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Like most Americans, you probably feel the need to work, and in this tough job climate, you might be tempted to take anything that comes along. But don’t do it! That’s according to China Okasi, who’s written a great post for Madame Noire titled “Bad Work Environments You Should Avoid.” Read on to see the four “land mines” she suggests you sidestep, lest you wind up with a job you despise. That might be even worse than being unemployed.

1. Happy and Lazy — In theory, a jovial, lackadaisical work atmosphere sounds great, but it won’t help you grow as a worker, and it won’t teach you the leadership skills you’ll need to climb the ladder later on. The trick is knowing one of these traps when you see one. “These environments are hard to detect because all seems well in them, but when you consider how much you’re losing in terms of your craft, you’ll know that you need to run from them,” Okasi writes.

2. Abusive Workplaces — If the boss bends rules, breaks laws, or treats people badly in the name of profits, it’s not the type of company you want to work for. “Avoid jobs that show signs of shadiness, abuse or worse,” Osaki writes. “When you can, report injustices or moral violations.”

3. Gossip Dens — Nothing poisons an office faster than gossip. If you hear the people in the break room talking junk about Joe from accounting or Susie from HR, chances are they’re talking about you, too. Get away as fast as you can.

4. Diversity-Free Zones — It’s no good being the only guy or gal in an office dominated by the opposite sex, Osaki writes. There’s a chance you’ll be “used and abused by a long privileged group.” “Gender and racial balance are part of the legal fabric of our nation,” Osaki points out, “and for good reason.”


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