When You’re Thinking of Taking a Problem to HR

by Octavia Goredema

Working in a toxic environment can rapidly erode your feelings about your job. Just dragging yourself to the office every day can fill you with dread. And evaluating whether to speak up about the toxicity—Who should you talk to? How much should you say?—can be incredibly intimidating.

I know this from firsthand experience. Earlier in my career, I joined what seemed like an edgy, dynamic startup. After three weeks I realized I had unwittingly joined a team trying to navigate a destructive workplace culture. The team was led by an impossible-to-please micromanager with an explosive temper. The office environment was fraught and tensions were always running high. The company ...

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