Overworked

A reader writes…

I’ve suddenly been given a lot of new responsibilities at work, and I’m feeling stressed.  What’s the difference between being “overworked” versus simply “rising to the challenge?”

Dear “Frazzle-Dazzle,”

If I understand your situation correctly, you’re feeling “frazzled” as you try to “razzle-dazzle” your boss by accomplishing the new responsibilities (and challenges) that have been set forth, correct?

Since everyone’s tolerance for stress is different, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what you’re going through, but here are a few clues that tell you if you’re being overworked:

  • If your workload is affecting you emotionally, chances are, you’re overworked.  Nuts and bolts… do you feel like you’re drowning? Are you having anxiety attacks about your job? Do you feel completely stressed about what you’re currently doing and what you are expected to be doing?
  • If your workload is making you work overtime or after hours (in order to stay on top of things) – then you’re likely overworked and on the brink of  burnout.
  • If your job is resulting in so much stress that you’re losing sleep, this, too, is a red flag.

Being overworked has some serious consequences… especially when it comes to your health. Signs may include high blood pressure, a low immune system, migraines, depression…  the list can go on and on!

Here are a few things you can do to take action:

  1. Determine whether or not this feeling of “burnout” is temporary.  We all know that sometimes you just have to dive in, and get the job done… whether it means burning the midnight oil or not.   On the other hand, if this is an ongoing feeling (with no light at the end of the tunnel) then something’s gotta give.
  2. If working under pressure and high stress is not for you, it’s probably time you speak with your supervisor and reevaluate the workload.
  3. If your boss seems indifferent about your concerns and doesn’t offer any type of support, see if your company has an employee assistance program (EAP) where you may be able to (confidentially) seek help such as therapy or counseling.
  4. Most importantly, I think you should ask yourself, “Is this even WORTH it?” You may be faced with potential health risks and physical dangers as a result of stress on the job.  Are you sure you’re in a good place?

Anybody have a similar situation? Please share your story and any additional suggestions!

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. connie
    Jan 12, 2011 @ 16:43:18

    THANKS I WILL DEFINITELY TRY OUT THAT SITE!!!I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING ELSE AND I DO MEAN EVERYTHING SO IT CANT HURT. ACTUALLY I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU, MY HUSBAND WAS LAID OFF SAME DAY AS MYSELF. A COMPANY THAT HE HAS APPLIED AT HAS “INTERVIED” HIM 3 TIMES WITH SAME RESPONSE WE ARE GONNA GET YOU IN HERE SOON. MY HUSBAND WENT BY THE JOB TODAY AND THEY TOLD HIM THEY ARE GONNA CALL HIM BY END OF WEEK TO START. THEY TOLD HIM CERTAIN HE NEEDS, SHOULD WE EVEN GO GET THE TOOLS?

    Reply

  2. Kent Taylor
    Jan 11, 2011 @ 14:45:36

    I NEED A JOB

    Reply

  3. connie
    Jan 11, 2011 @ 12:02:21

    i would love to be overworked and underpayed right now!!!been out of work since 11/26/2010 and just a step away from being homeless,electricity being disconnected, and sleeping in my 16 year old car with my 10 year old daughter. cant find a job anywhere!!!!!! oh forgot to mention you should see my refridgerator

    Reply

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Disclaimer

Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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