At some point in your career, you’ll experience it. Your job no longer makes you happy. Maybe the work culture has become overly negative or there is someone you work with that has become difficult to tolerate. Whatever the reason, you are sure of one thing — you’re struggling to deal with the negativity every time you walk through the door.
Invariably, you need to make a decision: Is the job is worth holding onto or are you better off letting go and moving on. If the job is worth salvaging, here are some tips to get through the experience and land successfully on the other side.
Don’t get caught up in the “Misery Loves Company” mentality.
When the work culture is negative, it’s so easy to get caught up in the swirl. It’s human nature to take on the emotions in the workplace. But here’s what you need to know: If Ann and Tom are complaining about their work hours, they feel better about their behavior if you side with them. In fact, they will make it their goal to sway you over to the dark side. For some reason, misery loves company— no one wants to be unhappy on their own. Do some deep thinking on your own feelings concerning the gripes in the office. Are they deal breakers for you? Make your own decision on where you stand.
Don’t be a glutton for punishment.
If the environment is toxic, don’t feel obligated to spend extra time in the negative chaos. Sure, there will be times that you have to be with these people, but there are decisions that you can make about how much time is allotted to this group. For example, you’re not obligated to go to lunch everyday with these toxic individuals. You’re not obligated to spend time with these people outside of work. Listen to your inner voice and when it says “I need a break”— take it. Be aware of having good boundaries that protect you from the toxic behavior.
Get prepared before you walk through the office door.
The risk of being in such a toxic environment day after day is that you begin to prepare yourself for doom before you make it into the confines of your office. The past experiences stream through your consciousness and before you know it, you’re feeling negative before you even sit down at your desk. The good news is that you can take control of this behavior. Have a positive mantra that you can repeat while getting ready for work and repeat it to yourself on the way to work. Toxic situations such as these often make you feel out of control. Remind yourself of how you can take control in this work situation.
Start a new project outside of work.
You need a diversion, something positive to counteract the negative emotions in your life. Considering that you probably have tunnel vision when it comes to your job, it’s healthy to change your focus to something positive. The best course of action is to make some type of change in your life. Start a new hobby, take up a new sport, sign up for a new class or volunteer for a non-profit. Get involved in some type of activity that enriches your life and gets you outside your comfort zone. Utilize your strengths in some manner that reminds you of your talents and helps you gain confidence.
There’s the possibility that you might be best served if you move on to another position. However, before you make this major change, you might want to try these other options on for size.