Tell manager about anxiety?

Microsoft / Project
007pm

Microsoft Project

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LinkedIn
007pmmore
Jun 25 9 Comments

Have any of you told your manager about your anxiety? Any tips? I'm planning on sharing with my manager that my workload is too heavy right now and my project is very hard for a junior like me.

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TOP 9 Comments
  • Goldman Sachs / Eng BePostive
    This is going to be a long reply. Especially because, I was exactly in the same boat 3 years back when I started my job as a fresher.

    A lot of factors added to my position being so stressful:

    1. Our team was one of the most complex and unorganized team and the headcount was pretty low for the amount of work we were handling.

    2. As a result of this, a lot of members in my team were leaving, further reducing the headcount.

    3. As a result of which, most of the members in our team, who are otherwise good people, hardly focused on helping me getting on-boarded especially because they had so much work to handle themselves.

    4. Add to that, my manager had assigned a team lead to manage a couple of us juniors. This is because this team lead was being groomed to become a manager in the future. So, this lead had a lot to prove and wanted to show that he could get his work done with limited number of resources. This left us juniors in a torturous environment.

    5. My actual manager had no idea how much pressure this new team lead was putting on me because my catchups used to be only with this team lead and his expectations from me were very different from my actual manager. But, at the same time he wasn’t my manager on paper and wasn’t going to write my reviews or decide my compensation increment!

    All this led to so much stress that within the first 2 months of joining the team, I had contemplating leaving my job every single day! But being a fresher and having visa constraints, I didn’t have too many options but to work through this.

    So, here are my two cents:

    1. First, you need to understand that it gets better with time. Your situation 2 months from now will be way better than it is right. 6 months from now, it will be even better and so on. This is because you would have learnt more about the team and the work that you will be able to get work done faster!

    2. To make sure my manager and I were on the same page, this is what I asked my manager in one of the initial 1 on 1s with him: “As you are aware this is my first job. What are your expectations from me 2 months from now? 6 months from now? 12 months from now?”

    3. It is very important to set up weekly or bi-weekly meetings with your manager to give him your project updates and make sure he realized how much work/ effort you have been putting.

    4. I don’t know why this is so understated. But what helped me the most was having a mentor at work! I made conscious efforts to find someone experienced who had been in the industry for a long time and was approachable. I also wanted my mentor to have worked in my firm for a long time. Also, I wanted to find someone outside my domain so that he could help me objectively! I setup monthly catchups with him and seemed his advice about anything and everything I wanted. Since my mentor had been working in my firm for the past 22 years, he was the best thing to happen to me! He kept me sane!

    5. A few months later, a few more people were hired in the team and my working hours went down from 12 hours a day to 8 hours a day! So, I realized later that my team wasn’t bad. It was just that it was going through a bad phase!

    Having said all this, there is still a possibility that things might not work out for you. Maybe, because you joined a team which is always stressful. Or, maybe, because your manager is a dic*! Or whatever!

    That’s fine then, you can start looking for options outside at that point! But, I would suggest that you don’t go down without a fight. Because, if you can get through this, you will grow so much!
    Jun 25 1
    • Microsoft / Project
      007pm

      Microsoft Project

      PRE
      LinkedIn
      007pmmore
      OP
      Thanks for taking the time to reply!!! Very helpful. I will chat with my manager and set new expectations.
      Jun 26
  • If you make it about you, they’ll make it about you. Take some steps back and rethink this. Lot of strong wisdom shared across this thread.

    Evaluate the problem, think critically about the gaps, think through potential solutions even if that means you need additional resources (people, training, time, money, etc.) and ask for what you need in a professional way.

    If you are struggling with anxiety do NOT take that to your boss. I’m sorry but you can’t trust that it won’t be held against you later. Take it to your doctor, priest, therapist and address/resolve it outside of the workplace.

    Anxiety can manifest psychology and sometimes it can manifest physically as a symptom of illness and impact our psyche like in the case of thyroid disease.

    We’re all human, we all have our stuff but you have to manage your professional and emotional first and be careful about prematurely allowing others insight into what’s going on.
    Jun 26 0
  • Microsoft Tattle
    Yes but approach it differently. Seek help and guidance from them on how to manage the project. Tell them you would need their help technically as well. If they don't have time, they will allocate someone.
    Jun 25 0
  • Valassis / Eng
    GNu002

    Valassis Eng

    PRE
    Microsoft
    GNu002more
    You should be able to have this conversation with your manager but you need to go in prepared. Why is it too hard? What specifically are you struggling with? How long have you been trying? Have you engaged a mentor or senior teammate for assistance? Are you doing more than you were asked? Do they think you're struggling?

    Etc etc etc

    I wouldn't go in and just bluntly say "I'm struggling" the first time around. I'd probably position it as "I try to hold myself to a high bar and I'm not confident that I'm hitting it consistently on this project. I want to push myself but also want to make sure I'm on a path towards success. I'm hoping you might have some feedback on how you think this is going and any thoughts about what we can do to make sure I'm heading in the right direction at an acceptable pace."

    Basically "I think I might be struggling. Do you also think this? What can we do about this?"

    If your manager has already been telling you that you're struggling then you need to be prepared for a difficult conversation but the sooner the better. It only gets more difficult (and hard to recover from) with time.
    Jun 25 1
    • Microsoft / Project
      007pm

      Microsoft Project

      PRE
      LinkedIn
      007pmmore
      OP
      I appreciate all of your feedback! Thanks again. I will prepare to have that conversation and go from there.
      Jun 25
  • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
    Yes
    Jun 26 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Microsoft / Project
      007pm

      Microsoft Project

      PRE
      LinkedIn
      007pmmore
      OP
      Why’s this relevant?
      Jun 25
  • Intuit dumb@ss
    Some great replies above to help you deal with your situation. Prioritize all your tasks with your manager and decide on a realistic time line based on requirements and complexities of each task in conjunction with your experience and understanding of the nature of collaboration that will be required with your colleagues or other teams. If you don’t know something because you are new in the company or in the field don’t hesitate to state it appropriately and let your manager know you will need more time and help from others to get around that learning curve before you can deliver the right solution. I hope all goes well and your manager is understanding and helpful! Best wishes!
    Jun 26 0