You’ve worked for a toxic company for three years. You’re out of a job because your bully boss either fired you or you get fed up, pulled a Johnny Paycheck, and told your tyrant boss to “take this job and shove it” and, in essence, fired him.
So, how do you get a new job, knowing that the honest thing to do is to put the hell-hole you just escaped from down as a previous employer and your former boss’s name on the line in the application that’s labeled “supervisor”?
Well, let’s be real here. Sometimes honesty’s not the best policy. After all, you and your family have to eat. Right?
So, if you’re the unethical type, here are a few underhanded things you could do. Because unethical or not, you have to survive somehow.
1. Omit the workplace altogether. Yeah, it sucks. It’s not ‘the right thing to do,’ but what else do you have to lose? If you’re a married mother or grandmother, all the better. Just fill in the blanks with a homemaker and stay-at-home mom. Who’s going to question that? Yeah, you could hit a roadblock when the interviewer asks you about any experience! But again, they might give you a try! You never know! The object is to avoid a crappy report from your former boss.
2. Go to work for the competition. There’s less chance a competitor will take the word of their opponent. Also, you can sneakily give secrets away and help your new employer drive the other guy out of business. At least you’ll get a little justice!
3. Tell your new employer you were self-employed. If you were your own boss, who are they going to call for a work reference? Tell a good story, and make sure you have a good backup. Maybe you had an excellent blog and it got shut down by Google because Google made changes to their policies?
4. If you have a family member or friend who owns a business, have them be a job reference for you. They can give you a good report, and your chances of getting the gig will be higher.
Hey, desperate times, desperate measures. And if you want to work again, you must get around the bully boss any way you can.
Sometimes you must get as dirty as your BB because he will be waiting on a call from a potential employer once you’re gone. Your old bully will be looking for another chance to block you from future prospects. He may even try to blacklist you.
If you disappear from his radar by omitting him and his company from any job applications, it will be harder for him to reach out and touch you.
5. Hire yourself. Yes. If you can, start your own business and work like the devil to build it. Then, if you’re lucky, five years from now, when you run into your old dictator at the local gas station while he’s putting gas in his suped-up Harley or sportscar, you can thank him for inspiring you to go into business for yourself and make it. And you can smile as you watch his face contort!
There’s no guarantee that the first four are going to work and you might even get fired from your new job if your old bully boss finds out where you’re working and decides to give your new employer a call.
But at least you will have bought yourself some time and put off going broke a for little while longer.
0 thoughts on “So, You’ve Left a Toxic Workplace. What Do You Do Now?”
I filed an EEOC complaint for “discrimination.” I was the only guy on the team and I always felt like my department got singled out as the “troublemakers” (we weren’t). Long story short, I settled the case, not for money, but for a neutral reference letter from the corporate attorney. Part of the settlement was no one else, especially my BB, could give a reference for me. It worked for a while. But my PTSD symptoms ended up costing me my next two jobs and I’m now on disability.
That’s horrible, Drew. I’m so sorry that happened to you. Discrimination because you were a man. That’s lowdown. And sadly, people don’t want to hear that men can be discriminated against as well.
Thank you. I put up with a lot over the course of 13 years working there. In fact, the administrator wasn’t going to hire me because I was a man! She was afraid I wouldn’t want to do the dirty work (it nursing home). She thought I would squawk at changing diapers! I had been changing diapers throughout my career!