While employment is essential, staying in a toxic work environment can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. What is worse is that sometimes the toxicity is not evident, and it can take months to identify that you are being exploited and abused.
While quitting a job is not easy, sometimes that is all you can do to preserve your integrity and peace of mind. You will undoubtedly have mixed feelings and many questions about your career and, overall, your future.
However, at one point, you need to prioritize yourself over everything else. Being in a toxic job for a long time could eventually lead to a complete mental breakdown, from which it can be tough to recover. While quitting the job will seem like a difficult step at the moment, it will be one of the best decisions you will have made for your future.
The key is to quit the job professionally and without drama. That will help you maintain your dignity and integrity in an otherwise hostile environment. You can leave with your head held high and start a new journey without getting into unpleasant situations.
What is a Toxic Workplace?
In a toxic workplace, you will never really feel safe and secure. A toxic job will leave you drained and exhausted. Although you may love your job, your boss and colleagues will not make you feel appreciated. You will constantly feel like you are in survival, struggling to get from day to day.
While some jobs are openly abusive, some are more subtle. This can prevent you from identifying the signs of toxicity at first. Moreover, quitting is not the first thing that will come to your mind. You will, and you should try to make things work at the beginning.
However, some jobs are so toxic that it is beyond repair, and you will not be able to survive in that environment unless you become a toxic person yourself. And you wouldn’t want that.
How Does a Toxic Workplace Look Like?
To make an informed decision about whether you should leave your toxic job or not, you need to identify the signs. Here are some things that occur recurrently in a toxic workplace.
1. Your Boss is Unsupportive
One of the most significant signs that you are in a toxic job is that your boss is unsupportive. You will find they are unwilling to help you when you need them and your needs are unmet.
You may be forced to work with outdated technology or in poor working conditions, and your boss is not bothered about the distress that it is causing the employees. Your boss will impose challenging deadlines or pile up work without concern, making it difficult for you to do your job properly.
2. You Have Rude Coworkers
Your coworkers are supposed to have your back at your job. However, rude coworkers can make it difficult to get your job done. They can make things difficult for you, refuse to associate with you, or just use unfair means to get ahead of you.
Talking about you behind your back, spreading rumors about you, or being uncooperative are some things that show you have toxic coworkers.
3. You Face Discrimination
Another telltale sign of a toxic job is that you face discrimination. You may be discriminated against based on gender, race, color, ethnicity, or being disabled.
Your boss, coworkers, or even the management might deliberately make things difficult for you, making you feel alienated. It is impossible to concentrate on your job amidst such hostility.
4. You Are Denied Perks And Promotions
One of the reasons why people work hard is so that they see growth and personal fulfillment in their careers. And that comes in the shape of timely promotions and other perks. However, your boss may constantly stall your promotions or refuse the perks you deserve.
Maybe all of that is redirected to your coworkers who put up with the whims of the management. You may be praised verbally, but your boss doesn’t show signs of rewarding you for your efforts.
5. You Feel Unappreciated
Feeling unheard and unseen is distressing, and that is what you feel working at a toxic job. You may be working relentlessly, yet someone else walks away with the credit.
You are not praised and told to work hard without any perks in return. You feel stagnated and have nothing to show for all your creativity and efforts apart from drawing the base salary.
6. You Are Criticized Often
Your toxic workplace will make you feel that you are often criticized. Your boss may reprimand you in front of your coworkers even when it is not your fault.
Or you may feel that you are being embarrassed in front of your coworkers. This can be humiliating and, over time, can affect your mental health badly.
7. You Have no Work-Life Balance
Another sign of a toxic job is that you have no work-life balance. You are constantly exhausted and don’t have time to spend on the things you love. You get no time for yourself or your family, and they resent you for it.
You feel drained, demotivated, and dread going to work each morning. If this happens for too long, you should consider quitting.
Ways to Quit a Toxic Job Professionally
If you can quit your toxic job without drama, it shows your integrity and overall strength of character. You will also feel better about yourself for being a bigger person.
Here is what you can do to quit your toxic job smartly without drama.
1. Document Everything
The first thing that you should do when you start noticing signs of toxicity is you should document everything. Keep a record of what your boss says, how your coworkers behave, and what you notice around you.
This will help you with evidence if things ever get out of hand. Do not try to confront anybody, especially if you are unsure you will get any help. But keep a paper trail of everything you feel is not happening right.
2. Keep Doing Your Best
Although you will feel demotivated, you must keep doing your best. Yes, you might feel the urge to let things slide a bit since you feel that you will no longer work for the company.
And yet, that is a bad idea because your boss or coworkers will use that against you. Your boss may even put it on the records, and you do not want something like that when you quit.
3. Build Your Network
One of the best things you can do to cut out all that drama is to strengthen your network. Although you have a toxic job, there are bound to be at least a few good people who feel the same way about you.
Try to locate them and build your network to give you inner strength. That way, your last days in the company will be slightly better. You will have something positive to look forward to amidst all that negativity.
4. Be Professional
By being professional, it means you should desist from engaging in any of the toxic behavior yourself. You may feel the urge to get back to some of your colleagues and or jeopardize them, just as they might have done to you at one point.
However, the best thing you can do here is concentrate on your work like nothing has happened. It might be difficult, but if you have already decided to leave, take strength from the fact that you only have a few more weeks left. That will leave you in a better mind once you are out.
5. Start Searching Other Jobs
One of the biggest lessons you will learn from your toxic job is the things you should not settle for in the next one. You are now in a far better position to identify the signs of toxicity, so while researching your next job, keep an eye out for the red flags.
You can try to look up company reviews or check their social media page to understand the work culture. Think of experiencing something positive emerging from your situation and that will help you behave more professionally.
6. Leave a Good Impression
Although you are not obliged to behave well with any of your toxic coworkers or your toxic boss, leaving a good impression will help you feel better when you quit. You might feel like doing the opposite, but this is better in the long run.
You feel you leave a good impression on those, even if they do not deserve it, and you will feel better once you are out. But causing drama will affect you far more at a time when you are already gearing up for a change.
Points to Remember While Quitting a Toxic Job
Although you must quit your toxic job at some point if no solution presents itself, here are some things you should keep in mind.
- Do not gossip about your boss or your coworkers to anyone. Chances are that it will find its way to them, and you will be in a more precarious position in an already hostile workplace.
- Do not be rude in return when your coworkers are rude to you. That will just cause more drama without any result.
- Do not try to get back at your colleagues or boss just because you are quitting. You may need them in the future for reference or some other reason, and there is no point in burning bridges. You will be out soon, so just let things be.
- Do not tell anyone when you start looking for a new job. Do your own research and work silently till you leave.
- Ensure your finances are in order and, preferably, you have a new offer by the time you are ready to quit your job. If not, you should have enough savings to support you for at least three months.
You will feel a marked difference in your well-being once you have quit your toxic job. And doing so professionally and calmly will make things easier for you. More drama will only cause tension and leave a bad aftertaste in your mouth.
Just let bygones be bygones, and be happy for yourself that you finally have a chance at a new beginning. Your boss and coworkers will also notice your calm demeanor and will end up respecting you, even if they had not done so earlier.