Picture this: I am sitting in a very dated looking boardroom with all the top executives of my company. The mood is tense, the agenda items are being discussed one by one ad nauseum while everyone is side eyeing the “big guy” to gauge the temperature. One never knows what will set him off. Like clockwork, someone unwittingly touches a nerve by vocalizing concerns about process and sure enough, the emotional volcano erupts, red-faced, spittle on the corner of the mouth, expletives flying. Duck and cover.
I look around the room, feeling as quiet and awkward as my colleagues. People are squirming in their seats, stone-faced and twisting their pens, just hoping they are not the next target. I cannot help but wonder to myself, “this is bat shit crazy, right? Is this real life? Am I the only one who just can’t handle this emotional rollercoaster?”
I stayed another two years, enduring countless meetings just like this one, before I finally had enough and made my exit.
Let’s turn this over to YOU.
You may be spending your Sunday nights dreading daylight. Then you drag yourself into work wearing the emotional armor that is required for surviving land mines at every turn. You may find yourself second guessing every interaction with anyone, just waiting for the other shoe to drop or wondering when (not if) the next knife will be thrust into your back.
If you’re still with me at this point, then something I’ve said resonates. If you are experiencing these things, you might also find yourself thinking, “does anyone else see this? Am I the only one who is feeling this way?”
The workplace can be a competitive jungle, but there are a few things I know:
If you are questioning whether you just can’t handle the heat or maybe the oven is set too high…it’s probably just time to step out of the kitchen and find out what’s true.
You were not put on this earth to live in misery on Sunday nights, dreading Monday mornings.
You were not put on this earth to spend your days second guessing your every move and how it could be used against you.
You were not put on this earth to go through the motions guarded and limited.
If you’re asking yourself if you are just too weak and that’s why you feel this way... You’re stronger than you think.
If you want to know if every work environment is going to be like this, it won’t.
Awareness and information are the keys to any transformation. I’ve listed several indicators that may validate your difficult work experience. If you are currently facing any combination of these things, then let this be your sign that it’s not just you and it may be time to move on.
Signs you may be in a toxic work environment:
Negligent Communication - Leadership refuses to pass down critical information and/or team members are withholding information.
High Turnover - Employees cycle out of the company faster than a toddler being questioned about what is in their mouth.
Harassment - Unwelcome behavior based on your race, ethnicity, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, etc.
Discriminatory Attitudes - Jokes, comments, poor treatment based on your race, ethnicity, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, etc.
Continuous Fights & Arguments - You can’t get anything done without confrontation, a day at your work is like an episode of Jerry Springer (this reference isn’t completely out of date yet, right?)
Work Overload - Your workload is so intense it is unreasonable and yet you still spin all your wheels trying to get it done because you can’t tell the boss no.
Manipulation and Blame Games - Gaslighting is such a typical tactic for terrible bosses.
Nepotism & Favoritism - The VP’s son is fresh out of college and now has a management role in the company and is being fast tracked for more, but he can’t seem to even get to work when scheduled.
Disregard for Employees’ Personal Lives - Putting the kid to bed and getting phone calls from the boss to catch up for the day. (True story!) Guilt trips for taking a weekend day off.
Draining Workplace Energy - Cut to you sitting in your car after work summoning the energy to drive home because your workday sucked the life force out of you.
Unclear Vision & Guidance - Everyone has a different idea of the goal and purpose of the tasks at hand because there has been no clear and cohesive guidance on the endgame.
Gossip - “Did you hear who just got fired? Want to know what she did?!” “I'm not one to spread rumors, but I thought those two were sitting in a closed office just a little too long today.”
Credit is Always Due - In order to stay in good graces, you must remember to always be grateful and “kiss the ring” for all that your boss/coworker has done for you…even if you are disgusted and miserable.
Oppressed Employees - The employee population has no voice or input that is valued at any level. Employees are like zombies marching in place.
If you’re still with me at this point that probably means that this list basically describes your working experience. Enduring these things day to day is stressful and takes a huge toll on your mental health. Remember that part about not being put on this earth to live in misery? I meant that. You were meant for more than this. Life is short, let’s do this.
If this connected with you in any way, I would love to hear your story. I offer a FREE Confidence Boost Call where you get 45 minutes of 1:1 time with me at no cost to you. You would be amazed at how good it feels to get these things off your chest. You can schedule your Confidence Boost Call at www.rebeccasimmonscoaching.com
You have a choice. Continue to sit in the outdated boardroom with everyone clenched tight waiting for their tongue lashing, or you can kick the glass ceiling that’s keeping you frozen. Let me help.