“If it’s a toxic environment, just get out” is advice we often hear.
But what if it’s not that simple.
Changing jobs is not an easy, or even available, option to for many. They have commitment to children and family, they have bills to pay, they are settled in their personal life and can’t deal with the upheaval.
They may be in the middle of a training course that the company is funding, or be locked in to a contract that they have to pay to get out of.
It could be that the company is mostly fine, they’ve just got stuck in a toxic bit, maybe working for a toxic boss. Why should they abandon the whole company, the network of people that they’ve built up, when things could change in a moment if there’s a reorganisation or the boss moves on?
What if their role is quite specialised and a move would mean relocating? What if their skill set has locked them into their current employer?
What if they have a crisis in their life and what they need most right now is stability?
Sometimes people have really good reasons for having to stay put. Sometimes, they just have to make the most of a bad situation for fear of creating worse one.
Of course, there are some situations that are so toxic, so soul-destroyingly bad, so personally injurious that the only option is to flee, for they sake of health and sanity. But that’s when things have run out of control, when your defences have been overwhelmed. There’s a long time before then when you can take action to stop it descending to that level.
You can develop your awareness of what’s going on and how it impacts you.
You can find allies, supporters, friends and fellow-sufferers who will help you deal with it. You can find like-minded, like-hearted souls who also want to push back.
You can be clear about your priorities, your boundaries and your red-lines. You can create a protective bubble around yourself to keep off the worst of the toxicity.
You can focus on your self-care and self-compassion and make sure you don’t fall victim to the toxicity.
You can take steps to move yourself out of survival mode towards thriving, and bring others with you.
That’s what Decrapify Work is about. You start with you, effect change within and around you and send the ripples out. You might not be able to change the world but you can change your world. You can’t escape or get rid of the toxicity but you can stop it damaging you.