I used to work in an environment that was dysfunctional and full of drama: this was where my toxic career journey began.

At the time, I was working under a terrible boss and the experience with him was nothing less than torturous for me. How terrible was he? Imagine Miranda Priestley x 1000!

I would hide in the bathroom to cry at least half the days in the week. Sadly, my former boss would yell at me and force me to face the wall to say sorry at least 20 times if I did something wrong. He would also use all kinds of words to crush me and break my spirit and my mental health was very severely affected.

He created a toxic workplace where it was expected that you regularly throw your colleagues under the bus, in order to protect yourself. He did not give credit when credit was due, and the team was expected to be mindreaders as he would ask you to do one thing and mean another! 

Although I worked in this environment for three years, I don’t regret it. If I hadn’t stuck it out, I would never have experienced a truly toxic workplace. Most importantly, I would not understand the importance of a fantastic workplace culture.  

The day I finally left that company, I realised that I needed to create something great, to make the world a better place and make sure that other people are given the ability to cope with career challenges. Additionally, I wanted to create a source for others to address and cope with their own mental health and help them to achieve personal health and success.

As I began the journey into building my business, I realised that I needed to spend much more time on self-care – making time for myself and now allowing myself to feel so low again. Nowadays, I try to find balance by having a journaling session in the early morning, a quick gym session before work and a 10-minute meditation to wind down for maintaining good mental health. I have also made a  promise to myself to spend at least few hours a week to bond with my support system – my family and close friends.

In some ways, I am thankful for that awful boss. Without him, I may not have been able to achieve the career goals and personal balance I have managed today. My advice: always make a bad experience into a lesson and GROW from it.