When you find yourself in a toxic work environment, it’s okay to quit your job. I hereby give you permission to get the heck out of there. You don’t need a therapist to tell you when your work is affecting your mental health. You can feel it in your bones and in the muscles along the base of your neck. It’s not necessary to “give it more time”. If attempts to change it are fruitless, nothing more need be said. Locate the exit and see your way out as quickly as possible.
I know this, because I just did it after only a single day of work under a new employer. I accepted a position working in what I thought might be my dream job. It tapped into all aspects of my prior experiences and various talents. It had flexible hours. Much of the work was possible to do from home. It had more responsibility than what I’d had in the past. And my boss, well, she seemed as though I conjured her up myself. All professional input is encouraged, she delighted in telling me. Inform me when I’m wrong, she dared me. It was incredibly refreshing. I couldn’t wait to work for someone so open-minded and respectful.
But then I showed up for work and the reality immediately splintered from the fantasy. My new boss promptly sought to micromanage my days. Bad experiences with previous employees colored her approach, so she wanted to know what I was doing at all times. She would expect me to be present where she could see me. The hours weren’t so flexible after all, it turned out. Then, she insulted me. Over and over again. Did I have a bad memory, she demanded to know, when I needed a moment to jot down some notes. Why did I plan to do something this ridiculous way, when she had always done it that better way? Shockingly, she advised me to mislead Human Resources about my hours.
In the past, my financial position did not allow me to just abandon a terrible job. Tethered to my paycheck, I couldn’t just check out. No matter how noxious the workplace, leaving was out of the question unless something else lay in the wings. Fortunately, I find myself in different circumstances these days. I can steadfastly decline to be abused. Unemployment numbers as of this writing are at records lows. No one needs to suffer under the whims and fancies of an abominable employer. You can and should find an alternative that brings you satisfaction and even joy. You have my blessing to quit your toxic work environment and find something that serves you best.
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