Finding a workplace with a culture that suits is as important as finding the right career.

policies and procedures
It takes a while to discover the formal and informal structures and protocols in an organisation. The formal ones are in places like the policy and procedure manuals, memos and flow-charts and might be taught on training days. Newcomers discover the informal ones by tripping up over them or being taken aside and inducted.

As a rough guide it can take around 6 months in an organization to learn its culture and know the way around sufficiently to not be in the way. It takes a couple of years to become useful. To be fully formatted, a culture carrier and an asset, maybe 5 years and an expert 10.

personal conflicts
Problems at work can become overwhelming if not sorted out. Violence and bullying in the workplace and schools is widespread. The quicker they are dealt with the better for the health of individuals and the effectiveness of organizations. The culture and values of management usually lie at the heart of these problems.

Bullying and unresolved workplace conflict are stressful for individuals and destructive for organizations. They can cause physical and mental breakdown, paralyze organizations and reduce profits.

Conflicts are essential to individual and organizational learning, growth and adaptation. They periodically release accumulated stress and help evolve higher levels of equilibrium.

systemic conflicts
Whereas interpersonal disputes appear random and unnecessary, systemic conflicts are built in. Every organization, workplace and relationship generates chronic, systemic structural conflicts that go deeper and are more difficult to resolve than interpersonal disputes. If you have a problem with someone at work it may be built in to a formal or informal role you are filling.

Some roles are scapegoat roles where the incumbent is on mission impossible. Or where all the problems in the organization converge. Some organizations employ contract consultants to fill these roles. They are replaceable and one can be burnt at the stake occasionally.

Some unresolved problems go back generations. Often there is no one left who remembers how they arose. Policies, procedures and even buildings may be constructed to work around personal animosities or disputes like pearls around grains of sand. They can clutter the workplace long after the problem that triggered them has gone.

Well organized workplaces have complaint and grievance procedures. The first option is usually an approach to an immediate supervisor. Outside independent mediation may be a last option.

This full implications of a job are often not immediately obvious. A job that requires harming others leads to all the problems of burnout outlined on the stress pages. Many jobs expose workers to chemical or biological hazards or risk of personal injury. In some workplaces they are used until they collapse and then discarded. It is not always easy to find work that does not degrade oneself or the planet.

Many workplaces provide access to confidential independent counselling and welfare services sometimes called employee assistance programs (EAPS) to help with personal or workplace difficulties.

The stress pages includes exercises to rise above interpersonal conflict until resolution is found.