An amazing thing happens when you decide to quit your job: Co-workers who you never really spoke to, decide to invite you to a conference room and tell you everything they hate about the job.

When I quit a toxic workplace early in my career, I talked to so many other disgruntled co-workers, it felt like I was giving free therapy sessions. I've gotten good at understanding when a workplace is toxic and what signs you should be looking for.

Here are seven signs that you should be looking for a new job.

  1. You're afraid to tell the truth during a meeting.

I once had a 2 slide presentation to an executive committee. I didn't get to the 2nd slide before the CIO started yelling at me. The issue? I told the truth about the status of a project. He didn't like to hear the answer, so instead of asking how we can fix it, he decided to yell at me.

I got feedback from other co-workers that they've learned to "massage" the truth and only tell the CIO what he wants to hear.

So, essentially, we have an entire group of leaders who are not telling the truth about their projects. What a waste of a time.

  1. You're unable to decide without getting approval from 5 people.

I'm OK with getting approvals on some things. That's normal for work. But, when you need to get approval for everything, even the smallest of details, you will start to suffer at work.

5-minute decisions become five slide presentations to an executive committee that only meets once a quarter. No thank you.

  1. You get emails at nights and on weekends--and are expected to answer.

If you want to be a night and weekend warrior, go for it. Nobody is stopping you. But, when you send emails at night and then follow up with a text to see if I got your email, something is wrong.

Sure, if it's crucial, text me. If you do it three times a week, then, Houston, we have a problem.

  1. You take three deep breaths before you go to work every morning

When you walk into your office, do you take deep breaths?

One deep breath -- Normal.

Two deep breaths -- Not recommended, but keep an eye on it.

Three deep breaths -- You're miserable. Look for a new job.

  1. You get a text from your boss every morning (before your coffee)

I thought the world agreed that we need coffee before we can function?

Nothing grinds my gears than a text message every morning asking for the status of a project that was included in the status report multiple times the day before.

Don't text before coffee. It's not fair to anyone.

  1. You've stopped your daily routines

Have you stopped working out? Have you stopped getting your coffee and bagel at your favorite coffee shop? Have you stopped writing or reading? Have you stopped going out with friends?

If you notice that your daily routines have become disrupted, something is wrong. You should look into the core cause of that issue.

  1. Your boss doesn't stand up for you.

This is the nail in the coffin. If your boss doesn't stand up for you, you have no power in the company. Either you fight fire with fire, or you look for another job.

So, now what?

Many people make the mistake of staying in a toxic workplace too long. Some stay a few months too long, and some wait 20 years too long.

You can attempt to fix the company culture and fix the environment, but just be forewarned that people are hard to change and organizations are even harder to change.

Make sure that you're doing what you're doing for all the right reasons. If you have any of the signs above, maybe you should look for something new.

Published on: Oct 12, 2017