Signs of A Toxic Work Environment

Author: Victoria Johnson 8/20/2016


Most consider that it's a noble act to be grateful and that the grass may not be greener on the other side.  This is true to some degree, but there are other examples where the grass on your side is dried up and can't be watered- a clear sign that your career may be at wits’ end, as your work environment changes.  Here're a few toxic work environments to look out for, as it may be a signal that a new job is in order

Businessman review his resignation letter on his desk before sending to his boss to quit his job with laptop computer and a cup of coffee.



Are you waking up in the morning and procrastinating until the last minute to get ready? It may be because your subconscious is processing your negative feelings for your current position and is looking for a resolution. Our brains process things we do not agree with, the same way it processes the feeling of pain. When you are thinking of leaving your job, you become less productive and you’re at risk of severe procrastination. Some may fall into depression because they decide to stay in their position, hoping the condition improves but sadly, it stays the same. Sleep patterns, stress, alcohol consumption, and appetite indulgence/ suppression are all key signs that your work environment is toxic and bad for your health.



You've been working after hours and even on weekends to get the job done. You take on extra projects, go the extra mile and move past milestones in lightning speed. You train and help others in day-to-day tasks and important assignments. You also complete reports that are way above your pay grade and complete it all with a smile on your face. When the promotion season or increase/ evaluation season comes around, supervisors only zero in on mistakes you've made (and even corrected). They may find every reason to keep you stuck, while others who don't contribute even half of what you produce are first in line to receive raises and promotions. Sometimes talent outside the company is chosen to reap the rewards. This is a clear sign that your work ethic is not appreciated. You can find an employer that will appreciate your hard work, is fair and will provide opportunities for growth and additional compensation.



We've all been there. A co-worker quits without notice and you're the unlucky person to inherit their workload. Some employers taunt you and brag about them having the ability to find someone else to do the workload if you refuse the work, (that's clearly out of your job description) without providing you additional compensation. Instead of hiring additional personnel to address the workload, some supervisors would rather increase their bottom line and your workload as a result; while the salary of the person that left the job is pocketed. Fair wages are not the main concern of theirs and their guilt-trip tactics are used to keep salaries in a locked rate. Supervisors can also get into the habit of delegating their work for you, and you're stuck making them look brilliant, while they take credit for your work. If no incentives are given to you to complete additional work, (especially if the work isn't listed in your job description) speak to a supervisor, and go over your direct supervisor to increase your efforts. If your concerns aren't addressed, affix all extra tasks to your resume, as it will broaden the positions you can apply for.



This is the number one motive to leave a job. Bosses and co-workers who carry out, promote and look past irrational behavior in the workplace are enablers. It's only a matter of time that this unwarranted behavior repeats itself and brings you back to square one. This environment negates all career progress, can leave you feeling less than able to fulfill your duties, instill self-doubt, and your confidence can suffer as a consequence. In the event your protected rights are violated, you must notify a superior and your HR department. If the offensive behavior is not corrected, you do have a discriminatory case on your hands that will require help from an employment attorney or from the EEOC. Everyone should be treated with respect. If your workplace isn't promoting positive values for all employees to embody, exploring another company that mirrors your values is not selfish, it's survival.

You know when it is time to start looking for a new position. When you first have thoughts of jumping ship, make sure your lifesaver is on, by saving enough money and getting your resume in order. It is just as important to generate an effective resignation letter, that will leave a professional bridge behind. It is highly recommended not to move to another position until you've landed a new profession. Communicate with your friends and relatives and let them know that you are looking for a new position, so they can refer you to someone they know, should a position slot open. Search for new positions in the following places:










Toxic work environments can pop up without notice, hence, it is very important to be prepared, to save for a rainy day, and most importantly, keep your resume perfectly updated.  If you were required to apply for a new position today, would you be ready?