Do you have work-related trauma?

I do.

I’ve been pushed out of a job, I’ve been marginalized. I’ve been spoken to inappropriately. I’ve experienced unclear job expectations, impossible workloads, abusive treatment by peers or superiors, emotionally draining interactions with difficult people and job insecurity.

If you’ve experienced emotionally abusive practices at work, I hope you know that it doesn’t have to be that way. I also hope you know that it’s normal to be impacted by it. Toxic work environments can cause long-lasting emotional damage.

The pandemic-forced transition to remote work has perpetuated some poor working environments.

Workplace-induced trauma is not a new concept, but research over the past two decades has highlighted its rising prominence – and some have come to refer to it as workplace PTSD.

Even in the most supportive environment, individuals can experience trauma. What’s most important is how you deal with the bad stuff.

It’s like when you get in a relationship with somebody and you think they’re so great and they turn out to be a narcissist or a jerk or let you down.

You don’t know that in the beginning. You can ask all the questions in the world but an environment can turn toxic.

We each have the power to walk away from things that don’t serve us.

For so long I kept thinking it was my fault, and I would try to change myself or be better at my job but it wasn’t me – it was the environment in which I was and the only way to fix it was to leave.

It’s so hard sometimes to say “okay I’ve had it with this environment” or “I give up.” But at a certain point it’s about what’s healthy for us and sometimes removing ourselves from the situation is the best course of action.

It’s critical to find an organization that promotes wellness and mental health. When looking for a healthy work environment consider:

– respect
– integrity
– growth
– passion
– healthy competition
– drive
– compassion
– flexibility
– second chances

And if you find yourself in an environment that’s not healthy, leave.

You have options – you don’t have to suffer in a toxic environment anymore. Don’t let your current environment break down your confidence.

I’d love to hear your experiences with toxic work environments.