It’s Sunday and instead of truly enjoying your day off by relaxing or spending time with the people you love most, you find yourself consumed with dread. Why? Because you have to go to work tomorrow.
And it’s not just about preparing your clothes, getting your hair ready, and all that other stuff that goes into starting a new work week. It’s about how you feel every time you step foot into your office. That pit you feel in your stomach when you wake up in the morning, realizing that you are about to spend one more day in a place that makes you feel drained, annoyed, under-appreciated, and stressed out.
Toxic jobs are worse than toxic people. At least you can walk away from people without worrying about how to buy food or pay your bills. Jobs on the other hand–well, walking away is often not that easy.
So aside from waking up with dread in your heart, what are some other signs that our job is toxic and you need to create an exit strategy?
You feel like you rarely use your talents.
You know you have a ton of talent and potential, but none of it is being utilized at your job. It’s frustrating because you want to share your gifts with the world, but you work with people who don’t even acknowledge you are gifted.
Your suggestions are never truly heard.
You have great ideas, powerful insight, and incredible vision–but no one seems to care. Everyone is caught up in how things have always been and there seems to be no true desire to make the organization better.
You suffer from physical symptoms of stress.
Nightly headaches, stomach distress after a meeting, gaining weight–these can all be signs that you are in a really toxic situation that is beginning to impact your health.
You are not fully present when you are with your loved ones.
You find yourself thinking about things that happened at work when you are with the people you love most. This is a major problem because now your job is interfering with your ability to fully connect with the people you love.
You can’t focus at work (or even at home).
You can’t even do your work at work because your ability to focus is ruined by the horrible energy in the place. And since focusing there is a problem, you start to lose your ability to focus well at home too.
The workplace drama is out of control.
It seems like many of the people you work with have issues with each other, and there is always some random (and foolish) workplace drama going on.
You feel like you aren’t learning anything.
You need to learn so you can grow. If you are spending 40+ hours a week in an environment that doesn’t challenge you or teach you something new, you have to find a way out.
Should you just throw up the deuces and walk away from your toxic job. I really want to say HELL YEA, but I am too much of a realist to tell you that. I don’t know your individual circumstances, and I know food and shelter are pretty serious needs.
What I will say is this: make a plan to get up out of there very, very soon. The longer you stay, the more that job will drain your spirit. If you need to pay some debt off, make that your priority. If you need to boost your savings, cut back on the shopping.
If you have a dream you want to pursue, start working on that dream during lunch, at night, and on the weekends. Make sure you spend every single day doing things that are bringing you one step closer to leaving your toxic workplace.
Sometimes, making the decision to leave is just as powerful as submitting your resignation. You know what? Go ahead and write your resignation letter. Put a date on it, print it, and sign it. Look at it frequently to remind yourself of what your next step will be and how much time you have left to plan for it. Once you make the decision to exit, creating that exit strategy becomes a pressing issue.
Instead of staying in a place that will never give you what you need, shift your perspective and develop a plan to get out. Nothing toxic should last. Toxicity only shows up to teach us a lesson. Learn yours and move on.