Make sure to read:
the 1st Installment: WHY I LEFT THE CORPORATE WORLD
the 2nd Installment: I 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!
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 answers 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 situations 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.
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!