Toxic Work Environment? How To Manage Your Departure.


You want to protect your interests in leaving a toxic workplace. It is stressful enough to have to work there, you don’t need the additional discomfort of negativity focused at you because you choose to leave your employer.

Most employers are fair and supportive of their people. Some employers use different, manipulative tactics to manage their staff. Their management style is confrontative and intimidating.

Some employers take it personally when you resign, and if your work life wasn’t difficult enough, they then decide to make your time remaining less than pleasant to ‘reward’ you for your disloyalty. This can take the form of subtle or pointed remarks, meetings to pressure you into telling them where you are going to work next, and having colleagues do the same.

Here’s where the need for patience and perseverance comes in.

You don’t want to give any reason to your soon-to-be ex-employer to mishandle an employment reference, final paycheque or vacation pay, or any other process required to separate cleanly from the company.

You return all company property, surrender all papers of strategic importance, and bring your files up to date, helping your colleagues, eliminating any justification for meetings where your integrity, competence, or honesty are called into question. Your departure does create a problem that your boss has to solve however in finding your replacement. That frustration may surface in these types of meetings.

If you get an exit interview with HR, restrain the urge to lay blame and point fingers. Instead, describe in neutral, constructive terms what steps the company can take to improve how it serves its customers and supports its employees.

Pleasant manners succeed even with difficult people.

Your peace of mind is more important, so disengaging emotionally from whatever is being said, keeping your eye on the goal of the better life that awaits you at your new employer, and letting go of your grievances is in your best interests.

“Endurance is patience concentrated” – Thomas Carlyle

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