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Nothing lined up? Think twice about leaving a résumé gap

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in Your Office Coach

Q: “After three months on the job, I have concluded that this is a toxic workplace. The owner and my boss argue constantly, then take their anger out on the staff. Employees never receive any praise and are always blamed if something goes wrong, so everyone spends a lot of time on ‘C.Y.A.’ activities.

“I originally took this position just to have a paycheck, but now I feel trapped, because my long hours leave me no time to look for another job. Even though I’m a new graduate, I have enough savings to last for a year. Should I consider quitting?” Fed Up

A: Because managers tend to feel that hiring employed people is less risky, it’s usually better to keep one job until you find another. If you leave now, you’ll have to explain why you departed after only three months. Lacking firsthand knowledge of the situation, interviewers could easily assume that you were part of the problem.

Instead of returning to the ranks of the unemployed, start taking steps that might ultimately lead to a job offer. Research desirable employers, make networking contacts on Facebook or LinkedIn, get involved with community or professional groups. Focusing on a brighter future may help you tolerate this tension a little longer.

Think you might be working in a toxic environment? Take our Quick Quiz to find out: Thirteen Signs of a Toxic Workplace.

 

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