We’ve all heard the phrase “Bloom where you’re planted,” but what do you do when your job makes you feel as though you’re a withering weed?
Bureaucracy, work overload, difficult team members, bosses or clients – these are all just a handful of things that make work extremely hard. Not to mention going through those things on top of all the personal challenges life may throw your way.
Here are some tips to help you manage the chaos of a toxic work environment:
1) Pray for your leaders / co-workers hearts to soften.I mean it. Pray that the hearts of your leaders and co-workers are softened as they make decisions and interact with others throughout the workday. Pray that they find joy in what they do and that God takes away any feelings of negativity.
2) Work as though you are working for God and not man. A toxic workplace environment, boss or co-worker is not an excuse to slack off. Make sure you’re showing up on time, meeting deadlines, contributing to the team and showing enthusiasm for the work God created you do.
3) Stay positive. A positive attitude counteracts the negative ones. Avoid giving into negative conversations or gossip, collaborate actively with your teammates and consider having a scripture verse or quote somewhere on your phone or desk to remind you to choose joy.
4) Give your difficult work experience a strong, honest shot. Keep in mind that most workplace nightmares are in fact, nightmares and they go away after some time. Whether a boss transitions or an overwhelming project finishes out, most strenuous work experiences are seasonal. Now, seasons are not always short and may not go away overnight. As a matter of fact, I’ve known many who have experienced extremely difficult seasons of work that occurred over a matter of years. The point is, work is a journey with peaks and valleys and the more we lean into the journey, the more we grow from it.
5) Grow where you’re planted… BUT as a flourishing individual. One thing to think about is that flourishing is a pretty word, but it doesn’t always feel pretty. Honestly ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I a better professional today than I was when I first started this job? Why or why not?
- Have I grown or flourished in any way through this experience, despite my circumstances? Why or why not?
- Are there feasible solutions for my situation (i.e. moving to a new team / division of the company, getting re-assigned to a different client, etc.)?
- Why did God place me at this company or in this role? Did He have a purpose? If so, what is it?
You may find that some of these questions bring up thoughts you may never have considered. God’s ways are not always our ways. Sometimes that means there’s another open door and sometimes it means we must sit in the waiting room. Regardless, He cares about our work and wants us to flourish in unexpected ways.