A different angle of Toxic Workplaces

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Toxic Careers Mihai ZANT

I look over social media and I see a lot of hate, rage and blaming related to workplaces. And, in addition to that … a lot of use of big words: #toxic #work #environments, #bad #leadership and much more that I’d rather not reproduce. 


There is one simple truth to that – The game looks easier from the stands!  🙂

It is simple to shout, point fingers and say how it should be done when you are not doing it yourself. 


The reality now seems more VUCA than before. On top of a pandemic that strongly shifted the expected way of working, after the rise in job related fatigue, anxiety and depression, after a huge drop in human connection at work, with a work related legal system that is moving slower than needed to offer a framework for #workfromeverwhere, #remoteworking or #hybridworking, we have a war, energy crisis, inflation and we are on the verge of a steep economic crisis. 


If we are sincere and we look into the mirror, it is hard for everyone. This transformation of our ways of working, doing everything from everywhere (more in the article below), comes with a need to take personal responsibility and find our own way of wellbeing. Own your #selfleadership.


Blaming leaders and companies for our own misery is both childish and unprofessional. Most burnout cases are not due to toxic workplaces, but due to the pressure that every individual is putting on themselves. This comes in close relation with personal upbringing and own perceptions of what is enough, where are the limits, what is possible and impossible, awareness, etc.  The rates of burnout are higher in entrepreneurship and liberal jobs. What is the element toxic in those contexts? 


Although this is not the truth we want to look in the eyes, I bet you can feel this in the gut. Leaders are #human too. They had the same worries, struggles and confusions. The only difference is that, whining all this chaos,  they are also bearing the responsibility for others. What keeps them awake at night is exactly that. The responsibility of finding a way to secure business continuity, to keep the activity afloat, to pay salaries, to continuously readapt and negotiate budgets, to secure a little bit of comfort and wellbeing for everybody. They are doing the best they can, they try, they learn and then they reiterate. Those who are toxic intentionally are very rare. Most of the others are not aware and are still on their road of learning and transforming. Leaders are human too!


So, a little ounce of kindness would do everyone a favor. But the biggest favor you will do by being kind is to yourself. From our practice,  we know that it is so rare to take a good career decision out of rage and blaming. This kind of decision is not sustainable! You may end up in a worse situation and then look into the mirror and start working on yourself. This is why the #great #resignation is actually a great reshuffling. 


A better and more healthy career decision is to be taken from a place of centeredness and awareness. It is about exploring who you are, what are your values, what do you need and to what do you want to contribute more exactly. And then make a decision. A tag for a toxic workplace or boss may still come. But most of the realizations are actually along these lines: I don’t fit to the culture, I stopped learning and I want new challenges or conversely, I need to work on myself and set limits, boundaries, decide what’s really important, etc. You will only find sustainable balance when you take personal and professional responsibility and understand that this is continuous work. Balance and wellbeing are not static. They are dynamic. To have balance on a bicycle you need movement and a point to reach but this needs you to do something at every other balance point. 


Some programs having this philosophy are here: https://careershift.ro/career-coaching-certification 


#selfleadership #growth #toxic #workplaces #careers #burnout #anxiety #depression #wellbeing #entrepreneurship #coaching #leadership #healthy #decisions

Mihai ZANT

Mihai ZANT

Mihai ZANT is an Executive Coach, Trainer and Managing Partner at CoachingAfterSchool.com, Humanistic.ro and CareerShift.ro. Having over 10 years of experience in leading teams and communities he concentrated his work in building Learning Organisations.

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