You find yourself stressed out from being overworked, bullied, or worse, the frequent subject of office gossip perpetrated by your boss. Welcome to what is referred to by employment specialists as a “Toxic Work Environment.”
'With the average working adult spending, roughly 39.2 hours at work weekly; to engage and remain in a dysfunctional or hostile climate is unhealthy.'
You’ve taken the steps to reverse the situation including focusing on solutions while giving less attention to opportunities to complain, behaving responsibly and working to exceed your boss’ expectations, and finally, refusing to be negative in a culture that lends itself to that type of energy. Despite your efforts, little if any change takes place and the most practical fix is to say goodbye.
Moving Right Along. The Decision to Make a Career Transition.
Recognizing that your work environment is toxic may make you want to run for the hills but, an abrupt unplanned departure isn’t really the best idea. Creating a viable exit strategy will provide a bridge that will support your transition to your next (and hopefully better!) career opportunity.
If the word strategy sends you into a spiral of anxiety, take a few deep breaths. Think of your exit strategy simply as a plan you’re creating to help you pursue something different. So, where do you start?
- Define your branding goals and outline the necessary steps to achieve them
- Craft a practical and simple plan that clearly defines the direction that you will take
While the idea of creating an exit strategy can be daunting, designing and organizing your approach in simple but concrete steps will help you alleviate additional stress in what is likely an already intense situation. The willingness to develop a strategy and the tenacity to act upon it is essential to the success of your career transition.
The Ball Is In Play. 5 Steps for a Successful Transition.
Workplace transitions can be really tricky. You are essentially stepping into unknown territory - without a solid plan and roadmap to help get you where you need to go, you’ll end up frustrated, defeated, and completely lost. And when that happens, the chances are higher that you’ll stay stuck in your toxic work environment for longer than necessary - you don’t need me to tell you that’s not exactly ideal.
To help you avoid that confusing mess altogether - here are 5 tips to help guide you through a successful workplace transition:
1. Know Your Limitations
A good rule of thumb is to have accessible savings that match 3 to 6 months of your current salary when planning to leave a job. If that is not your situation, know your financial limitations and plan to consider a “bridge job” as support while you continue to search.
2. Understand What Makes You Tick
Often a company’s inability to give attention to their employees’ basic needs and desires is the foundation of a toxic work environment. Make a list of the things that you want in your ideal work setting and highlight any non-negotiables. Keep your non-negotiables in mind as you target companies for your next career move.
Job searches are less difficult if conducted while you’re still employed. Start your search by reaching out to a career coach or other hiring professional who will be able to guide your search and help find the best opportunities for you. Avoid including co-workers or the use of company equipment in your resume composition, company research, or selection.
Also, avoid excessive communication about your plans with others within your network. That includes complaints on social media, discussions with co-workers, and excessive audible criticisms while in the workplace.
Mum should be the word and discretion the practice as none of this activity paints a positive picture of you as an employee and certainly doesn’t speak well for your work ethic.
Compose and submit a short but gracious letter of resignation that clearly identifies your length of notice and reiterates the date of your last planned day with the company.
You’ve made the decision to exit, but do not relax your work ethic. It is important to always be seen as a productive member of the team who brings measurable value.
Following these critical career transition steps will help you to make the right decision. And leaving on good terms is always beneficial.
The decision to leave a toxic work environment, though necessary, is rarely an easy one. Crafting a solid exit strategy will help smooth the edges a bit.
And if you’re feeling a bit directionless, seeking advice from a career coach will provide the support and direction you need to create a seamless (not so stressful) workplace transition.
Looking for guidance in your career transition or want help with career coaching?
Get in touch today so we can support you in your career journey!
Blog Written by - Jessica Shephard