Should I quit my job? Dealing with a toxic workplace, knowing your limits, your worth, & pursuing your dreams.

You spend countless hours writing, editing, and criticizing your own resume. Does it look okay? Is it too wordy? Is it long enough? Do people care about this? Should I mention that? Did I put enough? Did I put too much? Will anyone understand this? What’s another word for ____?  It can be exhausting putting a resume together. Heck, it can be overwhelming even thinking about updating your resume. You want it to stand out.. but only in the best ways. You start sending out your resume with your cover letter (customized and job specific of course ;)), and anxiously wait for a call. Not just any call.. but “THE” call. The one that lands you the interview with the company that was the “IT” company out of all of the places you applied. You kill it at your interview, score an offer, negotiate like a boss, and accept the position! There is nothing that can bring you off cloud nine at this point… right?

Until a few months in you’ve realized that your “it” company has a terrible company culture —wait, what??!  It is such a difficult part of job hunting because a huge piece of your research should be to find out about a company’s culture. Sometimes, you just can’t tell from reviews online, a company website, or even the interview. Sometimes, you don’t know until you begin working there. But… what if you find yourself facing a negative situation once you get there – can you change the environment of your workplace for the better… or will it be a lost cause?  There are so many variables to consider to be able to answer that question.

I think every life, has a few less-than-awesome jobs that must fall. I also think it’s pretty safe to say, we all have either worked with toxic co-workers, do work with them, or will work with them at some point in our careers. Some people will even say that leaving a job to avoid the person who makes you crazy is pointless because that person will be waiting for you at the next company.. in a different body. I don’t know about you, but I felt 1000x more helpless and stuck-  the first time I ever heard that.

  • Someone who has zero regard for deadlines but will take credit for things that they truly had no part in.
  • Someone who doesn’t show up for work on time, or even show up regularly for that matter.
  • Someone who doesn’t know the first thing about managing their time wisely and in turn creates more work for everyone else (including you!).
  • That hot mess express employee who simply drains everyone else’s time, energy, and enthusiasm.
  • The social butterfly who might be funny and ‘everybody’s best friend’ but chatting is his/her top priority while the actual work load takes the backseat for them – resulting in extra work for everyone around them.
  • That boss who seems to lack good leadership skills, maybe even feels threatened by you, and in turn tries to keep you from growing.
  • The team member who poisons the atmosphere and creates a hostile environment for everyone around them. Some might even call them a bully (and boy oh boy do I HATE BULLIES!).
  • Don’t even get me started on the ones who love to gossip, or even worse form cliques. “You can’t sit with us!”

While you read the list of traits above, my guess is someone you know, came to mind. So, I wanted to take some time this afternoon to let you know, you’re not alone & you don’t have to accept a toxic environment as the “norm” or as “the way it will be anywhere you go”.

Do you remember the movie Mean Girls?  Whether you were able to relate to Cady, Regina, or one of the other infamous characters, chances are you’ve encountered similar personalities to all of them at one point. It would be nice to think the stuff we experienced in high school stays in high school but unfortunately a lot of the same situations can show themselves in the workplace.

5 things

This website also has some pretty realistic ideas for how to cope with some challenging personality types as well as this one! Take some time & check them out! 🙂

Seeing as how the average person spends over 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime; my number one piece of advice is to stay positive. 90,000 hours of your life is too much time to spend miserable. Choose happiness. More importantly, CREATE happiness.  We can’t expect change to happen if we aren’t willing to step up to the plate. So, take time to get to know your co-workers (especially the ones you might not be naturally drawn to), be kind, and just simply be your awesome self. Don’t allow toxic people to ruin an otherwise great opportunity. We owe it to ourselves to recognize when it’s worthwhile to lend our efforts to creating change.. but also knowing when it’s time to move on for a better overall fit. Your career and happiness are non-negotiable.

You’ve tried to be positive. You’ve tried to be part of the solution. You have tried to embrace change. Now ask yourself these questions…

  • Do you love your job?
  • Are you happy?
  • Is your job satisfying?
  • Do you feel valued?
  • When you go home for the day, are you able to focus on & enjoy your family, or other things in your life  – without worrying about your job?

If you are spending the day feeling like you are walking on eggshells, or feeling “not good enough” – it may not be the job for you. If you are going home at the end of the day, and can’t seem to focus on anything else because you are so worried about what’s going to happen tomorrow at work – it may not be the job for you. If you are spending long hours at work, and coming home just to field work emails that then make you feel frustrated, undervalued, or just plain freaked out by their contents – just so you can then go to sleep, all wound up, preparing to do it all over again the next day – you may need to ask yourself if this is the right place for you. If you feel like your job is consuming your life and you don’t have time to enjoy other things in life, let alone pursue your dreams – you have to ask yourself – is it worth it? If you are unhappy, stressed, and your anxiety is at an all-time high – it may be best to part ways.

Are you too comfortable? Have you stopped learning new things, or being able to move forward? If a job isn’t challenging you to learn new things, it’s not where you’re supposed to be. For me, without a challenge, I feel like I am lacking purpose. Having no purpose at a place you spend most of your time is.. well, it’s devastating. Don’t become so complacent that you forget there are other things out there! In my other blogs I have mentioned that money may not bring you happiness, but it sure as hell does make life a lot easier. And, I do firmly believe that. However, if you are just staying at a job to collect that comfortable paycheck every couple of weeks – let me just tell you – there are lots of other ways to make money. Ways that won’t make you feel like you’re loosing a part of yourself or having your soul crushed on a regular basis.

I remember the day I came home from my last day working for a company. I had put in a 14 hour day, and was exhausted. Those two weeks leading up to my last day; I had spent my time wondering if I was making the right decision leaving, and I worried about the co-workers I was leaving behind to pick up the pieces until they found my replacement. I worried if I ever would love another job or another company, as much as the one I was leaving behind. I worried if my new adventure was going to be what I was hoping it would be, and I worried if I would be good at something new. After all, I knew my current job like the back of my hand and I knew I had become good at it. I was confident in what I did. But, after that last 14 hour shift, I pulled up to my driveway to see my son and my husband had spent all day putting up the Christmas decorations. I remember just sitting in the driveway looking at all the lights, and suddenly felt this huge weight off my shoulders. It was like all those “what if’s” and worries just faded away. I suddenly knew, everything I needed was behind that brightly decorated door, and everything else in life, would just find a way to work itself out.

We all make choices in our lives, and they aren’t always because something wasn’t great, but sometimes we just need a change. Sometimes we need to take a leap of faith and try a new opportunity just because that’s what we need as people – to grow.  If you are in a place in your life where you find yourself wondering if your job is the right place for you, I want you to know a few things.

  1. Change is scary, but regret is terrifying.
  2. Spending your life wondering “what if?” is really no way to live.
  3. Deciding to leave doesn’t make you a quitter. In a lot of ways, it actually makes you brave.
  4. No job is worth sacrificing your physical, mental, or emotional health. Struggling financially for a little while but saving your sanity -will be worth it.
  5. Not everyone is going to support or approve of your new adventure, and that’s okay!
  6. Nothing is as painful as staying somewhere you don’t belong. Don’t let the fear of growing or changing stunt you.
  7. You deserve to find your place in this amazing world and create a life that rocks your socks!
  8. Don’t get stuck in a place in life where you are just waiting for the weekend. Live a life you can enjoy every day, and not just on the one or two days a week you get a break from work.
  9. The person you want to be is already inside you, otherwise you wouldn’t want to be that person. Think about where you want your life to go – and go after it! You never know who you might be inspiring to do the same!
  10. One of the best pieces of advice I ever read was not to talk yourself out of applying for something new just because you don’t think you’re qualified. That isn’t our decision to make. The company we are applying for will make that decision for us and it’s up to us to let them know we are out here! 🙂

If you are finding yourself asking yourself if you should quit your job… I recommend this printable worksheet I had found on Pinterest. It is pretty neat and if nothing else, will get you thinking while you figure out what’s next. You can find it here!

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