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Getting Out of a Toxic Work Environment

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Have you ever found yourself dreading going to work and counting down the time until you are done with your shift?

You might be working in a toxic work environment. No worries, I have been there myself, but the grass is really greener on the other side. I have found myself in a toxic work environment and as a first-generation professional, I struggled with the idea that “this is how it is” and just being humble for the opportunity. At first, I shook off the microaggressions and focused on adapting to the work culture and staying quiet. Although, over time my personal confidence started fading and I found myself holding back and being on edge in the workplace. Luckily, I left the company and started my journey to becoming a career-confident mujer.

What does a toxic work environment look like?

A toxic work environment is characterized by a lack of respect, a hostile atmosphere, and a lack of trust. It can be defined as a workplace where people feel unsafe, demoralized, and unappreciated. Signs of a toxic workplace include excessive criticism, bullying and harassment, a lack of communication, a lack of support, and an overall feeling of negativity and discouragement. It can be emotionally, physically, and mentally draining, and can have a lasting negative impact on employees.

Why is it hard for people to leave toxic environments?

It can be hard for people to leave toxic environments for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the person may not be aware that the environment is actually toxic or may be in denial that it is having a negative effect on their mental and physical health. Secondly, the person may feel a sense of loyalty to the people in that environment or maybe too scared to leave due to fear of the unknown. Finally, the person may be in a financial situation where leaving the environment is not an option.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that it is never too late to make a change and that it is ok to reach out for help if needed. The longer you stay in an environment that is not fulfilling, you might start to internalize it as the truth.

4 Signs you work in a Toxic Environment

  1. Constant Criticism – If you’re constantly hearing criticism from colleagues or management, it can be a sign that you’re in a toxic work environment.

  2. Poor Communication – In a healthy work environment, communication is key. If you’re not getting the information you need to do your job or if the lines of communication are constantly being crossed, it can be a sign of a toxic workplace.

  3. Low Morale – If the morale in your workplace is low, it could be a sign that you’re in a toxic environment. A lack of trust, respect, and support can lead to a negative atmosphere.

  4. Unfair Treatment – If you feel like you’re being treated unfairly or singled out, it’s a sign that you’re in a toxic work environment. Unfair treatment of any kind can lead to a hostile work environment and should be addressed. It's also important to document any instances of toxic behavior, such as verbal abuse, bullying, or harassment. This can help you protect yourself in the event that you decide to take legal action or file a complaint.

What to do when you find yourself in a toxic workplace?

It can be difficult to navigate a toxic work environment. The best approach is to take care of yourself first and foremost. Use your vacation time, medical leave for stress, and PTO (personal time off) to just recharge and refocus on your true passions and where you see yourself. I created a Career Journal to help you reflect on your career trajectory and help you dive deeper into your career passions and desires.

Make sure you get enough rest and take time for yourself outside of work. Consider talking to a trusted friend or family member about your experiences. If the situation is particularly bad, you may want to seek counseling or therapy.

Finally, if the situation is really not improving and you are feeling overwhelmed, it may be time to look for a new job.

Looking for new opportunities.

Starting the application process feeling burned out from a toxic environment can be overwhelming. You need to start to invest in your career confidence and work with someone that will help you with individualized meetings and learn how to vocalize your worth with confidence.

Remember, you deserve to feel happy in your workplace. If you need more help, feel free to email me at

Live your worth,


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