I used to have a job that I hated. The work itself wasn’t that bad, but the environment was amazingly toxic. The president of the company was a brilliant person who could be charming and delightful, yet could cut you down so hard with one sentence that you’d wonder if you’d ever get up again. The teams constantly squabbled among themselves, trying to shift blame and dodge attack. Everyone had that twitchy, abused look on their face. We lived in fear of failure, and the whole environment was like a bad relationship.
Every day I’d wake up and dread going in to work. Hours were long, and many nights I’d wake up in a cold sweat, petrified that I was going to fail and draw the ire of the executives. Every night I’d come home feeling awful, and I’d have to remind myself to put a smile on my face before facing my boyfriend. I was emotionally beaten and worst of all, I’d known by the second week that the job was going to be miserable.I was banging my head against a wall, trying to please people who were never, ever going to be satisfied.
I tried to get another job. I remember going to an interview, and the interviewer said “Why should we hire you?” I had no answer. I’d lost all my spark, and couldn’t think of a single good thing about myself. Finally I managed to get another interview, and when the hiring manager called to tell me I’d gotten the job, I hung up the phone and sobbed with relief. It took me months to recuperate from that horrid environment, and to find my confidence again. Now, years later, I’ve got a great job with an amazing team of folks. I laugh every day. My boss tells me what a great job I’m doing. I’m treated like a valuable part of the company.
Why did I put up with that horrible workplace? Because, of course, I needed the job. I got out as soon as I could, but I came away with some scars. I had to get up the guts to put my resume out there. It took strength to take another risk and hope that the next job would be better than the last. But it’s all paid off, and things have turned out better than I ever could have hoped. I’m so thankful that I kept moving forward.