The toxic workplace is real; there’s plenty of serious research to prove it. Putting up with an unpleasant work environment, feeling overworked and under-acknowledged, can lead to serious mental and physical suffering, and slowly kill you.
Stanford University professor of organisational behaviour Jeffery Pfeffer has studied the subject in depth and found poor management was responsible for up to 8% of annual health costs and a massive 120,000 deaths in the US each year.
Someone reckoned a toxic workplace was as harmful as second-hand cigarette smoke – that bad.
So what are some of the symptoms?
Insomnia is a common symptom, when your mind races and you can’t sleep as you go over and over something that’s happened or going to happen at work, or there’s something urgent you need to do, or something that you’re struggling with.
According to the American Psychological Association, other symptoms include migraines and tension headaches, often caused by tension in your neck and shoulders, lack of appetite or over-eating as you struggle to cope, indigestion, constipation and bloating. You might also notice a lack of sex drive.
It doesn’t have to be this way
While it’s easy to dwell on all the negatives of the job, you might also give thought about how you could improve your situation. Depending on your workplace, you may be able to talk to a supervisor or manager about how you’re feeling and discuss ways of coping, such as reducing your hours, maybe working from home one day a week, or seeing if you could change jobs within the business.
You could also consult a medical professional who may have some advice on how to deal with any physical or mental problems you think the job is responsible for.
Remember, you’re in control.
If you think there is no solution for a toxic work situation, then consider either taking a break from work if you can afford to, or seriously look for another job.
Be bold, explore a new career
What would you really like to do? Think about that. If you could choose any job what would it be? Turn a bad situation into a positive. Do the research and find out how you go about getting your dream job. What steps do you need to take? What new skills will you need?
It may be useful to talk to a career counsellor or seek courses that would help you achieve your goal. With online study, it’s never been easier to study. You choose your course and choose your hours.
You deserve better than a job you hate, so take action in 2019 and chase your dreams. You could make it happen with online learning from eCampus NZ.