So the values at work suck, and you work for an evil snot-goblin. I’m really sorry about that. It’s tough when your workplace forces you to be surrounded by values that don’t line up with your ethics. Maybe you work for a truly corrupt corporation. Or perhaps a company that’s just sort of soulless and sad. Either way, it doesn’t make for a particularly healthy work environment. However, there is hope.
Here’s how to get by and even thrive when the values that permeate your workplace clash with your own values.
Find a work BFF
I have worked with some truly crazy, mentally unstable people in the past. But even in the most bonkers surroundings, I was always able to find at least one person at the office who I was on the same page with. This person is the mystical and magical work BFF. They are the person who is always in your corner. They are the person who you can whine and vent to over coffee. They are the person who sees the insanity around you and can send knowing Jim Halpert-glances your way throughout the day.
This person is truly essential for your survival at a less-than-ideal company. If you haven’t found your work BFF yet, go ahead and bait your office to draw them in. Listen to really good music while you work, or awesome podcasts that only cool people would listen to. Leave a trail of freshly-baked cronuts leading to your door. Soon enough, your work best friend will stumble in and ask you what you’re listening to on NPR while stuffing their face with the delicious treat you left for them in the hallway. You’re welcome.
Stay true to yourself in spite of the values at work
It’s easy to be brought down by negativity when you’re surrounded by trolls, but stick to your guns. Stay true to your own values. If your coworkers are engaging in so-called “locker room talk” (GAG) in the break room, walk away.
If someone’s being a total tool, don’t associate with them and refuse to participate in their conversations.
Fill your day with positivity
Take an actual lunch break whenever possible and leave the building. Get some sunshine and fresh air. Do yoga at your desk. Listen to soothing music and educational podcasts. Diffuse uplifting essential oils or light scented candles on your desk. Do everything you can to make your workday as pleasant as possible, and your desk/office your own personal sanctuary of positivity. And if all else fails, just put a “no trolls allowed” sign on the front of your cubicle.