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.
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!