Toxic Work Culture Q&A

Toxic Work Culture Q&A

This is my 3rd installment of my Work Series Wednesday. Every Wednesday I will be sharing stories from my work journey and other work lesson I learned. This series is called #WhitxWorkSeries!

Make sure to read:

the 1st InstallmentWHY I LEFT THE CORPORATE WORLD

   the 2nd InstallmentI RAGE QUIT MY JOB


The number of emails I have received about my Rage Quitting post from last Wednesday is literally blowing my mind. It is so amazing to hear from all of you who were touched by my personal work story.  Your response to me sharing my toxic work experience made me feel less alone. It also left me slight enraged that so many women experience this type of environment. Whether your a global media director or a super-star tennis player – the double standard at work is a common experience for most women.  That is is why it’s so important to keep the conversation going and offer advice to help women avoid those environments. Life is too short to put up with that. You deserve to work somewhere that really values the talent and perspective you bring!

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I received quite a few questions from amazing women who are stuck in toxic work environments and struggling with how to leave or have left and are now trying to navigate the interview circuit. I am going to answer the questions I received based on how I would tackle them below! *But these answer may vary based on your industry, corporate environment, and work experience.


WORK SERIES Q&A

Q: Looking for jobs out of college – and I keep reading about work environments and toxic culture. How do I avoid that type of environment? What should I look for or ask when interviewing?

  • Research the company: LinkedIn & Glassdoor are your best friends. Look up the current management/executive team and see how many women hold positions of power in the organization. Read the latest reviews from people who previously worked a the company.
  • How Transparent Are They: Is your interviewer being honest and authentic with their responses about the company and culture. Make sure you’re paying attention to their responses, as much as your providing a case for your own employment.

Interview Questions I like to Ask:

  • Can you describe your Company Culture? How is this place different from other places you have worked?
  • When was the last time something detrimental happened–like losing a major client or a round of layoffs–and how did management handle it?
  • What are some examples of things the company has changed based on feedback? What do you think would happen if you e-mailed the CEO with a suggestion? (watch interviewer for reaction)

 

Q: I am currently experiencing exactly what you described! Old Boy Club, Preferential treatment – the works! UGH! Do I try to address the issue with my management or just look for a new job?

A: First – I am so sorry you are dealing with that! You deserve to work in an environment where you are appreciated and supported. This is a hard one! Speaking from personal experience, I tried to change the culture at my old agency but it ultimately ended up exhausting me to the point where I left demoralized. You have to decide if the situation is salvageable. Is this coming from one person? Or your entire management team? If you can improve it or take a stand – I recommend it. But as someone who wasted a lot of time and energy. I wish I had cut my losses earlier. Some situation are less about fixing them and more about learning from the experience.

Regardless, I would update your resume and start looking for new opportunities. You never know what you may find!

 

Q: How do you answer the question about why you left your last job during job interviews? I’m starting to apply and interview for new jobs, but I fear that it could negatively impact my chances to secure the job if I disclose the real reason I left. But I also don’t want to work for a company that punishes someone for standing up for herself in a toxic, sexist environment.

A: It’s definitely a tricky balance when interviewing. I would recommend taking the high road when disclosing why you left. My stock response is that “I really loved my team, but was looking for more of a growth environment or additional opportunities like X, Y, and Z” or “I reevaluated my career goals and decided a change was needed”. I like to turn it around on the interviewer and ask them how they support their staff and what resources they provided for additional growth or learning opportunities.

I understand your fear about the negative impact but also look at this interview as you assessing them and the company. Feel out the culture to make sure you are not entering back into an environment like the one you left.

 

I also want to thank Cindy Gallop and Frank Newsletter for sharing my story!  

 

OUTFIT DETAILS: Zara Blazer (last worn: here), ASOS cami, Banana Republic Sloan Pants, Sam Edelman White Pumps, Anthropologie scarf, Jules Kae purse c/o

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RESOURCES:

If you are struggling with a toxic work environment it’s important to know your rights and resources available to you. Please visit Lean In.org, MeTooMVMT.org, Women in Research.org and AAUW.org to learn more.

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Title VII is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion, and it applies to employers with 15 or more employees.

 

Have you experienced a toxic work environment?? Tell me below or hashtag with #WhitxWorkSeries

Share this article with someone struggling at work!

If you have any questions Email me! 

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20 Comments

  1. September 12, 2018 / 5:54 pm

    So good you got out of your bad environment and I applaud you for your classy response when asked why you left your last job. An interview is definitely not the place to air out any negativity. You shared some great tips here!

  2. Stephanie
    September 12, 2018 / 5:55 pm

    This was so interesting to read about! It makes me grateful that I’m not in any kind of corporate environment any more. But it still happens every once in a while even in the blogging world!!

  3. September 12, 2018 / 7:22 pm

    i quit my toxic job a little over a year ago, and it has made the biggest difference in both my mental and physical health. I think asking the company about their company culture is brilliant – and probably very easy to tell if it’s genuine or not.

  4. September 12, 2018 / 8:37 pm

    I love that you are sharing your experience. Being in a male dominant field, I think it’s so important to spread awareness about toxic work environments and sharing our experiences!

    Kileen
    cute & little

  5. Nataly
    September 13, 2018 / 5:01 am

    I left my toxic work environment at least 4 years ago now and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I knew I needed to get out of there and I did everything I could to find a new job. I still work for the same company, but a different department. It is a wonder what a better work environment can do for your life! I am so glad you are sharing your experience because I think it is way more common than everyone thinks!

  6. September 13, 2018 / 9:30 am

    Love the Q & A follow up post! I’m sorry this happened to so many people. Thank you for posting about it!

    XOXO
    Cathy

  7. Jessica Camerata
    September 13, 2018 / 9:52 am

    This sounds so stressful! My first job out of college was a nightmare. The culture was so off and everyone was so unhappy. These are great tips for finding a new job!

    xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

  8. September 13, 2018 / 11:36 am

    Great post!! Toxic work environments are the worst. These tips are great for how to navigate!!! It is so important to talk about these things and help one another out!

    Brittany,
    http://www.lawyerlookbook.com

  9. adriana
    September 13, 2018 / 1:48 pm

    So interesting to hear your perspective! I’ve never worked in the corporate world – other than during a few college internships – but it’s so great that you’re sharing this. I love your outfit too!

  10. September 14, 2018 / 3:49 am

    I have definitely been there – it’s hard when you love a company & the work, but a few bad apples can spoil the bunch!

  11. September 14, 2018 / 6:33 am

    I’ve never worked in a large corporation but this is a great way to find your way a toxic environment. Amazing post!

  12. September 14, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    Been there done that. I know by experience how is to be working in a hostile environment and it’s really not healthy. I was stressed and exhausted all the time and I wasn’t happy at all, so I’m glad that you are out of there and giving all of these tips to help other people out.

    Candace
    http://www.thebeautybeau.com

  13. September 16, 2018 / 4:46 pm

    It’s so great that you’re sharing you’re experience and being relatable to so many though the situation is unfortunate I’m sure it is making them feel better to know they’re not alone.

    xo, Laura

  14. September 16, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    You are such an inspiration girl. I loved your last post on why you quit your job. I think it’s great you’re speaking up about toxic work culture and how to look for a better job!

  15. Laura Leigh
    September 17, 2018 / 6:24 am

    Oh my gosh, I am so glad these women reached out to you! And props again for sharing that post and now expanding on it. So glad to have you as a strong example!

    xo Laura Leigh
    Louella Reese

  16. September 19, 2018 / 7:04 pm

    This is such an important topic to discuss. It happens way more than I think women want to admit especially when it comes to the workplace. BTW, loving this pink blazer on you! So cute!

  17. September 20, 2018 / 3:33 am

    This pink blazer was made for you! It is soo chic my love. x. Suzanne

  18. September 20, 2018 / 9:35 am

    Your jacket is great! I love it so much. Such good advice by the way!

  19. September 21, 2018 / 8:07 am

    You are such a badass, my friend! Love this post and your transparency!

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