How to Survive in a Toxic Work Environment
While your job may meet your financial needs, not all workplaces meet people’s basic, psychological needs. Some workplaces are downright toxic. Since you probably can’t just leave, learn how to survive and keep your sanity until the day comes when you have a better offer.
(Photo Credit: Simon Strandgaard/Flickr)
Avoid Office Politics
Better to avoid the water cooler than to get involved in office gossip and office politics.Some workplaces are toxic because workers gossip about each other and spread rumors. In the end, this behavior tends to reflect upon those doing the talking, not those talked about.
Gossip also sucks people’s energy, and then they don’t have enough energy left for their work. You will preserve your sanity and be better off in the long run if you ignore the petty gossip and avoid drinking the venom. You will also end up doing a better job for it.
Enjoy Your Personal Life
Get together with friends. Call your family members. Take a class, or go to the gym. Investing in your personal life will help you de-tox from a difficult work environment, and refresh and rejuvanate your spirit.
If you have had an especially difficult day work, it may seem tempting to go home and snack in front of the television. Toxic workplaces drain our energy and made us feel like going to sleep. However, you will be healthier if you fight the initial urge to collapse, and instead go do something enjoyable. You will also have more positive energy to face the next work day.
Throw Yourself Into Your Work
Whatever you do, do a good job. Not only will it give you something else to think about, but you will feel better about yourself knowing your work quality is high. You may get noticed as doing a good job, or at least, you will have that to show for yourself if you find another position to apply for. Which brings us to that last tip: network.
Network, Network, Network
Never forget to network. Just because you are stuck in an unhappy work situation today, you never know what you may find tomorrow. If you keep doing your job well and keep your eyes open for new opportunities, you may have a portfolio or experiences you can bring to your next job interview.
Tell Us What You Think
How do you handle toxic work environments and stressful situations? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.
Beth Taylor has a background in theater arts, education and psychology. She started writing the Undercover Waitress blog in 2011 to help educate and empower non-union women in the labor force. She originally joined the PayScale blogging team in 2013. Since earning her master's degree in clinical psychology in 2015, she works full-time as a clinician performing psychological evaluations and offering therapy services. She continues to write about psychology and behavior at work.