I can't do everything ASAP!
November 1, 2011 4:47 PM Subscribe
Everything at work needs to be done ASAP. How do I deal?
posted by smokingloon to Work & Money (18 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I have been in my current position about a year and a half. I was hired to work on multiple long term projects, but spend most of my time responding to assignments from several different superiors (I don't really have one single supervisor) that need to be done "ASAP." This happens so frequently (several times a week) that not only do I have trouble keeping up with my long-term projects, but I now have trouble keeping up with the urgent short term assignments as well. Compounding the problem is that when I need to involve others in a task that needs to be completed within a certain timeframe, I get either no response or a very delayed response. I don't actually even like the kind of work I am doing (lots of sitting in front of a computer and staring at spreadsheets), but I wouldn't mind it so much if I thought I could actually do a good job. When I first started I was aware of a lot of disorganization in my department, but I thought that I would be able to fix the disorganization, in my area at least, within a years' time. Well, a year has passed and I increasingly feel like I am spinning my wheels, am not able to do quality work, and can't fix problems that seem to be endemic to the leadership. I am getting to the point where I am getting so anxious about work that I get nauseous when I think about it and have trouble getting out of bed. I have a strong sense of needing to be the responsible good worker, so I feel like I do need to try to fix this mess before I move on to (hopefully) greener pastures, but another part of me wants to just quit (ASAP!) and attempt to recover some of my sanity while I try to figure out what kind of job I actually would like to do.
A few other things to consider:
-Even though I don't think I am doing a good job, my superiors seem to think I am doing a great job and have given me very positive evaluations in the past.
-I like most of the people I work with, (mostly) agree with the mission of the organization, but don't actually enjoy the work I actually do there. As I already mentioned, I think could tolerate it if I thought I could produce quality work, but since that's not happening, I now actively dread my job and am so anxious about it that I have trouble focusing on day to day tasks. (and yes, I am seeking professional help for my anxiety...finally made an appointment with an EAP counselor)
-I could easily find work waiting tables to cover any period of unemployment should I decide to quit, but I am terrified of losing my benefits (like the EAP!) and the security of working for a large institution, not to mention letting people down for not succeeding in this field. (and yes, I know that overachieving perfectionism is another source of my anxiety)
I have definitely decided that this particular field is not for me, but can't decide if I should suck it up and stay as long as I need to to fix the mess (i.e., to complete the long term assignments I was hired to do so that the next person in my position doesn't have to deal with this grief), or quit now and save my sanity. So, to make a long question short, should I leave now or later? And if I leave later, how do I deal with all everyday chaos of the job?