With a new season of HBO’s Succession on the air, fans of the hit series couldn’t be more thrilled to immerse themselves back into the engrossingly toxic work environment that is Waystar Royco. But that toxicity is far less entertaining in real life.
Unwelcoming environments or indifference to a company’s environmental or societal impacts can decrease motivation and overall happiness at work. LinkedIn data shows that 70% of Americans say they’d consider leaving a job for other opportunities that better align with their values—particularly when it comes to work-life balance.
Value alignment is often key to feeling energized and welcomed at work. However, if you find yourself in a position where company values are not embraced, or you’re feeling overlooked, there are some steps you can take to move forward. Here are three ways to do so.
Organize your thoughts and map out a plan
In the case of work-life balance, you have to be clear about whether the work or your life needs to change. Once you’re clear, start compiling all your thoughts on what’s off or missing in the workplace. Take stock of what’s making you unhappy or unmotivated. Is it the work, your manager, or something bigger like the company’s mission/vision that’s misaligned? Would making a job switch internally solve the issue, or are the company values not aligning with your own?
Collaborating with a trusted manager on a solution—like finding boundaries you can set at work—can be a great way to rebuild trust and give employers and employees a shared responsibility for the situation. However, if the conversations seem unfruitful, refrain from entering into a heated discussion, and know you tried your best to resolve the issue.
Seek closure and know when it’s time to move on
Sometimes, the issue can’t be resolved enough to make you once again feel comfortable at work. If you think you’ve reached this point, it’s completely normal and healthy to be ready to move on. When doing so, try to let go of any resentment, stop second-guessing yourself, and focus on the future. If you have the opportunity for an exit interview, provide constructive feedback and be honest. While you want to remain as positive or neutral as possible in case your paths cross again, outlining what moved you to leave shows that you took this decision seriously and aim to do what’s best for your career and mental well-being.
Launch your job search by leading with values
87% of Americans say that values are important, so how can you make sure your values are aligned with a potential employer and that they believe in the same core values that matter to you. First off, utilize LinkedIn’s new values search filter. Recent LinkedIn data shows that more than half of Americans (59%) say a commitment to work-life balance is most important to them, followed by career growth and learning (53%). Additionally, more than one-third of professionals cite diversity, equity, and inclusion as most important (39%), while others prioritize environmental sustainability (32%) and social impact (29%).
Using this new tool, you can filter jobs by work-life balance, DEI, career growth and learning, social impact, and environmental sustainability based on what companies have posted on their company page.
Then, when you land an interview, be specific in the questions you ask the hirer to get to the core of their company values. Some examples include:
- In what specific ways do you support work-life balance, and how is this made a priority for your employees?
- If a difficult situation arises in the workplace, what steps are taken to address and resolve the concerns?
In the face of adversity, it’s crucial to recognize and celebrate your achievements, strengths, and skills. Your confidence will likely have taken a hit throughout this process, so focus on positive outcomes, perhaps a particular project you succeeded in, a colleague you met, or the resilience you have developed in such a challenging situation. Whether you’re working to resolve the issue at your current workplace or have decided to look for a new job, remember: You deserve to be treated fairly, and you deserve to be valued at work.
Andrew McCaskill is a LinkedIn Career Expert and creator of The Black Guy in Marketing newsletter.