9 Signs Your Job Is Toxic Without You Realizing It
Having a toxic job can completely drain you. Many of us spend so much of our lives at work, but we don't always realize the lasting impact our work environment can have on us. And while there are some workplaces that are obviously toxic, a lot of office toxicity can fall into an ambiguous area. But just because it's not obvious at first, doesn't mean it's OK. "However, in many gray areas, you simply have to trust your judgment and gut intuition and communicate that you are uncomfortable if you cannot avoid a work situation or workplace relationship (e.g., it's not a one-off client interaction) that is toxic or abusive or simply overly negative or passive aggressive in nature," Georgene Huang, co-founder of Fairygodboss, tells Bustle.
So if you feel like something isn't right at your job, think further. Maybe you haven't even realized how bad it is. Maybe everyone else in the office is going along with it. But, if you are reflective, you should be able to tell when something's really wrong. There are a lot of ways your job might be toxic without you seeing it right away, so it's important that you know the signs and are honest with yourself about what's going on. Because sometimes, it really pays off to trust your gut.
1. You Get Really Into The Gossip
Gossip isn't always innocent. It can drag you in and wear on you, and, when it's bad enough, make your job really toxic. Try to steer clear. "Take the high road and don’t get involved or encourage this talk," relationship expert, author, and founder of the Ask April relationship advice forum, April Masini, tells Bustle. "Depending on your personal style, either be silent and walk away or call the person on their negativity and suggest a better approach is to appreciate the assets of others and what they have to offer the company (and the world)."
It may start out innocently, but gossip can have a hugely negative effect.
2. Your Boss Is Pushy
Sure, your boss should be asking a lot from you. But, before you know it, that can go into bullying territory. “Toxic bosses are often untamed bullies,” Laura MacLeod, HR expert and founder of From The Inside Out Project, tells Bustle. “Bullies are rarely confronted, so confronting your boss in a straightforward way may be the answer.” But if confrontation doesn't work, don't be scared to make a change.
“If you are honestly traumatized in any way by a toxic boss and have tried to work it out — and nothing has changed — absolutely get a new job," MacLeod says.
3. You're Encouraged To Compare Yourself To Others
A little bit of workplace competition can be inevitable, but if you're actively pitted against each other that's not OK. "Never, ever compare yourself to others, it's a one way ticket to feeling absolutely horrid," Sallee Poinsette-Nash, Business and Brand Troubleshooter tells Bustle. "When this happens, which it inevitably will, simply thank your mind for the unhelpful comparison and return to the work you need to do to move yourself, at your pace, in the direction of your aspirations." If your job doesn't let you just focus on yourself, that's not healthy.
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