How Can You Create An Exit Strategy From A Toxic Workplace?

  1. You are chronically stressed out.
  2. You are being overworked.
  3. You are being bullied.
  4. You’re a victim – or contributor – to office gossip.
  5. Your boss is a hothead.

Of course, your options are to confront the person one-on-one, confront with a team and/or plan your exit. However, depending on your level of experience with such crucial conversations, financial circumstances and personal issues of what others may think may get in the way of what is the biggest obstacle – yourself.

In my book, Jumping the Queue: Achieving Great Things Before You’re Ready, we tackle this issue in the context of self-care, your value system and priorities. So, for those who are beginning this journey of understanding of self-awareness, let me be brief:

  1. Give yourself permission to let go of people, places and things that are toxic.
  2. Do not waste any time worrying about the perception of others as they are not living your life.
  3. It is okay to leave, and you will find another opportunity. Let me say this again, it is okay to leave, and you will find another opportunity. This is where many people doubt their self-worth and if I could go back and tell my 20 something self it would be that life is way too short and opportunities are too plenty to be in a space that creates this type of stress.
  4. Be gracious with your exit while having enough respect for yourself and for others to know that your character is your greatest asset.
  5. Know that although it may take time, toxic people and places will eventually be brought to light – have patience.

Share your stories with me at jumpingtheq.org and detoxify today!


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Michelle A. Turman, M.A. CFRE
Michelle Turman, MA, CFRE is the CEO of Catalyst Consulting Services whose mission is to facilitate positive change in the areas of executive searches, organizational management, and fundraising. With over twenty-four years of nonprofit experience, Michelle established Catalyst Consulting Services and has been responsible for increasing the impact and best practices of nonprofit organizations she serves and has raised over $60 million for the Tampa Bay community through her professional and personal philanthropic efforts. In 2018, Turman was recognized as Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce for her leadership in the nonprofit sector. In addition to facilitating change nationally and in the Tampa Bay area, Michelle’s community service has included leadership roles on the boards of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Suncoast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Charitable Gift Planners of Tampa Bay, Donate Life America, Leadership Pinellas, the South Tampa Y and University of South Florida’s Women in Leadership & Philanthropy Mentoring, the Women’s Exchange (WE), and Working Women of Tampa Bay Foundation. Turman is author of the best-selling book, Jumping the Queue – Achieving Great Things Before You Are Ready which focuses on how young professionals can seize personal and professional opportunities, achieve great things, and get what they want and deserve. Turman is an educational trainer for the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay and at the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and specializes in professional education in the areas of change management, capital campaigns, volunteer management, board governance, and fund development. Turman has been featured in American Express: Open Forum, Arizona Business Magazine, Inc.com, Inc. Asian, New York Daily News, Investors Business Daily, Nerdy Girls Express, Young Upstarts, and Rural Messenger as an expert and author for her focus on change management in the workforce. In 2015, Turman was recognized by Tampa Bay Metro Magazine as one of Tampa Bay’s Distinguished Women in Business and the Face of Nonprofit Change in 2016 and been nominated by Tampa Bay Business Journal as Business Woman of the Year in 2007, 2016 and 2017.
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