5 Ways to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

I don’t know about you, but sometimes a job can turn out to be the exact opposite of what I thought it would be. You start off excited with your hopes high, and imagining how far you can grow in the company and all the positive changes you can help make. But then, sometimes out of nowhere, you start realizing your new role isn’t what you expected. Things can literally switch up overnight lbs.

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I’m not going to get into all the ways a job can become negative or toxic, because I’m sure we all know quite a few. And we also know that a negative work culture can have a huge impact on your actual work performance. Now you want to leave. In some cases, you just HAVE to. So how do you deal in the meantime? Here are five ways to cope when you want to get out of a toxic job:

Keep doing your job. As much as you may dislike the environment, and you may have good reason to, you still are responsible for the duties you signed up for. Slacking up will only hurt you, and give your employer reasons to justify any negativity towards you.

Keep a smile. Believe me, I know how hard it can be to stay positive at a job that you hate, but it really helps! Remain friendly and cordial, and not just for your employer, but for YOU. Having an attitude is only going to make you feel bad, not anyone else. Most of them probably don’t even notice your attitude anyway.

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Don’t forget, that a job doesn’t define you. We spend so much time at work, and it’s easy to allow it to define who we are as a person. Think about it, when you initially meet someone one of the first questions they ask you is, ‘So what do you do?’ I swear, that’s my least favorite ice breaker question because my job won’t tell you more about who I am than questions like, ‘What makes you happy?’ or ‘What are your goals?’ You are who you are, and will still be once you leave there.

Don’t worry, be happy. Anger, bitterness and worry aren’t worth it. Not to mention, they’ll only hurt you. Like, physically hurt you. You can make yourself sick with negative thoughts and feelings. Focus on the good and all that’s coming for you! This doesn’t mean get comfortable at a toxic job, but don’t let it poison you.

Learn from it. Now, the issues at your job may not be your fault, but there is always something to learn from a negative experience that you can apply to your next role. You could land in another role with the same bad experiences if you don’t take the time to learn. Is there something you could have done better? Were you supposed to take that job in the first place? How did you contribute? Honestly answering these questions will help you to avoid similar experiences, and if you so happen to find yourself in them again, you’ll be prepared to get out sooner because you’ll know the signs.

So, the next time you’re in a place where you hate your job and know you want to get out, remember to keep doing what you have to in the meantime, and keep smiling. You are not your job – & you’ll find a way to move on to a more positive experience. 🙂

How do you deal with a toxic work environment? How long did it take you to leave?



P.S. We talk about ways to gracefully exit situations (including jobs) in the latest podcast. Check it out! 


7 thoughts on “5 Ways to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

  1. This a great post and has a lot of useful information. The jobs I had before and during college were the most toxic. So I would always try and keep a smile, stay positive, and avoid the drama.


  2. When I tell you I’m dealing with this right now and all those points you gave I try to tell myself to do. Your right being upset does not help. I really do ask myself am I doing my part at the best level possible

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Earlier on in my working life, I put up with any and every treatment because I wanted to show that I could handle it, and I also didn’t have a good idea of my value. That made it hard for me to have the confidence to make a decision to leave or to stand up for myself. Having learned from my experiences, I make decisions that benefit me more now. Very relatable post. Thanks for sharing your insight!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your point about tying it back to your value. & how we accept things because we think we have to, when we really don’t if it isn’t the best for us!


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