atmosphere can be negatively affected by animosity between co-workers, but it is equally harmful when employees become too close. In order to ensure that boundary lines are not crossed, it is best to maintain a safe distance on both a professional and personal level. Having friendships is okay, even on a professional level. The development of relationships that go beyond this can be problematic for all parties involved, and management may also have to intervene in these relationships. Keep your distance from flirtatious conversations, excessive physical contact, or becoming too close to others you associate with.

    The Choice to Leave

    Despite the fact that many employees have a strong sense of loyalty to their companies for a variety of reasons, leaving is always an option, especially when there appears to be a lack of engagement on the part of their colleagues. The choice is always available, even if it does not appear to be so at first glance. Leaving a company can be a difficult decision, even for experienced professionals. The best course of action is to resign from the company if you have noticed a significant change in the environment at work, as well as when communicating with co-workers. A decision to “wait it out” is never a good idea, regardless of how nice the company benefits, or paycheck may be. To accomplish this goal, a guided plan of what actions to take (or not take) is essential.

    Mental Preparation and Guidance

    There is no shame in leaving your toxic job, when you are ready, on your own terms. Do not allow yourself to be sucked into a never-ending cycle of trying to normalize toxicity. Make every effort to mentally prepare yourself for the transition. You should keep in mind that leaving is an extremely difficult time for anyone, but since it will be you leaving, it will be especially difficult to comprehend and process. Take your time with how you handle yourself. Take this break-up as a work-related separation. By doing so, you will be able to better understand why leaving is the best course of action. In addition, there is no need for you to justify or explain your decision to leave. Although you may feel that you owe yourself, your co-workers, or the higher-ups a detailed explanation of your decision, this is not the case. Leaving a toxic situation is sufficient reason for leaving; no further explanation is required. It is understandable that some colleagues may consider this an attack on themselves, however it is not the case. Some may even attack you personally, but do not let the attack affect you. As a result of their own internal problems, they are unable to accurately reflect your character, personal or professional. Finally, keep in mind that it is your responsibility to determine your own career and destiny. While there is no way to control the toxicity in a workplace nor how to restore normalcy there, you must not feel the slightest bit responsible for what has occurred.

    Regardless of whether you work for a large corporation or a small business, know that you deserve a healthy working environment. You deserve it and you have the right to receive it. You must now put it into practice in order to ensure that you live a healthy and productive professional life, free of any small bouts of toxicity.

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