Petty Work Environments - How to Survive, Navigate and Avoid

Hi All!
I work in one, a rather large one. I’ve been in IT from top to bottom for over 35 years and I have NEVER encountered such an environment to survive. I’ve always been a Top Performer and Communicator, but in the environment I’m in now, those things don’t matter, accomplishments and experience as well… but, the petty-ness thrives in an IT department of around 200, that is top-heavy with Management (usually not career IT people, or only staffed by folks that have no other job experience except this environment for life. Really myopic to a fault and ego-driven. There you go, any comments or help? Thank you everyone!

I am so sorry to hear that @cgarduc. Words cannot describe how hard it is to try and survive in toxic work environments. You almost start to question if you are the problem because you have never experienced the things you have described. Don’t gaslight yourself and stick with the facts. Here are my recommendations:

  • Advocates - find where you have strong partners in the company and stay in constant contact with them. They can speak to your credibility and support you if needed.
  • Document, document, document - environments like this tend to be quite emotional and reactive. Facts are still relevant so make sure you keep record of everything you have accomplished.
  • Over communicate - it will seem really redundant to follow up after all of your meetings and conversations with email recaps but this will help avoid you being blamed as the cause of any communication issues.
  • Plan - decide what your boundaries are and when you will need to exit if the environment starts to become detrimental to you personally and professionally.

Make sure that you review any internal policies and procedures so you are covering all of your bases. Lastly, I’m sure your company has an internal compliant process that you can follow if it gets really bad.

The only other advice that I can give you is to please take care of yourself. Working in toxic work environments erodes people from the inside out. I have seen employees start out as enthusiastic and innovative and they slowly become shells of their former selves. It is imperative to have a plan and to find something that feeds your soul outside of that environment.


Thank you for your insights! Some good ideas there! BTW… Welcome to the Group!

Thank you!! I have found my kind of HR geeks online :grinning: