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I work in a small organization that works in money management. I am one of two employees working under my boss who are supposed to manage a number of clients we have across the country. I have been excited to work, because i love my job and I am not fearful to meet greater challenges.

Recently, my co-worker with whom I shared responsibilities with left, and it's been a month and a half holding for my and her place. Lately, I have felt overwhelmed by the work, because its now coming in droves and I feeling a little weary waiting for a fill-in to take the place of my other co-worker.

I understand that i can talk to her or wait, but I am fearful of these factors:

  1. I do not want to appear as if I am resistant.
  2. A replacement advert has been made, but I'm not yet sure when they will come. So I do not have enough info of how long I can wait. I feel I may be asked if I do not know that someone is coming.

My boss is approachable, but I am worried that if I go I might come off as complaining, but I am overwhelmed. I have 3 jobs due in a week (long reports), of which they all need my attention, but with the clients I have to manage, I am now feeling like I may not cope.

My question is at what point do I let my manager know I'm being overwhelmed?

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Talk to your boss.

Your boss can only manage when he gets the info. For whatever reason, he might not have realised the increase of workload, and the weariness you have. It's perfectly ok to tell them.

If you don't want to be too abrupt about it, start by asking what are the perspective for the new hire. And if you don't want to appear as complaining, don't complain, simply keep to the fact: you have a lot of work for you to handle and you're not sure you'll make it.

If you're really overloaded, your boss might prioritize things, or find other resources to, temporarily, take part of it off your shoulder.

If you wait until the last moment, and don't make it, it would be much worse and take out any chance for your boss to think about an alternative solution.

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    Couldn't agree more - if you have too much work, you won't get it all done. Better to tell your boss now so he has time to prepare for the impact as well as prioritise, rather than tell him when the work is due why you haven't done it. – colmde Jul 5 '16 at 13:30
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    Yes, the important part here is that your boss should help you with the priority. Some of those reports may be possible to do later or not at all. – Fredrik Jul 5 '16 at 13:55
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Definitely talk to your boss. Think about it. What is going to be a worse outcome. Failing to keep up because it is overwhelming and your boss finding out about it because a client complains/you miss some critical deadline or you approaching them to say there is a lot of work to do. Assuming that it really is a job for two people then things will need to be prioritized, additional resources located or deadlines changed. Ultimately this is exactly the type of thing your boss should be handling.

The key to approaching your boss is the method and tone. Don't come to them complaining about being busy and not having enough time to surf Stackexchange at work =). Approach them because you are concerned about not being able to meet the current timelines for all your scheduled work. If at all possible bring some basic numbers with you. Task X typically takes Y hours and I have Z of them to do so that is 123 hours of work. At that point it should be easy to show you have a lot more work to do than can be done in a reasonable work week.

Worst case scenario is your boss says there isn't anything that can be done right now and you just have to tough it out but at least then you know what the situation is. It is also a good opportunity to discuss compensation for said extra work assuming you aren't hourly and getting a bunch of overtime already. Extra vacation time/Comp time after you get another person up to speed, a bonus or even a raise might be reasonable.

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