As I was finishing my doctorate in education I decided that I should enter the work force and start using my degrees. I found a great fit as a research analyst at the state level and after the interview and job offer was made was excited to start working with a team of people who also seemed to be very dedicated to the improvement of higher education in the state. However, in a very short time I started to see how wrong I really was. At the time I had no idea about workplace bullying and never thought that a group of mature individuals would ever participate in so juvenile an act. I decided to write this article because I know I cannot be the only one who went through this. It was even harder because it was my first “real” job with my education and it completely demoralized and scared me. In fact, after I left this position I didn't want to work in higher education again. I was so put-off by working in a negative environment that I avoided going back to work for over a year. I instead helped out with nonprofits and charities because I found it less threatening. Eventually I finished my degree and after a long hiatus from applying I decided that I wanted to work in a position that really would give me the opportunity to use my skills for the betterment of working and student-kind. I was lucky because I got over this experience; some people do not. In fact according to the Workplace Bullying Institute (2012) study 77% of individuals who are bullied at work lose their jobs: 28% quit, 25% terminated involuntarily, and 25% are forced out by constructive discharge when bullying at work occurs.
For this article I would like to present some information from the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) to help readers understand what workplace bullying is and the signs that you may be in a similar situation yourself. For full information you can visit www.workplacebullying.org
Workplace Bullying Institute defines workplace bullying as repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms:
Knowing the signs of being bullied both inside and outside of work is important. Here is a list from WBI to watch out for.
Experiences Outside Work
Experiences At Work
In the coming articles we will talk more about why people bully, the effects of being bullied, and how to stop workplace bullying. If you need help now please see your HR representative.