5 Signs of a Toxic Workplace That I Regret Ignoring

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Working your typical 9-5 is often difficult, or at the very least not very fun.  Let’s put things into perspective. You spend so much time working on creating a stellar resume, and LinkedIn profile and it could take months before you even land an interview.

Sadly, The difficulty does not always end with landing a job. It’s quite scary to think that you won’t always know if you are walking into a toxic environment.

The good thing about negativity is that eventually it is revealed to you. I learned all of these red flags through personal experience at my first job out of college. Working for a small (now semi-large) start-up in Chicago’s “silicon valley” opened my eyes to workforce realities.

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They boasted million dollar pledges, however, the inside of the company was a cesspool of terrible energy. I honestly wasn’t prepared for the year to come, but I survived so you won’t have to (I’m half joking).

In all seriousness, before considering any job, please check the company out online. Read the negative and positive reviews with an open mind. Here are the five red flags that I wish I hadn’t ignored.

Having a bad relationship with your supervisor.


If you don’t establish anything else at your job, you must establish a good relationship with your immediate superior. They could serve as a window for future career growth at other companies.

When there is ever a feeling or realization that your relationship is approaching sour, that could be an indicator of problems to come. In the workforce, if your superior is not with you, then they might actually be against you.

No Work-life balance.


A healthy balance of work and fun is essential to a successful career. So when your job doesn’t take this into account, that can serve as a red flag. Lack of work-life balance shows a disrespect for your time and well-being on the employer’s part.

The scary thing is, employers do not necessarily have to respect your time. I know from experience, that in the start-up realm, you live in a time where burning the midnight oil is expected of you. This is sometimes true even if you are a salaried employee. Office politics can make claiming and protecting your time frowned upon. (at least at the start up that I worked for).

If your employer doesn’t encourage you to go home on time, that is bad. When your employer penalizes workers for not staying late every night, THAT IS BAD. It may be time to draft your two weeks notice.

Gossiping coworkers and superiors.


Employees who speak maliciously to and about one another is a byproduct of that workplace’s toxicity. For the most part, the HR department is put in place to help employees feel safe and productive at work.

However, When you encounter multiple gossipers at work, that could be a sign of a lack in supervision. It could also be superiors not enforcing regulations that are conducive to a productive work environment.

Dreading going to work everyday.

I’m sure most people can relate to this terrible feeling. Not being able to properly enjoy Sundays, because you spend most of the time worrying about what Monday will bring. This is obviously no way to live.

It is similar to being in an abusive relationship, and the only way to enhance your life is to leave.

Of course this is different for instances of stress related to a very important work task, or approaching deadline. unfortunately, this is the standard type of stress that a lot of adults face, and cannot always be avoided.

Feeling your role to be minuscule or unimportant.


There are a plethora of different roles within a business that play their own part in reaching an overall goal. In essence, without the role that you play, the company that you work for CANNOT succeed.

When there are multiple instances where a person is feeling as though their work is insignificant to a company’s overall goal, then that employer is not putting an effort to make their employees see the bigger picture.

Low morale is obvious to every employer. How it is handled by said employer, dictates how much you are valued as an employee for that company.

Look for effort from your co-workers or supervisors, and put in effort as well to reciprocate good behavior. Doing so will keep the team morale at a healthy baseline.  Check to see if your job puts their employees needs as a priority, and if said employer knows that happy employees is the way to success.


These are my 5 red flags that you might be at a toxic job, that I learned since joining the workforce. What are some that you have run into? And how do you navigate these red flags?

Be sure to leave your feedback below, and thanks again for reading and I will see you in the next post!




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2 thoughts on “5 Signs of a Toxic Workplace That I Regret Ignoring”

  1. The good news is once you identify one toxic environment you will know much easier the next time.

    For me, it took several years to know that I was in a toxic work situation. Bad leadership and narcissism was something that was tolerated. This is a really bad sign with an employer.

    A sick workplace where people are always calling out is another sign of a toxic workplace. Add in high employee turnover with bullies navigating as executives and it is a sure sign to find another job.

    After leaving the one position I had in a toxic environment, I landed another position with another employer and quickly identified it was similar to the last place. That time I did not wait and left much sooner.

    Life is too short to be miserable at a job. Find your happiness.

    1. Exactly Eric. The first time I found myself in a toxic workplace I let fear keep me there for so long that the life was literally sucked out from me. Thanks for reading!

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