The Hostile Work Environment: 5 Survival Tips

It’s one thing to feel you would rather stay in bed and completely ignore your alarm than go to work. Even people who love their job feel this way sometimes. But it’s an entirely different matter when your commute is filled with dread and you feel physically ill walking into your workplace. A bad job coupled with abrasive colleagues and an unreasonable boss is nothing to look forward to.

Simply put, a toxic work environment is any place of employment where you are so unhappy that it causes true disruptions in other areas of your life. It could be the work, the people, the clients, the atmosphere, or a combination of those things. Don’t be fooled, every job has its rough parts. But if your job brings you absolutely zero joy, you may be the victim of a hostile work environment.

If your job has no redeeming qualities to speak of, your pay stinks, and there’s no one in your corner at work, your work place may be toxic in more ways than one. Quitting may not be an option. If you have to stick around until something better comes along, here are some life-saving tips for you.

Embrace The Art of Positive Thinking

Your mind is powerful. It’s one of the things that got you this job in the first place. Use your mind to think positively. Train your mind in the art of positive thinking. Force yourself to think of a positive for every negative. Replace each negative comment and situation or scenario with a positive one. This technique will help you form new thought patterns, and your positive attitude will follow. You’ll be amazed at the power you possess.

Start A Journal

Everyone needs to be heard. Many people need to vent. Oftentimes a snappy remark from a coworker or an undue reprimand from a manager is just them venting. Keeping a journal can be a great way for you to be heard and an outlet for any pent up emotions. Having a creative way to express your feelings is healthy. Write whenever you feel the need. Get it all down on paper. Who knows? Maybe The Office started out this way.

Surround Yourself With Happy Things

Your office, cubicle, or locker is yours. Don’t let anyone take that simple joy from you. Make your space your own happy place. Decorate with flowers, plants, photos, certificates, quotes, anything that brings you joy.

Document Everything. Yes, Everything.

Even if you have yet to decide if your workplace is toxic, it doesn’t hurt to document everything. This isn’t foolproof protection from overbearing, self-appointed employee or manager relationships. But well-kept documentation can offer some defense when others are determined to throw you under the bus.

For those working in an office, this means saving and organizing your email communications for each project you work on. It’s often easier to pick up the phone to pass on an assignment or message. But, play it safe. Keep notes at meetings, send emails, and don’t rely on phone communication. Take photos of work hazards and give these to your employment lawyer. If your boss discriminates because of pregnancy or childbirth, collect evidence. According to Malonis Law Office, a family law attorney, in Lowell, Massachusetts, “It’s not foolproof. But if a manager knows you are keeping track, they’ll think twice before trying something underhanded.”

Know When To Stick It Out

First off, don’t stick it out in a toxic workplace when you don’t have to or when there’s no hope of improvement. Too many people have a martyr complex or are afraid of trying something new. When work is going south and continues in that direction for a long time, get out.

If you landed your first job, you’ll land another. Granted, it’s best to have something lined up before you quit. But if your place of employment is causing you extreme emotional or physical stress, move on. Move on to greener pastures before your current job bleeds the very life out of you.

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