At my present company I accepted a steep pay cut to get my foot in the door. Now my boss’ behavior is causing me to have second thoughts. She regularly launches personal attacks and makes disparaging remarks about co-workers. She micromanages my work and then tells me I am not ‘proactive.’ And now her support is behind another direct report, with whom she has become close. If I leave I’m concerned I will be seen as a job hopper, and speaking with HR could only lead to reprisals down the line.
— Anonymous, New York
A huge part of being successful within a corporation is managing your boss and coworkers by determining the unspoken ground rules of the company’s culture. Sometimes, however, the environment is dysfunctional and not worth the effort or energy.
Make plans to leave. Too often employees sit miserably in jobs because they are worried about having limited options. This is where mentors and an active network are vital to your career growth. Not only do they provide honest perspective (because sometimes the challenge is not your environment, but you), they are your entrée to other opportunities. Also study Tim O’Leary’s Warriors, Workers, Whiners & Weasels: Understanding and Using the Four Personality Traits to Your Advantage (Xephor Press; $22.95) and Coping with Toxic Managers, Subordinates … and Other Difficult People by Roy H. Lubit (Financial Times Prentice Hall Books; $19.95).