How to survive working under a toxic boss

Guest Post: By Recheal Blankson


The demand for jobs is so high especially in Africa, where 11 million graduates enter the job market each year. Yet, supply is so low.

The result is that millions of unemployed graduates are willing to do anything to secure any job even if it pays $100 a month.

Can we blame them?

Emphatic NO!


Because basic needs like food, transportation and medical care are not free!

Unfortunately, a lot of employers are taking advantage of the desperation of millennials and resorting to abuse at the workplace.

So the job position you are secretly coveting could be in a very hostile environment and you should toughen up yourself mentally in order to thrive.

After all, this is Africa. All sorts of nonsense happen here and resilience is in everyone’s survival tool kit😄.

If you happen to find yourself under a toxic boss, use these three tips to reduce as much friction as possible.

1. Mind your own business

Your business is the job for which you were hired. Learn on the job, know your job, acquire additional skills, be productive, meet your deadlines and deliver expected results.

If you are looking for an example of an employee who excelled at all of the above, watch Michael Ross in Suits.

I am not in anyway recommending that you set unreasonable work standards for yourself but you must know that demonstrating excellence will make it very difficult for your toxic boss to find faults and start unnecessary drama.

2. Resist acting like a human rights activist

The worst thing you can do when working with a toxic boss is to consistently insist on your rights.

Oh boy! You will be in so much trouble if you do so.

You will increase friction between you and your boss and make your work environment more hostile than it already is.

This is what to do instead ➡ keep physical interactions to the barest minimum and when you need to have face to face meetings, prepare ahead and talk with your chin up. Act confidently!

Also, detach yourself emotionally by creating a mental picture of you trashing every hateful remark he might pass.

After all, you are there to work and get paid at the end of the month. The ‘I care less attitude’ may serve you well.

3. Work your way out

Start looking for a new job immediately. I always advise young professionals to hang in there, no matter how terrible the situation is, until they find a new job.

That way, they don’t create gaps in their CVs and they are not deprived of basic needs like food and shelter.

Life is stressful even without a hostile work environment. A toxic boss makes it even more hectic. If you ever find yourself working under an abuser (and I pray you never do), use the tips above to keep your head above water.

About the author
Recheal Blankson
is the founder of Autolifecoach, an education blog for millennials who want to stay relevant in the digital economy and are passionate about creating wealth. Say hello to her on Twitter @rechealblankson.