Toxic work environments and bad employer-employee relations are becoming more and more of an issue in recent years. Since people now have the means to voice their opinions online, they’re voicing them more and more, using hashtags like #toxicworkplace or #worstbossever, while also jumping ship to other employers when they’re unhappy with their role. However, some experts believe that this isn’t necessarily caused by an overall toxic company culture; it’s just the result of people who aren’t well-suited for their role working at the company in the first place.
If a position offers a lot of flexibility (which is almost always highly desirable), but you don’t like that, look more closely at why. If you were given a chance to learn and grow with some guidance (and even mentorship) in an organization that cares about your growth, yet you do not want to be guided and mentored, perhaps there is something else going on. Is it possible that you are not ready for such responsibility? Are you afraid of failing if put into such a situation? Are you afraid of succeeding because then people will expect too much from you in future positions where they might not offer as much freedom and support as before? In either case, these are personal reasons for disliking a company culture. It is worth examining them deeply before making any rash decisions.
If you find yourself in a job that doesn’t motivate and excite you, learn how to deal with being stuck in a toxic workplace. And if your current organization isn’t for you, don’t resign because of a perceived bad culture. You might be looking at things from a different perspective than others are—it could be nothing more than a bad fit for your personality. And despite what some may say, there is no single right way to work.
If a company has a bad culture, then it’s probably time to move on. If not, maybe an honest conversation about your personality and skill set can help both parties better understand each other. Either way, when in doubt, talk to your manager before leaving.
The grass is always greener on that side because people are often comparing their environment to a point in time in their lives when they were unhappy and unfulfilled. This can lead them to feel like anything would be better than what they currently have, even if what they’re experiencing now is objectively good. In reality, most people go through cycles of ups and downs based on life circumstances, so don’t expect that changing companies will automatically fix your problems.
If a bad work environment is making you miserable, job hopping every time things get rough isn’t a sustainable solution. So what can you do instead? Do your research and talk to friends who currently work there. Think about what, if anything, keeps them at their company despite their complaints. If they would leave but can’t afford to, consider that option yourself. Can quitting allow them to relocate closer to family and save money on rent/mortgage and gas?