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#1 Stress
23/01/2008 13:01

Stressed Out


I am based in the US and its my first post here.

I am going through a situation on my Assignment and wondering wondering if there are other people on this Board who have felt the same anytime in the career ?

I am considering resigning my Consultancy company because of the high stress levels at my current Assignment. I have tried talking to the Assignment Manager and though he is sympathetic to my stress levels, he wants me to continue on the project for "near future" as he sees me vital in the Programme. I believe that if I carry on like this, I might lose it someday and the thought of resigning has crossed my mind. I have almost 10 years of Consulting experience, and so am pretty convinced that its not me but the Assignment which is to be blamed (but I would say that, wouldnt I).

Anyway, am I alone or have other people thought of resigning some point in their career becuase of one wrong/mis-match Assignment ? If yes, did you actually resign , or just flirt with the thought for sometime and carried on regardless ? Any suggestions ?

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#2 RE: Stress
23/01/2008 13:20

The Senior Vice President to Stressed Out (#1)

I think I know what you're going through.

How long have you been with your current firm? If it's been a while (e.g. a few years), and you've worked on other projects and with other people and it is just this particular assignment that is stressing you out, then hang in there. Bear with it and in a few months, when you're on a new project, things should ease off again.

However, if you're new to the firm, or it seems that it's some kind of underlying cultural problem where stress and long hours are the norm, then look for another job and move on when you find the right alternative. Life is too short to waste dealing with high levels of stress and long hours for people who don't give a damn about you.

Incidentally, if they're making you work ridiculous hours or calling you in at weekends, then stand your ground - if it looks like it's going to continue for some time. If you feel uncomfortable asserting yourself, make up an excuse (e.g. wedding to go to). It sounds to me like the project is under-resourced. If you're worried that standing your ground will damage your career prospects within the firm, and they really are making unreasonable demands on you, then I wouldn't worry about it - moving on might be the best decision you ever make.

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#3 RE: Stress
23/01/2008 13:34

Doc to Stressed Out (#1)

Your health is the most important thing, having milions in the bank is pointless if you don't have the capacity to enjoy it. You only have one life and you owe it to yourself to be happy while you're in it.

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#4 RE: Stress
23/01/2008 17:04

Stress can kill to Doc (#3)

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#5 RE: Stress
23/01/2008 20:43

Ronin to Stressed Out (#1)

I was sent to a foreign country as part of a small team to implement something that none of us had a clue how to do. I had never met any of team before and I was living away from friends and family. I worked 12 + hours everyday, including considerable work at the weekends. The assignment manager spent the whole time swearing at me and occasionally throwing things at me because we were always behind - I was bullied. The reason we were behind was that we had no experience in this area despite being sold in as experts. I couldn’t sleep at night and started to experience palpitations. I didn’t know what to do. I decided that the right thing to do was see the project thorough – because resigning was the coward’s way out. I did see the project through and it was successful.

After the project I was informed that my career was over because of poor performance, despite having never worked so hard in my whole life. The assignment manager was promoted.

I’ve spent years thinking about what I should have done and I realise now that I should have packed my bags, mid-project, said I’ve had enough and left – in hindsight this was the courageous thing to do. Had I done this, managers would have noticed and listened to me. There is reasonable work and unreasonable work and I now know that I am intelligent to work to out the difference.

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#6 RE: Stress
24/01/2008 08:05

Stressed Out to Ronin (#5)

Thank you everyone for responding. Its good to know I am not alone.

Ronin - I get the same feeling that If I ask my Partner to take me off this assignment, it will be the coward's way out AND also that I wont be seen as dependable and reliable in the organisation. But surely, there is a limit to which one can work 12 hours a day and all because the Programme has no scope or defined boundaries and we have mis-sold the job? I have been doing it for months now, and its affecting me mentally now where on some days I just block off all work and go for long walks thinking about how to handle this situation.

Anyway, thanks for all your responses - I need to take some actions to get out of this situation.

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#7 RE: Stress
24/01/2008 08:39

The Senior Vice President to Stressed Out (#6)

Stressed Out - I have one more thought... are you by any chance being micromanaged? This can be an unbearable source of stress. If so, you may find it helps to ask your assignment manager to define specific deliverables for which you are responsible, and then request that he just lets you get on with it, meeting with you from time to time to check your delivery. You may then also find it easier to leave the office at a reasonable hour - you can say you've worked hard, worked from home, got in early, or whatever excuse you need to convince them you're "working hard" - whilst still delivering (AND taking credit for YOUR contribution).

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