Having a healthy, supportive work environment is often critical for ongoing success. Unfortunately, while most professionals strive to avoid toxic workplaces, it’s common to encounter one at some point during a career. When that happens, finding ways to navigate the challenges that come with it is typically a necessity.
Dealing with toxic work environments isn’t always easy, but it is possible. Here are some tips that can help you navigate a toxic workplace more effectively.
How to Deal with a Toxic Work Environment
Avoid Engaging in Toxic Behavior
When you’re in a toxic environment, it’s often easy to get sucked into the negativity. However, engaging in toxic behavior yourself can harm your well-being, potentially leaving you frustrated or disappointed in yourself. Plus, it can hurt your reputation and stymie your career.
Instead, do your best to avoid engaging in toxic behavior. Don’t participate in office gossip, establish boundaries with colleagues prone to negativity, and ensure your work quality doesn’t decline. By remaining neutral and focusing on your performance, you won’t fall into the negative mindset of others, allowing you to ensure a challenging situation doesn’t become harder than necessary.
Have a Social Outlet
Having a social outlet for your frustrations gives you a safe place to express your feelings and receive guidance. Ideally, it’s best to have a group of family members or friends who aren’t associated with your workplace. That ensures you aren’t engaging in potentially harmful gossip at work, creating a functional barrier.
Alternatively, you can speak with a mental health professional. Along with being a safe place to talk openly about what’s occurring, they can provide tips to help you develop healthy coping mechanisms. Additionally, they’ll assist with planning, giving you insights into handling situations arising in your workplace.
Take Your Breaks
When you take breaks at work, you’re giving yourself a chance to step away from the negativity and toxicity that’s present in your workplace. Make sure to leave your workspace entirely if possible, allowing you to get outside or head somewhere neutral to recharge.
Additionally, make use of any vacation time you have accrued. Even if you spend the time at home, it’s a way to get a break from your toxic workplace, elevating your mood and allowing you to return with renewed focus.
Focus on the Positive
While it’s difficult if your workplace is brimming with negativity, focusing on the positive aspects of your job can improve your mood. Identify tasks you enjoy doing during your workday and concentrate on how they make you feel. If your work makes a difference in your community, that’s another positive that you can use as a source of motivation.
It’s also helpful to notice the people around you who aren’t toxic, as that reminds you that you’re not alone. Additionally, by connecting with those individuals, you can create a circle of positive colleagues who uplift and support each other, which can provide a sense of security within an otherwise challenging situation.
Make Time for Self-Care
Self-care activities help you rest, relax, and rejuvenate during your off-hours. While self-care is vital for every professional, it’s particularly critical if you’re in a toxic work environment. Self-care lets you release any built-up stress. Plus, those activities can take your mind off the challenges you encountered, giving you a break from the tension.
Any activity that you find enjoyable and refreshing is potentially a form of self-care. Some people prefer relaxing activities like reading or meditating, while others prefer active pursuits like exercise. Art projects, video games, and a variety of other activities can also qualify as self-care, so consider what you find restful or rejuvenating and make time for it.
Curate a Positive Workstation
If your workstation is only used by you and the company allows for some personalization, try to curate a positive workspace. Add images, quotes, and items that you find uplifting and inspirational. That can include photos of family members, funny pictures, or anything else that brightens your mood.
Just make sure that the items aren’t commentaries on your toxic work environment, even if they are humorous. Others may interpret things of that nature as passive-aggressive, so it’s better to stick with décor that isn’t likely to offend or lead to gossip.
Seek Out New Opportunities
In some cases, the best thing you can do if you’re dealing with a toxic work environment is to plan for your exit. While it’s often tempting to simply quit, doing so can come with consequences. Along with reducing your income, it may lead to a gap in your resume. As a result, it’s best to avoid spontaneously quitting unless your workplace is genuinely dangerous in some form or fashion.
Instead, it’s typically best to seek new opportunities before quitting. Launching a job search can give you a sense of optimism, making it easier to navigate challenging days. Plus, it’s a strategy that lets you move toward a company with a better culture, allowing you to leave a toxic workplace behind once you land something new.
When searching for new jobs, learn about any potential employer’s culture as much as possible. Doing so can reduce your chances of transitioning into a workplace with similar issues.
Are You Ready for a New Job? Burnett Specialists Can Help!
Burnett Specialists is here to support your job search journey when it’s time to leave a toxic workplace behind. Our team of skilled, experienced recruiters can assist you with identifying the right-fit opportunities, ensuring your new employer’s culture meets your needs. Plus, you’ll get support along the way, making your job hunt less stressful and cumbersome.
Partnering with Burnett Specialists for your job search lets you move toward a career-boosting opportunity quickly and efficiently. If you’re ready for a new role, Burnett Specialists can help. Learn more about the available jobs and see how our services can benefit you today.