Everyone has days when they’re not thrilled about going to work. But the good often outweighs the bad, the thoughts pass, and you continue to push ahead with a job you really do enjoy and feel valued at. However, this is not always the case. Some people find themselves crippled by the “Sunday Scaries,” dreading the thought of Monday morning. Every day is a challenge because they’re faced with an unappreciative boss, disorganized workflows, public scrutiny, or a variety of other events that are common in a toxic workplace.
As businesses change and adjust to the impact of COVID-19, you may find yourself more unhappy or anxious than usual, especially if your boss is forcing you to return to the office when you don’t feel comfortable doing so, they are not enforcing CDC guidelines when it comes to safe practices, or co-workers are still coming to work even though they’re sick. The pressing feeling that you need to get out could be stronger than ever.
How do you deal with a toxic work environment and get yourself to a better place?
- Figure out what makes you unhappy and write it down.
What is it specifically that you don’t like about your job, boss, or company? Understanding what makes it a toxic workplace can help you know what to look for in future positions to avoid similar problems. Keep a running record of issues you encounter, such as instances where you get in trouble by your boss for something that was not your fault, situations that make you feel uncomfortable, times you were asked to do something that went against your best judgment, times you asked for help but did not receive it, etc. Record your notes on paper, not your work computer, and keep them in a safe space. Don’t forget to save emails that support your case as well.
- Talk to HR.
Bring up your concerns to human resources and see if they can help. You may be able to find a solution such as adjusting your schedule or workload, changing positions, getting more support, or having a sit-down with your boss to address issues.
- Keep working hard.
Even if you know you’re on your way out, continue to put in 100% every day. Don’t give your boss reason to think that you were doing anything less than your best or to give you a poor review. Plus, you don’t want to leave your co-workers in a bind because there were projects you let slip or did not finish. They could be valuable references for a new job, so don’t burn your bridges. Also, the more you get done, the more you will have to add to your resume.
- Take care of yourself.
Working in a toxic environment can be physically and mentally draining. As you continue to look for new job opportunities, take time each day to do something for yourself. This could be meditating, exercising, reading, playing piano, going for a walk, or spending time with friends. Make sure your stay on top of your mental health so you can continue to be healthy and productive.
- Update your resume.
In your rush to leave your job and find something else, don’t forget to write down all of your accomplishments. While you still have access to all of your files, records, and data, write down any metrics that demonstrate your achievements. Jot down important notes about projects you were part of, teams you led, committees you participated on, etc. Then use this information to make sure your resume is up-to-date for your new job search.
- Make your exit.
If possible, wait to leave until you have another job lined up. This can be tough if you’re really unhappy, but remind yourself that there is an end in sight. Give your notice (typically at least two weeks) and avoid talking badly about your employer. You don’t want anything to come back and work against you. If you do need to leave without another job in place, do your best to save up money as long as you can before departing so you can focus on finding a new position and not just taking the first thing that is available.
When you’re in a toxic environment, it can be hard to think straight and have the motivation to execute a productive job search. Take some of the stress out of the equation by working with a professional resume writing company like Grammar Chic to polish up your resume and cover letter and position you for your next job opportunity. Get started today and be on your way by contacting us at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.