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  • Lauren McCreery

5 Tips to Tolerate Your Toxic Job Until You Have a SWERVE Strategy

"Why don’t you just quit?"

“It’s not worth it”

“You deserve SO much better”

Have you ever been on the receiving end of these statements from friends or family when you were in a toxic job? I’m guessing you have. And while you likely appreciated the sentiments, you also may have felt judged.

The reality is it’s just not that simple.

Most people have financial obligations that require them to endure toxic jobs longer than they’d like. When you’re stuck in a toxic job, you’re also unlikely to feel like you have the energy to put your best foot forward or to dedicate time to networking, applying for new work, starting your own business etc.

In last week’s blog, I wrote about a few warning signs that you might be in a toxic job. This week, I’m sharing a few ideas on how to manage being in a toxic job if you’re not able to exit just yet.

1. Have a Support System

We all need community during both good times and bad times. Over a year into the pandemic, it’s possible that you are feeling lonelier than ever. Loneliness plus a toxic job is a recipe for disaster. Your support system doesn’t need to be big.

Make sure you have one or two people who you trust fully that you can rely on for support. When you have a bad day, they’ll be there to listen to you. This might be a close friend or it might be a medical professional like a therapist. Whoever it is, make sure you have someone to talk to.

2. Don’t Get Sucked into the Drama

Try shifting from “The Drama Triangle” towards working from “Presence.” Toxic energy cultivates more toxicity. It’s easy to get sucked in and to start becoming a part of the problem. Watch this great video to learn how you can shift from the Drama Triangle towards Presence.

3. Try to Set Some Boundaries

Assess what’s at the root of your negative feelings towards your job and then determine how you might set boundaries related to those issues. Is it that your boss is a micromanager? Or the work hours have become too strenuous?

Consider voicing your concerns and devising a mutually agreeable solution. Rather than assuming your boss knows that something is wrong, consider having a conversation that gives them the benefit of the doubt.

4. Practice Detachment

Are you triggered by certain people or situations in your job? That’s understandable! You’re in fight, flight or freeze mode - your body’s natural stress response when it feels threatened or scared.

Start to recognize the scenarios where you feel triggered and devise a plan for similar situations in the future. Practice not being so attached to the outcome. This will enable you to reserve your energy for more important moments. Check out this great article from Chopra for an overview of how to practice detachment for greater happiness.

5. Build in Daily Affirmations

Confidence is often one of the main casualties of being in a toxic job. If you’re no longer feeling like you’re the awesome, kick-a** employee you once were, it’s time to start integrating affirmations. Your toxic job has already robbed you of enough. Don’t let it steal your confidence.

There are many different ways in which you can integrate affirmations - from buying a book, a deck of affirmation cards or downloading an app. I recommend the “I am” app which has both a free or paid subscription.

While the strategies above might help you to cope with your toxic job for a little while longer until you can plan your exit, remember that you cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people you surround yourself with. Ultimately, staying in a toxic job for too long will have impacts on your health and relationships.

If you’re feeling like it’s time to start charting a new path, I’m always here to help you. Feel free to reach out at any time.

About Lauren McCreery

Lauren is a Certified Professional Coach and real-life SWERVE success story. When she isn't working, she's spending time going on big adventures with her rescue dog, Finley! As the founder of Swerve Coaching & Consulting, she helps smart professional millennials who are stressed, stuck or burnt out to Ride the Swerve towards work that's engaging, energizing and empowering.

Feeling burnt out and want a career change? Book a discovery call today.

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