I have been spending a lot of time with a colleague who has resigned from a job after 6 years. It is like watching someone suffer from a bad break up. Almost every conversation involves a mention of an incident that occurred at the former place of employment or a former coworker.
My mother had a bad experience at a certain job and everyday she mentions the former employer’s name. One year has passed since her last day and the wounds have not healed. She recites her feelings of being exploited and oppressed daily. I am certain that the employer does not consider her at all. Unhealthy work environments are similar to abusive relationships. You feel powerless, voiceless and unappreciated. The coworkers are toxic and negative, the management is biased and unfair. Sometimes the salary is merely enough to take you to work and back home.
My view is that if you are going to work everyday and still broke, you should leave that job and be broke at home. The salaries offered cannot match the rising costs of living. Further to that staff cannot take additional courses or purchase books to develop themselves when they are underpaid.
Signs that you are in a toxic work environment:
-Coworkers are bitter/negative;
-Staff are underpaid;
-Management encourages competition at the expense of cooperation;
-You have sleepless nights;
-You consider resigning;
-You do not want to go to work.
In order to deal with some of the difficulties of a toxic work environment you can :
-Start job hunting;
-Put things in place then resign;
-Ask for a transfer;
-Change your desktop to a peaceful, serene picture;
-Take deep breaths during day;
-Listen to motivational videos during day;
-Instead of smoke breaks, take a walk.
Remember, at a job, you are replaceable. This is your life, the only one that you have. It is a waste to spend this life doing something that you hate.
Antoinette Sydney LLB LEC CAMLFC CFRMP is an author and entrepreneur based in Trinidad and Tobago.
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