Five Tips for Surviving a “Horror Show” at Work

It’s no secret that the elements of a great scary movie do not translate well into the workplace. You can see this in the new infographic below.

While I’ll admit, the checklist is a tongue-in-cheek poke at professional life for the Halloween season, there are a few serious points to remember if you find yourself working in a toxic environment:

1 — Remember that you’re not helpless.
If you’re not empowered to improve things where you’re working now, make a transition plan for yourself that takes you to a new, more positive environment.

2 — If you plan to look for a new job, be realistic and discreet.
Finding a new job can take six months or longer, depending on your industry. So, don’t threaten to leave a job unless you’re prepared to walk out the door the same day.

3 — Find a healthy outlet outside of work.
Talk to someone you trust, whether it’s a therapist, a colleague or a friend. Write in a private journal. Engage in cardio or other activities that can help you relieve stress while you’re in the process of making positive changes for yourself.

4 — Don’t burn bridges.
Don’t do anything that could damage your professional reputation or strain relationships you’ve built with colleagues and others at work. Avoid toxic behaviors like gossip or letting your work product and habits slip. Do all you can to provide two weeks notice to your current employer. Leave a positive impression behind you.

5 — Strive for self-awareness.
Examine your experience and the part you play/played in it. Learn from what you did right and what you could have done better — even if that’s simply reading the signs of a toxic environment earlier. Use what you’ve learned about yourself to strengthen your path forward.


How do you insulate yourself from toxic people and environments in your work life?