You know it’s time to leave your toxic job—so why are you still there? 

If you're struggling with a toxic work environment, maybe it's time to weigh what it's worth to your future self.

Why do we stay in toxic work relationships when we know it’s been time to go? The answer to this relatively simple question is complicated. I can name a few reasons why I stayed in a role I was unhappy in: 

● The Money 

● The Money 

● The Money 

I have two kids and an entrepreneur husband. Who was I to uproot our routine and lifestyle because I was burned out and ready for something new? It’s what kept me in my job well past my expiration date. I didn’t believe I could make the same money, or more, somewhere else. 

I’m happy to report I was wrong—and now I want every miserable professional to know: if you’re capable of making your salary where you are now, you’re perfectly capable of making that same amount somewhere else. Don’t let a fear of moving backward financially stop you from at least thinking and planning a move toward a more fulfilling career. 

Chenadra Washington, founder of Black Orchids PR and author of “Seen and Not Heard: The Invisible Impact of Black Women,” can relate to my story. She left a decorated 13-year corporate career in 2021 to build her firm and she’s helping other Black women do the same. 

“For me, there is this idea that you’ve done this for so long. You have been a finisher. You figure it out.” she said. “That’s what was taught in the household. In my household, you go to school and you get a good job. That’s what was in my head; that’s what I do.“

Washington had some hard conversations with herself before she decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship but the tipping point was when she realized it was scarier for her to stay burned out and mistreated than to create her own future and face the challenges that come along with owning a business. 

“It’s hard. I’m transparent—I don’t lie to my clients; it’s not easy. But a lot of stuff isn’t easy. Being broke, being overlooked, being underpaid—not easy,” said Washington. 

If you know it’s time to leave a toxic work environment but you haven’t been able to take action, ask yourself this. What would life look like five years from now if nothing changes? Same microaggressions, same workload, same manager, all of it. Who will you be? Are you healthy? How’s your attitude toward your family and friends? Do you have energy for things outside of work? Think about the future and make decisions today with that version of you in mind. As Washington said, work, by nature, includes some level of difficulty—somebody is going to be dysfunctional; some part of your work will be unfair. Choose the path that makes it all worth it.

To watch the full conversation with Chenadra, watch this week’s episode of ‘The Reset with Coach Tish,’ above.

Letisha Bereola

Letisha Bereola is a life coach who helps ambitious women overcome burnout and reach their career goals so they feel great at work and happy at home. She’s a former Emmy-nominated TV news anchor, Podcast host of AUDACITY and speaker. Learn more:

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