It can be tough when you're stuck in a toxic work environment. But should you stay at a company that has one? "It depends," said career expert J.T. O'Donnell. (Psst! Can’t get hired? Watch this free tutorial.) There are two scenarios that typically happen within a company that has a toxic work environment. The first one is the ENTIRE office is toxic. Every single person there is negative. This is a scenario where it's probably in your best interest to look for a new job. "If that's the case," said O'Donnell, "you're never going to change the culture, everyone is that way, it's time to move on." The second scenario is when there's only one bad apple in the office - there's only one toxic person. Sometimes it's a co-worker and sometimes it's a manager. This is the most common scenario people face at work. What should you in this instance? Before you jump ship and leave your company, try a different strategy: communicate with this person differently. When you're having a problem with someone in the office, it usually comes down to poor communication. You probably have a different interaction style than this person, and you need to figure out how you can engage with them more effectively. "When you interact with this person differently, you will get different results," said O'Donnell. "And that is worth trying!" If you try this and it doesn't work, then you can move on. But don't let a single person in the office force you out of a great opportunity without at least trying to resolve it. "I just hate to see people give up because they think it's a toxic work environment when it's really just a breakdown in communication that, with a little effort, can be fixed," said O'Donnell. So, assess the situation to make sure it's actually a toxic work environment and not just a breakdown in communication before you make any big career moves. If you can't resolve the communication issue, then you can look for another opportunity.
There’s an old saying that goes like this, "Everyone thinks they have taste and a sense of humor." Well, as a career coach for the last 10 years, I can tell you that phrase should be adjusted to this instead, “Everyone thinks they have taste, a sense of humor, and good communication skills." Poll: What’s Your Workplace Personality? I am continually amazed at the number of people that have no idea how their interaction style is impacting their career. (Take this FREE quiz to learn your style.) If you've ever had an issue with a co-worker, boss, or client, then I can tell you with 100% certainty your interaction styles had something to do with it. More importantly, if you’ve ever felt out of place in a company, or as if you can’t seem to get the respect you want in your career, then I guarantee your interaction style is guilty. Here are 10 signs your interaction style is messing with your career: