If you’re in a difficult work environment, you need to do more than simply put your head down and push through the toxicity.
A stressful work environment has been linked to all kinds of health problems. Also, poor relationships with co-workers is one of the top reasons why people quit their job. Clearly, it’s important for you to do something about a toxic environment, and not dismiss it.
If you’ve found yourself in a work environment that has toxic elements, consider the following ways to deal with it.
Find your support network
Even in a toxic company, you should be able to find a handful of co-workers whom you can connect with and confide in about the state of affairs. These folks are your de facto support network. Whether the toxic environment is short-term or long-lasting, these folks can help keep your spirits up and warn you when trouble is headed your way. Your support network can also advocate for you, if necessary.
Your cadre of supporters can also alert you to job openings at other companies, should you decide that you’ve had enough.
Don’t join in on the toxicity
When some people are faced with a toxic work environment, they take an if-you-can’t-beat-‘em-join-‘em attitude. However, it’s crucial to avoid toxic behavior, and to treat everybody as professionally as possible.
There are a couple big reasons why you should avoid getting down in the mud with those around you. First of all, the tech industry tends to be a tight-knit community; odds are you’ll encounter someone from this company again down the road. Second, by not giving in to the culture, you set yourself up as a model employee and potential leader.
Talk it out
Many aspects of a toxic workplace can be sorted out with openness and communication. For instance, a basic conversation with a co-worker can get rid of a lot of the issues between the two of you. For more intractable issues, talking it out with your manager or team is often a good course of action.
Whether you are trying to fix the culture, ride it out or bide your time until you can get another job, it’s a good idea to document everything that occurs. File away toxic emails in a separate folder, take notes of meetings and document as much as you can when it comes to toxic interactions. When you do this, you protect yourself and develop the evidence required to push back or defend your own integrity.
Make the most of it (while you can)
Just because you’ve found yourself in a toxic work environment, that doesn’t mean you can’t get something useful out of the situation. You can gain valuable experience and skills by volunteering for projects, cross-training with other employees and grabbing any opportunity to learn a resume-building skill. Staying productive in a toxic environment will be a massive help when trying to find a new job, hopefully in a better environment.
At Software Specialists, we often help people get out of bad work situations. Simply contact us today to find out how we can solve your job situation.