Should I Stay or Should I Go? – Coping With Workplace Dysfunction

“Weigh your options carefully, keeping your peace and sanity at the forefront of the decision.”


woman working laptop at table

Picture this. You read a job announcement and it seems like you have just hit the jackpot. You submit an application, get called in for an interview and consequently land the job. Everything is going great in the initial months. And then over time you start to see things and individuals differently. The initial high you felt when you started the job begins to dwindle as you begin to realize that you have walked into a pile of professional shit.

You are in a working in a sea of dysfunction.   And what makes it worse is that it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better. It’s not going to get better because the problem is coming from leadership. The hole of dysfunction keeps getting worse as people “jump ship” leaving the same amount of work for a skeleton crew.  You are getting weary week after week and are starting to reconsider whether your long term plan of sticking around is going to withstand the stress and bullshit.  So what do you do?  Stay and stick it out or do what everyone else has done before you – get the fuck up out of there..quick!! Well here are some things to consider as you make the decision to stay or go.

On the side of staying:

  1. If your goal is to try to work through the situation and possibly change the internal culture of the workplace, keep in mind that this is difficult and risky.  The risk comes from the potential misinterpretation from leadership about the change.  Coworkers can start to look at you as “the enemy”.

  2. If you decide to “stick it out” and suffer in silence be mindful of the long-term effects that this will have on your on a personal and professional level.  Suffering in silence means that your self-worth will suffer leading to poor productivity in the office.  Over time, as your performance declines, negative evaluations will increase which can lead to possible termination.  Again, another risky option if you are not interested in compromising your professional integrity.

  3. Deciding to stay and conform to the system in an effort to gain professional advancements and avoid conflict and confrontation, is another risky strategy.  This becomes challenging over time as it requires a lot of energy and does not solve the real problem.  Over time, you may become the person you originally did not like and/or compromise your professional values.

On the side of leaving:

  1. Although a positive energy effort, deciding to leave the organization comes with some of risk as well.  Leaving the organization means you have to get back out on a job search which can prove unsuccessful or take some time.  The other thing to keep in mind is that if your employer hears of your job search, it can make your life harder and lead to termination before you are ready for the next professional move.

I have been in this type of situation many times and honestly, the best solution for this type of problem is to leave.  Whenever I have been in unhealthy work environments, I and everyone else around me suffers.  My kiddos suffer as I am emotionally drained when I get home.  The organization suffers as I am not  giving 100% effort during the day.  I suffer in that my mind and body begin to deteriorate leading to health and emotional distress.  At the end of the day, nothing is worth me compromising my or my children’s health or the well-being.

If you are in a situation like this, be smart about the situation.  Weigh your options carefully, keeping your peace and sanity at the forefront of the decision.  You definitely do not want to quit prematurely.  This will potentially cause future stress on you and your family. And you definitely don’t need added stress.  I know I don’t.

All the best!


Source:  Bell, Howard. (2002).  How to Manage Dysfunctional Workplace Situations and Issues Within Legal Parameters.  Bell & Trice Enterprises.



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