As a follow-up to my previous post on Getting Through That Career Funk, I’ll be 100% transparent in saying there were other factors as to why I left, besides me not being passionate about the industry I was working in.
Here’s a place I hope not everyone has to experience in their lifetime:
a toxic work environment.
Towards the end, I felt constantly stressed and anxious on a day-to-day basis. It got to the point where this energy affected every aspect of my life outside of my job.
During this period, I felt a HUGE shift in my relationships. With my friends and family, I felt like all I could contribute to any conversation was how much I couldn’t stand my job, which gets OLD. I was unmotivated and in a MOOD most of the time. I totally felt unlike myself. Needless to say, I wasn’t the purest joy to be around, but it really, REALLY helped to have a support system.
Now, before you think I’m an IDIOT for working in such a toxic place, the only reason I stayed at my job for as long as I did was because 1) It was my first full-time gig after college so I had little experience to lead me elsewhere and 2) It had benefits, was close to home (literally a 15 minute drive), and my weekends and evenings were FREE. Time-wise and financially, I thought this would be a good decision. I was working just to make decent income and give myself more free time, and I found out VERY quickly that living this way fulfills absolutely nothing for me. It wasn’t worth feeling bored, unmotivated and annoyed all the time and my personal life SUFFERED, hence the career shift.
The last month or two had been an emotional HELL and I can only thank the important people in my life for sticking with me through it. Luckily, I was able to go back to the field I was passionate about and work full-time in an environment I love…soooo I’M BACK and I’m here to stay.
Advice I’d give to anyone experiencing the same?
- Have a support system and appreciate them. An awful work environment can really take a toll on your relationships, so appreciate the ones you have who will listen and motivate you! They’ll be your backbone during this time.
- Be grateful. Yea, I know it’s the LAST thing you feel, but be grateful you have a job that pays for the bills. While I was job searching again, I remembered how much work and how much waiting there is to find a full-time job. It’s not easy and not everyone has the same opportunities that you do.
- DON’T burn bridges. As much as you possibly *hate your work environment, it’s always best to leave on a good note. Whatever you don’t like about the work environment most likely won’t change with or without you and it’s always helpful to have references.
- Make your time off worthwhile. Don’t go home and float around doing nothing because all you’ll have is your career. Whether it was going out for cocktails or camping, being active and social gave me something to look forward to and got me through each week.
As much as a hectic experience it was in the end, I was told if I could work in that environment for so long, I could work anywhere. And now, I’ve learned to pay attention to the people who support you the most during stressful times and appreciate a healthy functioning work environment.
It’s OK to feel stuck. It’s even better to get out of it. Here’s to moving to better and BIGGER things!
Simplistic and Realistic approaches to West Coast life and style