When it’s Time to Say Buh-Bye to a Toxic Workplace

By Erin Gabriel
Art by Sarah Forgey

We spend at least 40 hours a week at work. And if that environment isn’t healthy or supportive, the negative impacts of a toxic workplace bleed into our everyday lives. 

But how do you gain the courage to leave a work environment that isn’t working for you? 

That’s the question that got our gears turning when an anonymous Catcall reader reached out to ask for advice on their toxic workplace story. In this reader’s case, their managers weren’t following COVID protocols set in place—putting them and their coworkers at risk. And while that’s a very clearly toxic and unsafe environment—and a loud reason to walk away from a job—not every toxic workplace looks so obvious. So how do you leave?

See, the problem isn’t that there’s not enough guidance out there, but that there’s way too much—which can be overwhelming. According to research conducted by MIT Sloan School of Management, around 30 million US workers—or one in nine—experience their workplace as toxic. 

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