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Is it Time you Break up with your Toxic Job?

Negativity in the workforce can have a poisonous effect. Sometimes bosses are bullies, or coworkers stab each other in the back. Sometimes shame and blame are weaponized to make your life miserable. These actions can cause significant and long-lasting damage to your mental health and career. To avoid this, be quick to identify and respond to toxicity, and know when it’s time to move on. Here’s how to recognize when it’s time to break up with your toxic job.


Know When Things Are Not Working and Ask Why

The hardest part of leaving a job is really knowing when it’s time to move on. The truth is that there is no such thing as a “perfect job,” but there are better jobs out there. When we start to struggle with feelings of disillusionment at work, it’s usually because we don’t have enough opportunities in the position to use our strengths or to try new things.

So ask yourself, is it the job or is it something I can do differently? Before throwing in the towel, take some time to evaluate those areas in your job that allow you to play to your strengths. Talk to your manager about what sort of work energizes you and how you can do more of that work in your day-to-day. Maybe it’s a matter of putting up stronger boundaries to protect your work and your time.

Know Who to Ask for Help

When giving things a little more time isn’t helping to make headway, you should consider who you have in your professional network or support structure who might be able to support you. Mentors, friends, colleagues (without a conflict of interest) can all provide meaningful advice and perspective. But talking to your recruiters can be a very powerful tool as well. They can provide a birds-eye view of the situation. If the toxicity is pervasive enough to bring in HR to help manage the challenges, they can help you do that. If they can see that the role clearly isn’t the right fit, they can help you shift toward something more meaningful in a way that won’t burn bridges for you or their client. They can also provide some direct feedback to their client about how a toxic workplace is not the right fit for anyone they place in the role.

Know What Not to Do

First and foremost, you should never just leave a job site. If you are facing active toxicity at work, stay strong. Respond appropriately. Where possible, follow through on your commitments even when you are in the process of finding a new job. Don’t speak poorly of your manager, supervisor, coworkers or anyone when in transition. The attitude you bring during such a challenging time reflects on your professionalism and can impact your career long term. Avoid coming across as snarky, grouchy, sarcastic, or otherwise negative about the tasks at hand and look to the future to make sure you leave a positive impression on those you leave behind. Essentially, try not to take the toxicity with you when you move on.


For help finding a more supportive, more rewarding work environment, connect with the recruiting team at Bergman Brothers today.