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I am a project manager, in the process of applying for new jobs, but as it stands I am still working in my current company. I am extremely stressed out right now.

Current problems:

  • Company is downsizing and we are having trouble replacing existing talent with new talent. My boss wants to hire unpaid interns to fill those roles.

  • I am now taking on additional responsibilities outside of my main responsibilities which is the project and product management of several projects at once.

I am doing QA, HR, account management. Previously an ex colleague was doing QA, but since he has left, that has been added to my list of responsibilities from being short handed. I'm now effectively doing the work of 2-3 people an my boss doesn't want to compromise on his high expectations.

Last week was a busy a period, and my boss was unhappy because he felt that I was not on top of everything from not finding the time to do it or simply forgetting. The actual issue is that it is difficult to remember everything or find the time to do everything properly when you are doing so many job roles at once.

I am going to approach my boss on Monday about this issue, but of course I don't want to lose my job and weary about not being too confrontational. What is the best way to handle this?

I want less responsibility and accountability. At the end of the day, I feel as though he needs to lower his expectations, I feel as though I am overworked and one of the biggest challenges I am facing is where tasks are overlapping with one another. He does not seem to understand there is only one of me, and I can only focus on one task at a time. In addition it is often hard to remember. While ideally I want to reduce the number of roles I have to fill, that's unlikely to happen given our situation but I guess I want him to be a bit more supportive and understanding.

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    So you are doing the work of presumably 2 or 3 people and your boss is annoyed that you're not doing three jobs perfectly? Well, standard advice is to outline what you can and can't accomplish in your 40 hours and to get management input on what is and isn't a priority, but do you think he'll actually be receptive to reasonable feedback? – Lilienthal Mar 4 '17 at 16:22
  • Lillenthal, yes I am doing the job of 2-3 people. It is a small tech start up. Trouble is that is the mentality there, and it seems acceptable, where expectations are that it should be done at an extremely high level. – bobo2000 Mar 4 '17 at 19:04
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    So is the issue you want to bring to your manager "I don't want to wear so many hats any more and instead I want to focus on my core tasks" or is it "I get that you're unhappy with some of the work slipping through the cracks but there's simply too much for me to handle so you need to adjust your expectations"? – Lilienthal Mar 4 '17 at 20:53
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    When everyone start leaving a small company, the remaining people end up having to take up more tasks. When the boss wants to hire interns to replace experienced staff. GTFO. Don't be the one left behind. Get a new job ASAP. – Snowlockk Mar 6 '17 at 9:31
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    @bobo2000 Well if first place is gone next time it's you :) (I know it doesn't work that way) Be positive, do your work. Keep looking for a new job. It will happen. – Snowlockk Mar 6 '17 at 12:42
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my boss was unhappy because he felt that I was not on top of everything from not finding the time to do it or simply forgetting. The actual issue is that it is difficult to remember everything or find the time to do everything properly when you are doing so many job roles at once.

I am going to approach my boss on Monday about this issue, but of course I don't want to lose my job and weary about not being too confrontational. What is the best way to handle this?

When you discuss this with your boss, indicate that you haven't been able to find the time to do all the assigned tasks. Ask if there are tasks that you could offload to someone else. If not, don't complain about it, just accept it (since you are leaving as soon as possible anyway).

Ask for his help prioritizing, so that you can be sure to get the most important tasks completed within your available hours.

Take notes and/or keep lists, so that you won't simply forget as you have been doing. While not having enough time may be the company's fault or your boss's fault, forgetting is your fault.

At the end of each week, prepare and send a summary report indicating the tasks you completed during the week and the tasks remaining on your to-do list.

Ask your boss if you can meet one-on-one weekly, so that you can make sure you are prioritizing correctly, and meeting the company's needs. It shouldn't take more than 30 minutes to one hour per week to get that straight.

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  • We had a meeting this morning, we normally have one to one's anyways on Monday, and he told me how this weekend he reflected, apologised for his behaviour over the past 2 weeks and understood my concerns. He just told me that sometimes he becomes so detached from the day to day operations, he does not seem to realise how much work there actually is and what exactly I am going through. Naturally, being the CEO he wants things to go quicker and quicker. So yeah, generally positive meeting, not sure if he will end up relapsing at some point. – bobo2000 Mar 6 '17 at 12:36
  • Yes, asked him, he said that he will give me constructive criticism when needed. He thought that my processes and the way I prioritise work is quite good, but because he is not involved in the day to day management often does not understand what exactly I am going through - I brought up the issue where work is overlapping with one another from doing multiple roles. – bobo2000 Mar 7 '17 at 11:07

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