I know from personal experience how emotionally devastating it can be to go home at night wondering if you’ll still have a job in the morning – solely because you’ve been targeted by a workplace bully. My own bullying ordeal – which came at the hands of my immediate supervisor – was made worse because my position was directly tied to a sponsorship visa that allowed me to live and work in Australia.
My bully was well aware of these precarious circumstances, of course, and used them to exert extra influence. At one stage, veiled threats were made to ‘send me back home’ (I’m originally from Wales).
Bullies love to use your job insecurity against you. The flimsier your contract, the more temporary your position, the less HR support you have and the more isolated and helpless they can make you feel, the more power it gives them.
Fragile job security can create a work climate that’s a breeding ground for negative behaviours. In my case, the double threat of being (a) sacked and (b) forced to leave Australia (which by then I considered home) put me at a distinct disadvantage in dealing with my situation.
Have you ever encountered a workplace bully who takes advantage of job insecurity?
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