Hey Millennial! Is it time to SWERVE from your toxic job?
Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month? As the “burnout generation,” unhealthy levels of work-related stress have become a regular part of our day-to-day lives.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to fall victim to sayings like “that’s just the way it is” or “I’m lucky to even have a job.” Perhaps you’re in denial about the toxicity of your current workplace, or you’ve become complacent, never bothering to check in to see if you really like, or better yet, love your job.
I get it. This past year has been wild! But if it’s taught us anything, it’s that life is too short to be putting off pursuing your dream of doing work that you love. After all, I truly believe that everyone deserves to have a career in which they are engaged, energized and empowered!
So, how can you tell if it’s time to swerve from your current job to something new? Let’s start by examining if you’re in a toxic job. Here are five potential signs:
1. Complaining is rampant
You and your colleagues are constantly complaining about work and the leaders. You find it hard not to “vent” about the way Susie spoke to you last week. You’re comforted knowing that your colleagues have also had similar experiences. But when they vent to you, it breeds more negative thoughts about your job. The cycle of complaining continues. You may have rationalized the complaining as a coping mechanism.
2. There are no solutions, just problems
You used to consider yourself a "solutions-oriented" person. In fact, you’ve got that exact phrase on your resume. But upon reflection, you’ve been having a harder time finding solutions in the sea of problems that exist at work. It’s difficult to be the solutions-oriented team player when you’re surrounded by leaders and colleagues who are quick to point out “why that won’t work” or “we’ve tried that before.” You believe there are opportunities everywhere, but given your ideas keep getting shut down, you stop sharing them altogether.
3. Everyone’s in it for themselves
More and more you’re not sure who you can trust. If you were to make a mistake, you’re sure that you’d be “thrown under the bus”. It wouldn’t be a learning opportunity. Failing isn’t an option (not in a good way) and as a result, innovation has died out. Creativity might be encouraged on paper, but not in practice. Perfectionism has led to a culture of finger-pointing and fear.
4. Everything is "urgent"
The pace of work has become so unmanageable because everything is "urgent". You feel like you’re swirling. Leaders lack the ability to prioritize work and say no. If everything is urgent, then nothing is urgent. Because of this chaotic dynamic, you’re frequently overwhelmed. It’s challenging to do good work in this kind of environment.
5. People are competing for the busy-badge-of-honour
You’ve noticed you’re working longer hours to keep up with the demands and to fit in. You feel guilty when you find out that your peers are online at 7, 8, 9 or even 10pm. Working the longest hours seems to elicit sympathy, but also kudos. Leaders tend to talk a good talk about taking time for yourself and not working after hours, but they aren’t very good at walking the walk. You’re increasingly resentful of the always on requirements of your job
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you? You might be headed towards burnout. Check out this free Burnout Self-Assessment to see how you’re doing today.
In next week's article, I'll share some tips on how to survive in a toxic work environment until you're able to execute your SWERVE.
Struggling with Burnout? Or, are you just looking to make a career change? You might need a coach. Book a discovery call today.
About Lauren McCreery
Lauren is a Certified Professional Coach and real-life SWERVE success story. 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?