7 Ways to Navigate a Toxic Workplace

For those of us who choose to go the 9-5 route, there is a general understanding that you could end up landing a job at a toxic workplace. So how do you avoid this?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a guarantee that you can avoid every unpleasant experience at your job. However, it is possible to follow a few steps to alleviate the pain of playing the part. below are 7 ways that you can cope with having a job that sucks.

 

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Keep perspective.

the sky between two city buildings

There is no surefire way to discern if a workplace is toxic before getting the job. ( there are the exceptions, that are so infested with bad energy that even lay people can feel it). One way to help mitigate the bad vibes is to keep your eye on the bigger picture. 

There is a reason why the company that you chose exists. There is an overall goal that you want to accomplish by working there. Using this as your motivation can take off some of the social pressure.

Are you paid well at this job? A good way to keep perspective is to focus on your financial goals while working. if you are not receiving the best pay, are there any other benefits to your job? Focusing on the physical benefits may also help with keeping perspective.

Wear blinders.

blurry focus sign

Not literally, but it helps to stay focused. A lot of times when work is upsetting us, we play into this by paying attention to everything but ourselves, and our immediate tasks. 

Let’s be realistic. We cannot control the behavior of our peers, but we can control what we take part in, how we act, and how fast we can reach those goals.

So immerse yourself in your work, and your immediate peers that you have a direct work relationship with.

Avoid the main source of stress and conflict.

man sitting behind wall on his laptop

At all costs, we have to distance ourselves from the epicenter of drama at work. Obviously, this is not possible for everyone’s situation, in which case, keeping perspective is the most effective way to keep a level head. 

If the cause of drama is a manager or your boss, try your hardest to interact only when absolutely necessary. That way you can mentally prepare before getting your daily dose of drama. 

If the source is a certain group of people, try hard to avoid conflict so that your own emotions stay at equilibrium. This means picking your battles and

Have a creative outlet.

man sitting on the edge of a pier in front of mountains and a lake

When I worked at my first job out of college, it was the most miserable that I had ever been. I wasted a lot of time thinking, and ruminating on the things that would upset me at work; and it only made things seem way worse than they were at times. Every negative encounter that I had stuck with me like honey on a hot day. The dwelling was so bad that it even started to affect my sleep. 

Learn from my mistake, and do not do this…

Having health problems due to workplace toxicity is so intense, and can be avoided if we learn to channel our presence into things that matter. No job is worth your well being. Having a creative outlet was a fantastic way to release anxiety and even boredom.

The biggest reason why I am in favor of being creative is that it gives more meaning to one’s life in that moment. This can help feel like work is not our identity. It also provides us with something to look forward to at the end of the day, and acts as a source of pride.

I run this blog as one of my outlets, and create youtube videos! However, the most beneficial outlet that I have started to embrace is travel. Did you know that there are ways to travel without spending of ton of money?

This is called travel hacking, and there will be a separate post on this blog soon, to show how I have learned to work the system and travel the world.

Interact with people that do not stress you out.

friends holding on to each other

If you are lucky, there will be at least 1 person (or group) who are a pleasure to be around. Anytime that there is a chance (that doesn’t affect your productivity of course), try spending time with these people. 

This can help you keep a little bit of the social aspect of work, and it helps to have confirmation that not everyone at your job is a mean and toxic person.

Lean on your support system.

legs of pier in water

There are people in life who love you, and want you to succeed. Focus on the interactions of those people. Human interaction is extremely important when your work life is unpleasant. 

It can help boost your mood, and also make going to work a lot more bearable. Whether it’s a spouse, your kids, a friend, siblings, etc. just remember to utilize the successful connections that you have made in a positive way.

Show gratitude.

thankful

This is the tip that I used the most during my hard time. A large part of how a toxic workplace takes over one’s psyche is by making us feel like we are being specifically targeted, because life is just so unfair. 

It is too easy to slip down that slope of self deprecation and pity. Once you reach this place, they have won!

Practice gratitude. Why did you pray and wish for this job at one point? Where are you in terms of fortune? ( do you have a roof over your head? A steady income? Benefits?). Are you helping someone? Once we look outside of our circumstance, we become more open to keeping our cool, and this allows for better opportunities in the future.

Conclusion.

These are the 7 ways to navigate a toxic workplace. What are your thoughts? Have you ever had a job that drained you due to toxicity?

These tips helped me get through the hell of my  first cliquey startup job, and I hope that it serves you the way that it did me. Thanks for reading and I will see you in the next post!

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