By the time you reach your 30’s you’ve probably experienced a toxic leader. As someone who began their career working in the corporate world, that has almost been the norm for me. The vast majority of larger companies seem to thrive on hiring these types of people. Management teams promote unqualified people solely because of time served at the company rather than the persons actual ability to lead a team. Useless. If you apply for an intermediate position and have to jump through 5+ interview hoops before they are ready to make a decision, its probably a waste of your time. In my experience, the more often I have seen “great office culture” written in the job description – the worse off the place was and the faster I should have ran in the opposite direction. Although I am sure there are many workplaces that do offer a fantastic work-life balance, those places have nothing to prove. Word of mouth spreads quickly in most industries and places generally don’t need to advertise basic human decency on a billboard. These places hire qualified people to hire qualified people. Oh how I wish I had known then what I know now. It all ends the same way, we try and try until eventually we burnout and we move on to the next toxic workplace, hoping and praying it will be better than the last, only to result in a never ending revolving door of turnover. If corporations weren’t so… corporate, and managers just treated everyone equally, with the same dignity and respect that they show their peers, I wonder what that would look like? I refuse to climb so I will never know.
Aside from being a female and earning less than all of my male counterparts, one of my other biggest gripes is when employers don’t respect this so called “work-life balance” yet expect employees to go above and beyond for the company, reaching for that elusive gold star, while passive aggressively punishing you for taking a personal day.
As Millennials, I think we are better than our parents’ generation was at drawing a proverbial line in the sand and saying f u when we need to. If the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that millennials will quit, look for other work or stay home and collect a cheque from the government in the interim even if it means partial wages rather than sacrificing their health or happiness for a minimum wage or mediocre job. We’re no longer satisfied with the bare minimum that companies offer and many of us are no longer willing to sacrifice our health grinding for crummy places that give back so little in return. What is your health really worth to you? A pat on the back? No thanks. I personally am getting a lot better at walking away when I notice red flags instead of wasting year after year working at places that are shit, although I realize that this also comes from a place of privilege. Not everybody has that option to walk away or the freedom to put their foot down when they’re being treated unfairly and the places who exploit these types of vulnerable individuals are garbage. I say we all say goodbye to crappy workplaces in 2022. Let’s put our foot down collectively and say F off to greedy corporations and companies who exploit and take advantage of the little guys. It’s a new year which creates new opportunities to reevaluate the things in your life that don’t align with who you are, or who you are trying to be. Power in numbers, people! If you are working full time hours and you’re still not earning enough to pay your rent or buy food, that’s bullshit. And just because you might work in a service based industry, doesn’t mean that you should be treated any differently than some white collared dude in an office. All the opposite actually, because service industry folks tend to work a lot harder for their pay. Demanding better working conditions and higher wages should be considered a basic human right. When you start looking at the world this way and seeing it for what it really is, it makes it much easier to ask for your fair share.
It’s good to get pissed off about the way things are because let’s face it, they suck. A small majority of our population collect while the rest of us scrape by every month. The small changes start in asking for what you need and deserve. If you allow a company to take advantage of you its really hard to blame the company, in the end we all have a choice. Only you control your future. And there will be times when asking for more or putting your foot down won’t always go the way you hope it will but I believe that whenever one door closes another opens just around the corner and the universe usually has a plan for you, you just have to put yourself out there.