Beware of managers or bosses who say they are first and foremost looking to hire for “culture fit.” It’s just another way for them to discriminate. They should be looking at your skills, your work ethic, your ability to solve problems and rebound from setbacks.
Watch out for bosses who call themselves leaders. That’s not up to them to decide. Another sign of poor leadership is a culture of micromanaging—no matter how big or small the organization is. Things, like asking to be included in every email exchange and nitpicking the spelling of internal documents, are huge red flags.
Someone who can’t trust their employees to “take care of it” is a telltale sign of a know-it-all, of someone who needs to be in control, not for the betterment of the organization, but for the sake of having power.
Your job is what you do all day and your boss is who you learn from and who you interact with. The type of person you are likely to become has a great deal to do with the people in your environment. Work at a stressful place and you’re likely to become someone who is stressed out. Work for a bully and you’re likely to get bullied, or worse, become a bully yourself.
Work at a place where you are empowered to do great work, where you are trusted, where you can make a difference, then you are more likely to become someone who wants to make the world a better place and puts in the work to make it happen. Work for a real leader and you’re more likely to someday lead.
You deserve better. But in order to be better, to be the type of person that prospective employers would jump through hoops to hire, you’ll need to demand better. You’ll need to surround yourself with greatness so that you know what “great” looks like. Still unsure as to whether your work situation is great or toxic? Well, if it looks like a toxic environment, sounds like a toxic environment, and feels like a toxic environment, guess what? It’s most likely not healthy. As with most things worth pursuing, you’ll know it when you see it. So keep pursuing.
Respect yourself enough to be picky about where you work. There are better opportunities out there. Trust in that. Believe in yourself and in your capabilities, which will allow you to rise to the occasion to be deserving of those opportunities.