There are many dangers lurking in the working world.
Abominable bosses, loathsome colleagues and soul-sucking tedium skulk in the shadows of nearly every workplace, conspiring to sap productivity and deflate employee engagement.
However, there are ways to minimize the negative effects a toxic workplace can have on your life and career. An infographic posted at Resume.io offers guidance to create an emotional hazmat suit that can insulate your psyche from toxic corporate sludge. Arm yourself with these tips:
- Take the peril seriously. A stressful work environment can profoundly damage your health—to the point of death. If your job is making you physically or mentally ill, don’t just try to ride it out or power through. No job is worth your life.
- Is it your workplace—or just the job? The infographic offers a flowchart to help you decide whether your workplace is truly toxic, or whether an internal transfer might do the trick. If bullying, intimidation, malicious gossip and terrible communication are ubiquitous, that’s your signal to get out of there.
If you do find yourself stuck in suboptimal employment environs, take these steps:
- Start your days with small wins. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back for tiny victories, whether it’s exercising before work, getting an email sent out or finally cleaning those Cheeto-dust thumbprints off your desk.
- Create a ‘gratitude list.’ Instead of fantasizing about exacting sweet vengeance upon Gene in accounting, focus on positive things. Make a list of all the things that make you smile at work. Be grateful, relax, and just trust that that one day, Gene will get his just deserts. Oh, yes, Gene, your day will come.
- Avoid co-workers who create conflict. Not today, Gene! Not today.
- Seek ways to improve yourself. If your workplace sucks, that’s your queue to take some chances. Make the most of your time by learning new skills or honing existing talents. Take a Lynda course, volunteer for a speaking opportunity, or take the lead on a new project.
- Create an exit strategy. If you wallow in misery, you’ll feel stuck, so get busy brushing up that résumé after you clock out. Sometimes, just searching for a new gig and reading fresh job descriptions can fill you with hope.
For more ideas on surviving in a toxic workplace, read the rest of the infographic.