How to Identify Certain Warning Signs of a Toxic Culture Before Accepting a Job 0 242

  • FYI: If going to work every day and being around your coworkers and managers feels more like a burden than a benefit to your career, your workplace might have a toxic culture.
  • One other: Ten Unmistakable Signs Of A Toxic Culture
How to Identify Certain Warning Signs of a Toxic Culture Before Accepting a Job

It’s not enough that you get a great job with high wages in a successful company for many prospective employees these days. The company culture is crucial as well, and this covers the actual work environment as well as the prevailing principles by which the company and its employees operate. Some cultures are decidedly formal and rigid, such as what you see in conservative banks and law firms. Others are more casual. There are companies that value long hours and hard work, while others place a higher premium on results.

However, what you don’t want is a “toxic” company culture. It’s when the people there are backstabbing one another to get ahead, and ethics always take a back seat to profits and advancement. Employees are often unhappy, but no one rocks the boat by talking about it. In fact, usually no one speaks up and the sense of fear is quite prevalent.

Lots of new employees and recent graduates are understandably leery of toxic company cultures, and they’re even willing to take lower wages if they can join a great company culture instead. Many workers admit that a higher pay just doesn’t seem worth all that aggravation.

But the question remains: How do you identify a toxic company culture before you join a company? Actually, it’s not impossible. You can find out all you need to know about the company culture of your prospective employers by using these simple methods:

Look Deeper Than the Perks

Some companies tout lots of so-called perks to extol the virtues of their company culture. Maybe they offer free lunches to employees, cots for short afternoon naps, or even game rooms to relax.

But what you have to realize is that perks in themselves have very little to do with the true company culture you’re joining. You have to look deeper. If you’re content to see just the perks, then you may end up with a rude surprise when you discover how the company really operates.

Check Your Surroundings during Your Interview

Often, your interview gives you the first chance to see where you’re going to work. You can do yourself a favor by being a bit more observant about how things are done there. Is the workplace layout open, or do people have their own offices? You should check that the layout fits your preferences.

Then you can also take note of how the workers there deal with one another. Are they formal, or are things a bit more casual? Again, the style of the interactions should match your preferences. It does help a lot when you notice that lots of people excited when they talk. It’s not so good when you can hear the palpable fear in their voices.

You may also want to check out how many people are eating at their desks. You can even smell the food. This isn’t good, as the people are obviously overworked and scrambling to catch up.

Inspect the Bathroom

This is the same piece of advice people hear about good restaurants, and it applies to good companies too. Companies need to take care of their people, and a clean and neat bathroom is a must for all employees.

You also want to check out the graffiti—these defacements are a dead giveaway to how people regard their company. It also tells a lot about the people who work there. Pay special attention to whether people have changed out the toilet paper. If they haven’t it’s a good sign that the people there are accustomed to passing the buck.

See If the Recruitment Process is Rushed

Most people who want to find work usually appreciate it if they find get hired quickly. Lots of people hate it when they have to go through numerous meetings to see if the company will tender a job offer.

But it’s not really good for you as a prospective employee if you’re hired too quickly. This may mean that they’re rushing the hiring process simply because they need workers fast. They don’t necessarily have to be the right employees.

Usually, this happens when a new company experiences exponential growth. They’ve become too successful and they now have too many clients and projects, so they need more workers. This reflects badly on the company because often they don’t do their due diligence in hiring the other people working with you. Also, you become one of the faceless crowd they hire just because they need people and not the right ones.

Ask Them Insightful Questions

When you go through an interview, usually the people from the company ask you questions. At some point, they will ask if you have questions, and you should take this opportunity to know more about their company culture and values. This can offer you some insight as to whether how the company works will fit with your own values.

So perhaps you can inquire about how the company has evolved through the years, and how they implemented the changes they wanted. You can ask them to tell you about a recent example of a dramatically new idea that the company pursued and implemented. Maybe they can also talk about how the company weathered the storms in its history, such as layoffs or losing major clients.

You should also ask questions about how the company workflow works, so you have a sense of when the rules apply rigidly and when there’s room for innovation and creativity. You should also clarify as to which of your tasks will be up to you, and which req1uire a superior’s approval.

All the answers to these questions can paint a clear picture of how the company works, and whether you can fit in nicely.

Listen to Your Instincts

After all, that’s said and done, your instincts can still be a major indicator of how toxic the culture is in a company. If something in you tells you that there’s something wrong with a company, you need to listen to it. Sometimes, when you feel something’s wrong there really is something wrong!

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Having Good Friends at Work Makes Everything Better 0 136

Having Good Friends at Work Makes Everything Better

Making friends is something that we’ve all been trained to do ever since childhood. In kindergarten, our parents often ask us to be good and to make friends with the other children in the playground.  This is probably one of the most important things that you need to learn if you want to succeed in life.

You wouldn’t feel comfortable borrowing a pen or paper from the person next to you if you aren’t friends with that person in the first place. You can’t ask for a raise if you aren’t on friendly terms with your boss. And you can’t get married if you can’t even find a partner.

To survive the jungle that is life, you need companionship, you need other people. They say that no man is an island – this is a very accurate statement.

But why make friends at work?

You might ask yourself, “Is it necessary for me to make friends in the workplace?” You might even think to yourself that you already have enough friends outside of your career, so why would you need more?

To be honest, you didn’t sign up for that job offer to build connections with your coworkers. But being in friendly terms with your coworkers brings you a lot of perks. Studies have shown that working with people you like will help you gain power throughout the day. Studies also show that these people will help increase your productivity as well. Sweet deal, right?

If you’re one of the people who say that friends at work are one of the most important factors to having a happy working life, then you’re not alone. 70% of employees say that this is true for them as well. This makes making friends a lot easier. With like-minded individuals, you’ll be sure to spot someone who you’ll instantly connect within no time. Some people go even as far as saying that they would refuse a higher paying job if it means not getting along with their colleagues.

Having Good Friends at Work Makes Everything Better
Having Good Friends at Work Makes Everything Better

But I don’t think I need friends at work!

Still not convinced huh? Well…

Data shows that one out of every three adults meets at least one of their closest friends at work. Having good company while working makes you feel happy and a lot more productive.

Eating alone is deemed to be a sad practice. Did you know that there is a 25% increase in morale and productivity when you’re given a larger lunch table to eat with your colleagues? After all, food does put you in a good mood. Use this advantage to your advantage and build positive relationships with the people you’ll be working with.

Having a best friend at work also improves the probability of staying in that company for a very long time.  After all you’ll have someone you can trust to watch your back.

But there’s more!

The benefits don’t just end there. People who have a best friend at work are more likely to receive praises and they have a higher chance of being promoted as well. They also have a higher commitment to quality.

Because of this, they start developing a higher sense of consideration for constructive criticism, making them work harder to be the best that they can be.  These are actually things that can help make your career grow.

Having friends at work can also help you lead other people

Managers should start actively participating and encouraging the building of office relationships to ensure that happiness levels at the office are kept at the optimum level. Activities such as team buildings and office small talk prove to be useful in strengthening friendships between team members. Supervisors can also join in on the talk, to help ease the tension in the office and to establish that they aren’t just there as a body to reprimand them when they make mistakes. Establishing that even supervisors can be human can help build trust between the team and its managers.

Even a few minutes of chitchat over coffee during breaks will help you foster better relationships. This will lead you to have the drive of improving your performance, and improving your career.

Yes, even non-work related banter is considered to be a big help. If you have problems striking up a conversation with other people, try thinking of things that you both mutually know, you can try talking about food or the current events.

You could even try giving your coworker a compliment or two. Do not think too much about what you’re going to say and just let words flow naturally.

Having Good Friends at Work Makes Everything Better
Having Good Friends at Work Makes Everything Better

Don’t give up!

Friendship is a two-way road. If the person you’re talking to doesn’t seem interested in your friendship. Then don’t worry. They might just be having a bad day, or they might not have gotten enough sleep the day before. Try again another day, or with another person. If they still don’t feel like being friends with you, then it’s okay. It’s their loss. You still have the rest of the company anyway!

Finding yourself in a good mood will greatly affect how you go on about doing your daily tasks. Even the most difficult tasks seem a bit lighter when a good company joins you. Productivity is always seen as a good thing in the office. The more work is done, the happier your bosses will be.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

A happier “you” can make people around you happier as well. Muse writer Kaitlyn Russell goes on to explain that the friendlier you are with the people you see every day, the happier you’ll be. Remember that happiness is actually something that can infect the people you work with. You end up more open-minded about challenges that your boss presents to you, and you get to collaborate even better with your workmates.

Just be happy!


Workdays can be long and exhausting. Deadlines here, deadlines there, deadlines everywhere!  But, don’t let that get you down.  If you made friends with your coworkers, then there will always be people that you can rely on.

Your friends will help you get back on your feet when you feel like a failure. Don’t be afraid to summon the 4-year-old in you and make friends with people.  If you can’t do that, then you’ll most likely end up alone and without allies. If you want success, then you need connections. Period.

How To Work Hard Without Sacrificing Your Sanity 0 162

How To Work Hard Without Sacrificing Your Sanity

Companies idealize hard work and some even promise that you get compensated well without sacrificing your sanity.  But let’s be honest here, ok.  In the modern world, we know better. Most of us know that a lot of things are fake and that it’s hard to keep it real. In short, it’s hard to be authentic.

We eat more than we need. We buy overpriced coffee because of the brand. We buy cool looking t-shirts that we hardly ever use, and we waste our time watching mindless movies. Society dictates that we must keep a certain image.

Yes, you might be following the trends, but deep inside you feel empty. Deep inside, you feel you are a fraud.

The “more is more” lifestyle

You may be familiar with the “more is more” lifestyle. The more we have the better we are.  We often apply this lifestyle to our work as well. We clock in at the earliest possible time, then we work ourselves to death until we go crazy! In fact, people who sacrifice their lives are often branded as star employees!

I’m not telling you that this lifestyle is bad. In fact, if you keep working like this, you’ll eventually earn more money than your coworkers. However, your coworkers would probably be happier and healthier than you. Is that a good tradeoff?

Well if you don’t like to live like this, then I have good news for you. You can still be a hard worker and keep your sanity. You can work hard all day and do overtime without losing sight of who you are. You can even be successful and still be a nice guy (but that’s for another article).

So what’s your point?

What I’m trying to say here is that you can enjoy work even if you’re constantly on overtime. You don’t have to be fake, you can be who you are.

Of course, you still have to do your job well and impress your boss. Here are some tips and tricks to help maintain your sanity.

  1. Learn when to say “No”

Don’t be a Yes man/ Yes woman. Your friend might ask for help on their project. You really want to help them but you’re also burdened by projects as well. Some people would sacrifice their own time and work to help a friend out. Sure, you’ll be a good friend when you help them out but you’ll probably be reprimanded for not doing your job.

If you sacrifice yourself, then you’re going to miss deadlines and produce shoddy work. You may even lose your job for it!

Don’t be a martyr. Prioritize yourself before helping others. Remember that you can’t really help people out if you can’t even help yourself.

  1. Learn when to say “Yes”

After learning when to say “No”, you have to learn when to say “Yes”. To be more precise, you should know when you should help people out.

When you lend a helping hand, you are providing value to your colleagues. People will rely on you more, and your boss might see potential in you.  If you help people regularly, then you will most likely be put in a leadership role.

That means you’ll be spending more time managing people and less time doing menial labor.

  1. Take small breaks from time to time

Yes, this might seem pretty obvious but you’ll be surprised to see that most people don’t even take breaks when they’re stressed out. This is a recipe for disaster.

If you think that you’ve had enough, then STOP. Don’t think about the consequences, don’t think about your schedule, and don’t think about getting fired. Just STOP. Let go and take a break.

Once you’ve calmed down, then get back to work. You’ll find out that you’re more productive and more likely to get the job done.

  1. Focus

One of the reasons why you’re taking too long would be because you aren’t focused enough. I often waste my time replying to useless email and surfing on the internet. I know that it’s a bad habit but sometimes it helps me think that I’m being productive.

Well, to tell you the truth, I was only using it as an excuse to slack off and not do my job.

If you want to stay as sane as possible, then you have to do your job as quickly as possible.

  1. Be active during meetings

You miss a lot when you’re not paying attention. If you fail to ask questions or be passive during meetings, then things really won’t go your way.

You can express your concerns, your opinions, and even your feelings during meetings. You might not get what you want all the time but there’s a slight chance that you might have your way.

Get out there and be active.

  1. Keep contact with your boss from time to time

Most workers fear their employer. In fact, some employees do whatever they can to avoid talking to their boss.  And when they do meet their boss, they usually nod in affirmation and agree with everything that their boss says. If you’re doing this, then let me tell you one thing. You’re making a huge mistake.

Sure, you’ll feel less awkward and less pressured but you’re also sacrificing your productivity as well. You need to meet regularly with your boss and contact them from time to time. This is very important because you’ll be more informed to get the job done.

You will finish your work faster if you ask for your boss’s opinion and advice. And you will have good relations with your boss as well. Don’t let the fear of interacting with your boss get in the way of your productivity.


Well, those are some tips and tricks to help keep your sanity during work. Going crazy is a big no-no. Sure, it may be hard to keep your sanity if you’re missing tons of deadlines but if you know how to deal with it, then you can minimize the damage.

Remember that these are just tips and tricks. The best way to keep your sanity while working is to prioritize your well-being first. Eat healthily, sleep as much as you can, and exercise regularly.

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