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How to deal with a toxic work environment

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When you create you career plan you may well allow for the fact that the opportunities that arise are not entirely predictable – but you may not have thought ahead to the possible derailment of your progress by one of the workplaces you arrive at along the way. Finding yourself in a toxic work environment is not good. Such an environment is defined as a workplace where the negativity, clique-ishness, bullying, mismanagement, and/or atmosphere of distrust is so intense that you dread turning up each day. And it’s called “toxic” because it can literally be bad for your health – for your heart and for your mind.

This is obviously bad news in and of itself. But from a career perspective, it can also be deeply harmful. Your body and mind work closely together and sickness in one affects the other, impairing your ability to do your best work or to create a workable plan to move to a better employer. You are more likely to experience depression if you work in a toxic work environment. And all that negativity is likely to drain your motivation, again stunting your ability to escape or rise up through the ranks to make a difference.

It’s not always ideal to just quit, even if you are in a situation like this. You might have no back up job, and thus face economic trouble if you just walk away. Or you might consider your current position an important stepping-stone job that you need to see through to get to where you want to be.

Thankfully, the people at have put together a thorough guide to making the best of such a negative environment. How to regain a sense of control. How to live your best life outside of work to maintain your mental health. And how you can feed back positivity into the system because – although it’s not your duty to fix it – in the end a workplace is largely the sum of the people that work there.

Toxic work environment infographic

Any more tips on how to cope in a toxic work environment? Post your ideas in the comments below.

Career CamelHow to deal with a toxic work environment

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