3 Things To Do When You Feel Like You’re In Over Your Head At Work

It’s not uncommon for people to occasionally feel more stress than normal regarding their job. But in most instances, this stress eventually subsides once that deadline passes or that presentation is over. However, some people may come to find that they feel like they’ve bitten off more than they can chew when it comes to their current job. They may be unqualified or ill equipped or simply unsure about how to proceed in that position. When this happens, it can be paralyzing to your self esteem and your career.

Work stress

So to help you move through this, here are three things you should do when you feel like you’re in over your head at work.

Send Out An “S.O.S.”

When ships start taking on too much water and have a fear of capsizing, they send out an S.O.S signal so they can get the help they need. And according to Whitney Johnson, a contributor to Harvard Business Review, you should do this same thing if you feel like you’re about to drown. What this S.O.S should consist of is stopping, organizing, and securing. This means that you stop stressing yourself out over what’s going on, you organize the best ways to get back into control of what’s going on, and you secure your own success by asking for help. While this might be challenging at first, taking these steps will help you in moving forward from this situation.

Work On Time Management

For many people, the reason they feel overwhelmed with the tasks given to them at work is because they don’t know how to complete what’s asked in the time frame they have. Now, unless you’re given too much work that you can’t physically do it in the short period of time you have, the problem likely comes down to a lack of project management ability or insufficient time management. When it’s a time management problem, Suzanne Kane, a contributor to Psych Central, suggests figuring out your exact hang ups with your time and finding ways to combat those, whether it’s succumbing to fewer distractions or waking up earlier in the morning.

Find Validation That You Belong

If you feel like you’re an imposter at your job, meaning people seem to think you’re doing well but you feel like you’re inadequate, which may be why you’re feeling like you’re in over your head, Michele Hoos, a contributor to The Muse, suggests looking for ways to validate your standing or position. You can do this by working alone or with a friend or co-worker to list what you’ve accomplished professionally and why you’re suitable for the job you have. This exercise might give you the confidence you need to start being more successful and feeling less stressed.

If you’re overwhelmed with work and feel like you’re sinking, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you stay afloat.


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