This question is a followup of another question I asked a month back: How can I handle too many expectations at a job I recently joined?

What has happened since then?

As expected, I have been given a lot of workload since the past 3-4 weeks. It has been a steep learning curve. I have to figure out most of the things on my own and work under tight deadlines as the boss is too busy himself to handhold me. Even when I somehow catch him for some questions, his responses are always too hurried and he mostly just gives me bare minimum suggestions / hints and rest I have to figure out myself. I have been working 10+ hours almost every day since last 3-4 weeks. Then also I am barely able to keep up with the deadlines till now. I am finishing my lunch in 15 minutes, and working longer hours than my other colleagues who work in a different project. I have tried to give subtle hints to my manager about my workload and tight deadlines but he says the company is having lack of resources and I have to somehow compensate for it. He says the company is trying to hire new resources. He also starts to whine about how his own workload is very high and he has to work 12 hours a day to keep up with things.

When I see my other colleagues who work in other projects, their life is much more relaxed. They arrive to the office later than me and leave earlier than me. I have already started to dread work days and feel that by working too hard I am increasing my manager's expectations and burning out myself. What should I do in such situation. One suggestion which workaholic people might give is to keep working hard a I myself am new in this job so as to develop a good impression on my manager. The other suggestion is could be to not work extra hours and deliberately let some deadlines get missed / extended so as to not further increase my manager's expectations. Or some other option which someone could suggest. And what if the manager becomes too confronting and says I don't want any excuse and you have to anyhow complete the tasks within the given deadline? Thanks.

  • Are you being paid for these additional hours, if not, why are you working them? Who is setting these deadlines? Why are you not working with your manager to set realistic deadlines for your work? You should seek assistance so your manager won’t have to provide so much assistance day to day
    – Donald
    Sep 10 at 17:53

3 Answers 3


You should discuss the workload with your manager, rather than waiting for them to guess that you feel overloaded. There are times to go above and beyond; there are also times when that won't be rewarded.

I worked on a project where we were putting in 72-hour work weeks for a while, but that was a major corporate prestige item (a World's Fair exhibit) and afterward we were given 3 months vacation and a bonus award of around US$30k... and it was fun, despite the hours.

But I've also worked a normal schedule (which for me has rarely involved counting exact hours; I like what I do and if I'm in the groove it's more productive to keep it going until a natural stop point) on a project that was behind schedule, with manager's full concurrence.

Beware of the impulse to try to rescue the company from itself. But also be aware that achieving more than expected is how you get raises and promotions and bonuses.Make an informed decision, and work with your manager to establish what they actually expect,what they want, and what they think they can reward.

  • 1
    I have already stated that I subtly tried to convey my concerns to the manager and he gives excuse of lack of resources and starts to whine about his own workload. Sep 10 at 15:40
  • 1
    OK, he's established what he wants. His excuse means he knows what to expect. Do you trust him to reward you for going beyond expectations, by giving you an "exceeds" performance rating and trying to get you a performance bonus/raise? If so, you need to decide whether you want those or not. If you aren't sure, stop being subtle and ask.
    – keshlam
    Sep 10 at 17:02
  • 3
    @DreadedHarvester - Be direct instead of subtle.
    – Donald
    Sep 10 at 17:54
  • 100% agree with @Donald - in situations like these, you need to be direct (and stick to the facts). Sep 10 at 21:32
  • 2
    The times I worked the hardest were the times I was rewarded the least.
    – Tiger Guy
    Sep 11 at 15:18

If you don't like the workload, and don't see any change coming, it's a signal that it's time to find a new job.

Before that, don't be subtle. Explain to your boss that you have too much on your plate, and that you don't want to be working 10 hour days. Ask when this will change.

Meanwhile, update your resume, refresh your professional network, and get ready to move if things remain the same.

It's only been 3-4 weeks. But we each get to decide how hard we want to work. Maybe this isn't the right place for you.

As you are interviewing, make sure to ask lots of questions about the company culture. Look for a more relaxed environment - one where you won't have to work as hard or as many hours.


You should definitely work less to reduce expectations and because I bet your work contract doesn't stipulate 10 h work a day.

Then two things might happen: Your manager doesn't like it and puts you in a personal improvement program or terminates your contract (be prepared, start looking!) or he and HR notice that your department is understaffed and actually hire new resources.

  • In the real world, people are often expected to go beyond the formal requirements. The question is how continuously, and whether they are rewarded well enough to justify doing so. You don't want to burn yourself out, but "working to rule" is a good way to get a mediocre-at-best "meets requirements" performance rating unless your work is exceptional in other ways.
    – keshlam
    Sep 10 at 17:13
  • 2
    Going beyond the formal requirements is certainly a good thing if that doesn't result in stress and postponing the other parts of life. He clearly stated 10+ h a day. I think we will agree that that is too much and if I working 8 h a day is mediocrity, then I'd exhort anyone to be.
    – LoremIpsum
    Sep 10 at 21:07
  • I am not willing to make that blanket statement, so we agree that we disagree. We have probably had very different careers.
    – keshlam
    Sep 11 at 0:33

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