Toxic Workplace Got You Down?

Here’s How to Rise Above It

I once asked my students in the Career Preparation course I teach at the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago how many have ever had a “bad boss” or toxic colleague (or classmate). Over 90% raised their hands.

There’s a lot we need to do as a culture to improve the workplace. While generally speaking, the workplace is moving in a more empathetic, positive direction, toxic environments still exist. So what can you do to remain positive if you find yourself in this type of situation?

Find a Compatriot.

We feel it, we’re told it, and the research supports it: friends matter. Having someone we’re close with at work helps us, but having people in your corner, who get you, and understand your circumstances—good or bad, is extremely helpful in the workplace.

Talk With Someone.

You don’t need to communicate your concerns or uneasiness with colleagues, but you do need to communicate them to someone. One of the worst things to do when you’re in a toxic work environment is to keep it to yourself.

You have PTO and a lunch break for a reason. You need this even more if you’re in a toxic environment. It’s nice to dart off to a tropical island to recharge—and if you can, and that’s what you want, you should!

Take Breaks and Use Your PTO.

Establish and Honor Your Limits.

Boundaries are critical for a healthy work environment. Make your boundaries clear and communicate them with your manager and colleagues, and don't budge.

Set goals for yourself—and, if you've reached your limit, make getting out one of them.

Create an Exit Strategy.

How? Connect with yourself and your wants, talk with a mentor or a trusted friend or hire a coach if you need someone objective and outside your network. Come up with a game plan and go.

Swipe up to learn more!