Toxic Bosses or Toxic Coworkers

Did you know that there’s a website called MyToxicBoss.com? Or that there’s an organization called the Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute? I didn’t until I Googled the term “toxic bosses or coworkers” and found a multitude of articles and other items related to this topic. Not only is it not a new problem, but it has obviously become a major issue for a lot of people.

If you’ve never had the misfortune to have a toxic boss or work with a toxic coworker, consider yourself blessed! I actually fall into that category, but I’ve seen plenty of people over the years (including resume writing and career coaching clients) that weren’t so lucky. Dealing with the problem takes courage, wisdom and a willingness to tap into available resources, once you’ve identified those that apply to your situation.

According to an article by Gerri Willis, a CNN/Money contributing writer, there are 5 tips you can use to make your workplace more pleasant (online, Oct. 15, 2004). These are:

1. Identify the behavior.
2. Don’t take it lying down.
3. Take notes.
4. Know when it’s too much.
5. Control your destiny.

Whether you’re in a toxic employment situation or just want to be prepared in case you encounter one in the future, checking out Willis’ article and others on the same subject could help you figure out what to do, as well as when and how to do it if the time comes that the situation becomes unbearable. To paraphrase one of my old bosses, “Life is too short to spend a chunk of it in misery.” Hint: You might start by getting your resume in shape, so it’s ready to use when you decide the time has come to see about jumping ship.

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