By Nina Rubin


*see first question here

Dear Nina,

I just quit my job. Just quit.

It was an abusive environment, and I know it was the best thing for me in the short term, but I am worried about how this is going to effect me long-term. Even though I quit, I’m still stressed beyond measure. I feel like I’m always on edge, and I’m blaming myself for everything. I feel like a failure.

I feel like I have to start from scratch, proving myself to everyone. I feel like I’ll never be able to work productively again. How do I convince myself that I’m still valuable and worthy?

Am I really starting from scratch?




Hey Lobster,

Wow, it really was that bad. Kudos to you for taking care of yourself. I’m sorry it got so bad that you essentially had to walk off the job.

Your professional workplace took on a form of abuse. It sounds like you’re suffering from self-doubt and mistrust since you’ve left. The good news is you never have to work there again. The bad news is that all of the toxicity is leaving your system and you’re now left with a puddle of confusion.

Here’s what I suggest:

1. Take time to care for yourself. If that means exercising, do more of it with the time you have. If you have pets, spend more time loving them. If you’re in a relationship, lean on your partner for support.
2. Remember life before this job. Remind yourself of other jobs you had where you were valued and appreciated.
3. When looking for new jobs, try to ask culture questions in the interviews. Find out how managers usually respond when things go askew. Glean what you can about company culture based on what the managers are saying and what they’re not saying.

Good Luck!

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Editor: Dana Gornall