It’s hard enough living in New York City with hordes of strangers at every turn, but it’s even worse if this is your reality at work:
- Stressed out.
- Center of the office gossip.
- Victim of a narcissistic boss…
If on a daily basis on the job, you’re experiencing any combination of these issues (as well as being the recipient of countless oppressive and vindictive behaviors), chances are you work in a toxic work environment. A toxic work environment is defined as a work environment that is unhealthy and damaging to the employees who work there due to drama and infighting and, at times, actual abuse.
If you find yourself in one of these toxic work situations, your mental and physical health is at stake. Toxic workplaces are breeding grounds for employee burnout, depression, panic attacks, fatigue, and chronic stress which triggers digestive problems, immune deficiencies, and increased risks of strokes and heart attacks.
Is a toxic job really worth risking your health and possibly your life? What can you do to take your life back when your job becomes toxic?
Try these four things to stay healthy and once again love what you do:
1. Ask yourself is there’s a chance things will change
What areas of your job are causing you the most stress. Make a list of things you need to have changed in the workplace to make your current job bearable. Be ready to bring up your concerns with your boss or with a supervisor during a job review. Be patient when you bring up your concerns, don’t lay into anyone, but make sure your concerns are heard and acknowledged.
If the final consensus is that nothing will change, that no efforts will be made to address your concerns, you need to make some hard choices about your future.
2. Assess your basic needs – are they being met?
There are basic needs that must be met in order for individuals to be healthy and happy and thriving. In 1943, Abraham Maslow, a psychologist, created an hierarchy of human needs where he prioritized the basic needs of humans in a hierarchy with the most basic needs first: physiological (breathing, eating, sleeping, etc.), safety (including security of one’s body, job, family, health, property, etc.), love and belonging (friendship, family, sexual intimacy, etc.), esteem (self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect, etc.), and finally, self-actualization (morality, creativity, problem-solving, lack of prejudice, etc.).
Assess your needs according to this hierarchy. How many of your basic needs are being met. If you find that not even your basic needs are being met, it’s definitely time to get out of the toxic situation and find somewhere that can meet your basic needs.
3. Surround yourself with people who lift you up
Even if there are several toxic individuals in the workplace, chances are you’re not the only one struggling. Reach out to others who seem to be floundering themselves. Lift them up, and you’ll discover in the process, that you are being lifted up as well; sometimes that’s all you can hold on to when you’re in a seemingly impossible position. It’s been shown that employees with high levels of peer support are the healthiest.
If you struggle to find even one other person in the workplace who is supportive of you, lean on those outside of work–family and friends–to strengthen and build you up so you can bear your job.
4. Find a new job
If work conditions don’t seem likely to change and your basic needs aren’t being met, even with a couple close work associates and family and friends to lift you up, you really need to find a new job. It’s time to start networking, reaching out to others in your field; and it’s definitely time to get professional NYC resume writers to help your resume stand out. With some good contacts, an outstanding resume, and some career coaching, you’ll find a job that will fulfill not just your basic needs, but also help you advance in your career.
It is not ok to be stressed out, overworked, bullied, the center of the office gossip, or the victim of a narcissistic boss. You deserve to be happy at work and have your basic needs met and so much more. If no change is in the works, you need to look for somewhere else to work where your unique talents will be valued and you as an individual will be respected.