Most people have to live their lives doing crappy job at some or the other time in their lives. But how do you distinguish between a bad job and one with a toxic influence on your life? Mental health experts advise on how to tell when a job is just awful and what you can do if you find yourself stuck in such a toxic position. A research study surveyed a few unemployed folks and found that those in a perceived hostile work environments had increased stress levels than unemployed people. The blood levels of people at crappy jobs were noticeably less healthier than their already-stressed and currently unemployed friends. A toxic job can do physical and mental damage. So know the signs to get out of a bad situation.
When Work Doesn’t Stay at Work
A workplace that crosses the line into toxic territory, impacts you personally and internally. Some people in a company may annoy you, but you slide into toxic territory when you cannot shake negativity every day or when one’s self-worth and self-esteem are both bludgeoned by your job. You must examine how you feel when you think about going to work every day. If you feel lethargic, not motivated, or want to call in sick, this is a job you’re not crazy about. If you feel irritable, anxious, deeply depressed, get cold sweats, or panic, then this is toxic. If anxious, negative feelings and thoughts keep coming to you long after you leave the office at 5 p.m., your workplace is having a deeply adverse effect on your life.
When You Can’t See the Positive
If you have a job that’s a downer, you might pick out some positive aspects. A study by Michigan State University found that workplace negativity spreads like wildfire with a bunch of unhappy people being really mean and uncooperative with each another. This leads to poor morale, lower productivity, and rise in mental fatigue according to the study. So, if unable to think of a single nice thing, you’re stuck in a “cycle of incivility,” which is hard to stop.
When You Are Not Appreciated
Putting in much work and getting zero credit though everyone probably gets overlooked from time to time at the office, a toxic job undermines your efforts at every turn. It’s so important to feel that your work matters. Sometimes, expressing your feelings can turn the workplace into a better place. But if you feel unsafe or uneasy sharing your feelings, or if you have a boss who ignores your previous requests, or maybe you know the whole office has unchanging negativity, you’re in a toxic place that you’ll need to leave.
Toxic Workplace Checklist
Career coaches specializing in toxic workplaces, ask clients these questions:
- Do you excuse yourself from a meeting because of anger or frustration?
- Do you dread remaining in your job for another year?
- Does your manager doubt your ability to make smart decisions at work?
- Are you assigned tasks by multiple supervisors without regard for work already given to you?
- Is your role constantly changed?
- Are you often interrupted when focusing on a task that it is impossible to get work done?
- Do performance reviews feel like negative feedback that you’ve not been clued into?
- Are you humiliated or yelled at by your manager or colleagues?
- Have you cried at work?
- If you said yes to three or more of those questions, you’re probably in a toxic place.