Not everyone is lucky enough to have a fulfilling career that brings constant satisfaction. However, you owe it to yourself to try and change your situation if you discover that your job is a hazard to your physical or mental health. Here are ten key signs that you are in a toxic job.

1. There is low morale

When your workplace is an utterly miserable place to be, this negativity seeps into your personal life and changes your state of mind. If you and your colleagues are constantly argumentative, depressed, or downtrodden, there is something deeply toxic about your job.

2. You are constantly stressed

While every job comes with periods of stress, you may be working in a dangerously toxic environment if you never feel relaxed. Whether you dread going to the workplace because of constant bullying, feel strung out from lack of sleep, or experience anxiety as a result of pressure, persistently high stress levels will erode your happiness and make you feel physically unwell.

3. Other people take credit for your work

If other people take credit for your work, this not only causes anger but also reduces your chances of getting a promotion that you have earned. Although you can combat this problem to a certain extent by carefully tracking your work and ideas (as well as enlisting the help of supportive colleagues), it is exhausting to live with the constant threat of theft.

4. There is a culture of fear

A healthy workplace is one in which even the more powerful people accept accountability, but many of the worst jobs involve frequent ‘scapegoating.’ Do your bosses always blame their mistakes on others, belittle employees in public, or pin losses and failures on the people who are least likely to fight back?

5. Favoritism is common

A lack of equality in the workplace can be incredibly frustrating and hurtful. If you have noticed that other people are favored for unprofessional reasons like sexual attractiveness, shared hobbies or membership of a ‘boys club’ then you are working in a place with unethically inconsistent policies.

6. You have no life outside your job

Even if you think your job is relatively satisfying, it may well be toxic if it has slowly taken over your entire life. Is it difficult to remember the last time you spent a full day on a hobby or social pursuit? Is your relationship suffering because of your job? If you answer ‘yes’ to these questions, your work-life balance is unhealthy.

7. There are unreasonable expectations

If your bosses are pushing you past your physical or mental limits in an effort to make you reach goals that are virtually impossible to achieve, your job will eventually erode your self-esteem and sap all of your energy reserves. Many toxic jobs combine unreasonable expectations with a very low level of praise.

8. Cruelty is rewarded

People who enjoy their jobs often describe their workplaces as welcoming, open environments in which camaraderie is actively encouraged. In contrast, a workplace that encourages malicious backstabbing and ruthless competitiveness is likely to be toxic to your mental health.

9. Lack of loyalty

If it seems as though anyone could get fired at any time for any reason, you will never be able to experience any sense of security in your job. The uncertainty and anxiety created by a lack of loyalty can make you feel paranoid, and it seriously inhibits your ability to plan for the future.

10. You are struggling with anger

Finally, if you do not spend much time reflecting on your work conditions then increasing levels of anger may be the first sign that you are in a toxic job. People who used to be peaceful and affable can become furious or aggressive after years of subtly poor treatment at work.

If any of the above signs sound familiar, it is time to seriously consider looking for a new job. While it is, of course, challenging to find good work in any field, it is important to start the search as soon as possible if you want to preserve your well-being.

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