Advice » In the Workplace» Workplace Issues » Thrive in a Difficult Work Envi ...
Thrive in a Difficult Work Environment

Thrive in a Difficult Work Environment

Julie Jaqua has found herself in a rare situation: She and her coworkers love going to work each day at GCI Group, a public relations agency in Los Angeles.

"The environment is warm and friendly, yet professional," she says.  "Even as an intern, everyone treated me with tremendous respect. This creates such a wonderful environment that even with the stress and difficult tasks, I enjoy my work and learn new skills."

Most of us are not as lucky. But don't fear. We can all survive, thrive and stay healthy in the office even without a friendly, supportive work environment. Here's how.

Forget About Fate

Don't leave anything in your career to chance. Put together a profile of your ideal career and employer. Andrea Kay, a career consultant and executive coach in Cincinnati, recommends including your ideal corporate structure, management styles, industry and corporate values.

Speak Up

Don't wait for your employer to initiate discussions about job performance and expectations. "Check in regularly," Kay says. "Find out how you're doing and if your manager's expectations are the same ones you're working on."

Foster Relationships

The better you get along with coworkers, the easier your job will be and the better you'll perform. "It's much easier to work with folks if you get along," says Lisa O'Neill, a public relations account executive at Trinity Communications in Boston. Make an effort to put aside personal differences for the sake of your working relationship.

Give Credit

Give coworkers and subordinates credit for their contributions. Dick Lyles, author of Winning Ways: Four Secrets for Getting Great Results by Working Well with People, says that competition with coworkers can be fatal. "Embrace this attitude: I win only if you win, and we all win together," he says.

Keep Learning

A static knowledge base quickly becomes outdated and worthless. "Be sure you're in a job where you're going to keep learning," says Anne Pauker, president of The Pauker Consulting Group, a human resources consultancy in Princeton Junction, New Jersey.

Find a Mentor

There's no substitute for the wisdom of others. Pair up with a mentor who has the skills and insight you need. "That's not necessarily an all-perfect or influential person," says Pauker. "It's someone who can help you learn what you need to get ahead."

Balance Yourself

Living and breathing your job is a surefire path to failure. You'll burn out quickly if you don't maintain a healthy balance between your work and personal lives. Be clear with your boss about your personal obligations, and don't let work take precedence over them.

Have Fun

Organize after-hours activities for you and your coworkers. The chance to interact on a nonwork level can strengthen your working relationships. Some companies, like GCI, have social committees that plan events each quarter. Jaqua says that jazz concerts, dinner or special events are great ways to relieve work-related stress at GCI.

Control the Damage

Most of us will fail at some point in our careers. Some of us will get fired. Don't despair, says Kay. Be honest about your share of the blame and take away a few lessons. "Create a list of lessons that you may have learned from the situation," she says.

Pursue Your Passion

If you love what you do, you'll do it well. "If I don't feel passionate about something, I don't have time to do it," says Pauker. "That's the filter I use." Be just as selective; choose a career and a job that you know will be personally fulfilling.

Articles in This Feature: 

Latest Jobs

Sterling Jewelers
Posted: 05/23/2015
Norwood, 02062
Black Hills Craftsmen
Posted: 05/23/2015
Belle Fourche, SD, 57717
Posted: 05/23/2015
New Bern, 28562
Posted: 05/23/2015
Lake Havasu City, 86403
Posted: 05/23/2015
Anchorage, 99503

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-319