The betrayal of trust on the job is a funny thing.
When a trusted colleague or organization betrays you, it is a moment of disbelief, when the world stops and you can only breathe in and breathe out, as you try to comprehend what happened.
The funny thing about betrayal at work and in your career is that so very often, the people who betrayed you don’t notice or think they did anything wrong.
If it is someone who outranks you in the chain of comment, then you may not be able to confront them with their wrongdoing. As for an apology, you can forget that idea.
You may ask for an apology, but the likelihood of receiving one is often very small. The betrayal of trust at work is a confusing beast to handle.
Is it possible to succeed without any act of betrayal? —Jean Renoir
The hurt lingers and you try to trust again, and you find you cannot. If you are able, then you find another job.
If you cannot leave your position, then you are stuck in a kind of circular purgatory where you have to complete your job tasks, and yet the trust is gone.
The covenant of trust has been broken and makes it challenging to complete the work.
Forgiving Betrayal, and When to Trust Again
Yes, you can forgive. You can let go of your hurt and anger. Do you have to restore that person or organization to a position of trust? No, you do not.
You are required to forgive, both for your mental and physical health, and because God commands it.
Forgiveness, however, is not the same as absolution. It is not letting someone or some organization off the hook. It is merely letting go of your upset.
You can very much hold someone or an organization accountable. You need to let go of your emotions. That is all forgiveness is — letting go of your negative feelings.
But trust again? No, you are not required to trust someone or an institution again, nor do you have to restore them to their previous position in your life.
In some instances, it might be irresponsible of you to put your trust in a person or organization again. If you can, leave and find another position.
If you cannot leave your job in the immediate near term, compromise as you can, but for your own sanity, search around until you find a job at an organization whose promises you can trust.
Most of all, protect yourself and stay away from people who are not worthy of your trust and confidence.
How to Overcome the Betrayal of Trust at Work
Ultimately, the best thing you can do for yourself is to move on mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Forgive, do not restore the person or organization to a position of trust again unless they take responsibility — and even then you may want to think about it a bit — and move on.
Forgive yourself for trusting, and let yourself be happy again.