Are You In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship With Your Job?
I was chatting with a friend not too long ago about an incident at work with a couple of co-workers. For the third time since I had been with this company, they got into a massive argument that almost got physical. Obviously, the cause of this incident didn’t happen overnight. There were smaller spats and disagreements over the years that led up to this major fight, where ugly words were exchanged and voice levels raised to a point that you shouldn’t hear in a workplace. Although I wasn’t directly involved in the incidents, they started to have a negative effect on my desire to go to work, interact with my co-workers and to actually work. My friend and my therapist both agreed that the workplace had become a toxic environment. My friend asked me how long I had been there and I mentioned 5 years. She wondered out loud if incidents like these had been going on for that long as well. Yes. She looked at me concerned. I half-jokingly said, “I might be in an emotionally abusive relationship with my job.” She didn’t disagree.
That conversation got me thinking about others’ experiences at work and if instances like mine have something to do with why over 70% of people in America are unhappy at work. Turns out, according to recent research, most people’s supervisors and bosses are to blame for their unhappiness. This is because “those in power are ill-equipped to manage people and all their idiosyncrasies.” What I didn’t tell you was that the fight between my co-workers was a fight between a supervisor and her subordinate thus lending proof to the research.
We spend most of our waking hours at work so you should be enjoying what you’re doing and the environment that you’re doing it in. I’ve listed some tips on how to get out of emotionally abusive jobs and into one that makes you happy:
1. Determine your strengths and find work that mostly aligns with those.
A lot of people think they are leaders and therefore think they are fit to lead. Unfortunately, that is not true. Fortunately, there are many ways to determine your actual strengths. Most times it just takes consulting with trusted sources like friends and family and asking them what they think you are good at. If you see a theme of solving people’s problems easily, for example, then that’s an accurate measure to determine that problem-solving may be one of your strengths.
2. Determine how you best work with people.
Some people work best in group environments while others may be self-starters and prefer to work alone most of the time. It’s important to figure out your work style so that the jobs you look for match best with it.
3. LEAVE your toxic job.
As soon as you realize you can no longer tolerate the fumes of inefficiency, dissatisfaction and non-productivity then start making moves to move on. No one deserves to work in a toxic work environment.
Have you ever experienced work toxicity? What did you do about it?