3 Ways to Avoid Joining a Toxic Work Environment

If you’ve been kissed by a rogue, count your teeth. – Hebrew Proverb

Ever taken a job and later realized that it was a big mistake? People get lured into new jobs because of better pay, attraction to a brand name or a recognized organization that would look good on their resumes, or simply because they want new opportunities. But sometimes desperation to move to new jobs hinders some of the important parts of job hunting – such as: finding out enough about the work environment and the corporate culture of the company that makes you an offer.

Corrupt Boss Image from Internet
Corrupt Boss Image from Internet

If you have been in such a situation where you feel like you are stuck in a rut, use the following 3 tips to avoid similar traps in the future:

Speak to Current and Former Employees: In particular, try using professional social media networking sites like LinkedIn to connect with former employees of your prospective employer to help you better understand about the corporate culture, management style, opportunities for growth, and any other pointers you can get before signing that contract. Ask them if they can give you some good reasons why you should join the company and see what they say. Remember: how they respond is just as important – in fact, even more important to understand the reality of the workplace. While you may be able to pick up the tone of a person’s written response, you are better off picking more verbal and non-verbal cues from a telephone or a face-to-face conversation over coffee.

Know Your Manager (KYM): Companies can sometimes be too careful about the background of their future employees and are willing to go to great lengths to make sure the candidate is truthful about all the fancy achievements and job experiences on their CV. But how often do you get candidates doing the same kind of reference checking on their soon-to-be Managers? As a job seeker, if you want to avoid a boss from hell who is going to destroy your chances of promotions and possibly your career, and make your life a living nightmare, you better take the time to do some research on what people say about your future boss. No one can give you a better and more truthful picture of a Manager than the very people who work right under him or her in an organization. For example, after an interview, ask if you can meet some of the team members. Focus on the positives and ask them to tell you some of the best qualities of their Manager. Ask about employee engagement: does the boss ever stop by to say ‘hello’? If you sense hesitation or sarcasm in their responses, you might want to do some additional fact-checking.

Speak to Customers & Industry Experts: Try getting in touch with your local chamber of commerce or networking councils and ask them to introduce some industry players or customers of your prospective employer to see what they have to say about your future employer. This process is about information collection so if all you get is thrashing of your prospective employer, it might be worthwhile to re-think a decision to take up an offer from organizations with such reputations and help save yourself a lot of heartache and headache later on.

Do you have a story of your own to tell about toxic work environment or a boss from hell? Leave a comment and share the lessons you learned.

Want Shuja Rabbani to speak at your next business event? E-mail: shuja@shujarabbani.com

*Originally published on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/3-ways-avoid-joining-toxic-work-environment-shuja-rabbani


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