I'm in a fast paced, high stress mangers job.

12 months ago I moved from a DR to manger.

within 9 months of my start date, one of the mangers left for a new job, because of stress.

His replacement left after 3 months due to medical reasons. He will not be replaced.

Doing more with less. The work load continues to increase.

I like the job, but I starting be concerned about working myself into medical problems.

The biggest stress is coming from the push back from the DR on the changes we are trying to put in place. These DR's aren't the most tactful people, and some days coaching and complaints just wear you down?


Could it be the culture of the job?

asteriskrntt1's picture

Does this look like a job you want and will grow in for the next five years? Doesn't sound like it.  When do you want to plan your exit strategy?  After you have become ill from the job and your resources are at a minimum?  Good managers plan ahead.  Be a good manager :)



jhbchina's picture


You made the decision, you want out and you want others here to agree with you. As MT states in one of the casts, "You should always be open to listen to new opportunities if they present themselves". So sharpen those networking skills, develop relationships, float the idea out and you will find something.

Remember to increase your case flow and in this market at least 9 months. Listen to cast Finance Rules.

I agree with *RNTT, make your plan, be a good manager

JHB "00"

MsSunshine's picture

  • First, stress is how you react to the environment.  What you need to do is react appropriately instead of becoming stressed.
  • You say you like the job.  What do you like?  What don't you like?  Of the things you don't like, you have a choice of changing them, living with them or leaving the position.  Can you live with what you don't like?  If not, can you change it?  If not, then REALLY consider leaving!
  • If it's just too much to do, then think about how you can manage that.  DO NOT fall into the trap of just working lots of hours and trying to be a hero.  It's not worth the toll!  There are lots of things out there on how to manage your work load.
  • Many people push back on changes, complain, etc.  Do they know what you are trying to do with the changes?  If not, make sure the vision is clear.  If so, then at some point you can tell them to stop.  I've been there an know its hard.  But I finally had to say to multiple people the following - "We seem to be having the same conversation over again about 'their complaint'.  Do you have something new to add or something that you feel I could do to help you move on from where you currently are?  If you don't have anything new to bring up, we've already covered this and I don't have anything else constructive to offer.  Therefore, I don't see any point in discussing this further.  If you have something new, feel free to bring it to me.  Otherwise, we need to stop having the same conversation."  
  • You cannot let them drag you down and honestly spend time covering the same thing.  At some point, THEY HAVE TO CHOOSE to move on.  You should be trying to help them work through the change - there are lots of good books out there on working through change.  But if you've done that, then they need to wallow on their own!  My experience is that some people just don't want to move on. 

Remember that it is your reaction to them that wears you down.  You control your reaction and what you let other people dump on you.  If you know what you are trying to accomplish, stick to it.  You don't have to let them whine to you with no end!

ken_wills's picture

 Ms. Sunshine has it right.  I can only add this:


It's not so much about the job, as it is about your *FIT* with the job.


There are lots of jobs that some people find stressful, and other people thrive in.


How's your fit with your job?

MsSunshine's picture

This is critical - and I missed it.  Know what your boss and your organization wants/tolerates.  My boss wanted me to be harder on them.  The upper management decided that too many people were complaining too much and people should decide to be happy or move on.

I got beaten up pretty badly for this mistake!

ExitPlanPros's picture

 Wow! In the 25 years I've had helping people exit their business, I've never seen such great advice communicated so well. Good job Ms. Sunshine. Anyway, if you want a free consultation on Exit Planning please contact me at GaryTBrooks (at ) exitplanpros (dot) com.  

Or just take a look at my blog, Exit Plan Pros at 

Exit Plan Pros - Helping Businesses GROW while PLANNING their exit.


Gary T. Brooks

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Sure, it could be the culture of the job.  It's impossible for us to know without a lot more information, but it's possible. 


There are jobs called "widow-makers" - if two good people go into them and fail (in a row), we ought to abolish the job.

On the other hand, it's usually not at the level I'm guessing you're at.

You can do both - get ready for and then conduct a search, and be a professional about your managerial responsibilities.  The latter might make the former moot, or vice versa.

Are you doing One on ONes?  Do you really know your folks?  Are you talking tot hem about the change...and when they whine, are you giving them feedback about it?


jchase's picture

I have a feeling Mark is going to write this in his next post, so I'll head him off....    :)

If you haven't listened to this podcast, I highly recommend it! It really helps for addressing changes to the organization and a lot of the causes for the pushback. Hope it helps!


dfwcanes's picture

I have been having disucssions with HR about career moves in my one on ones. She also expressed concerns about the number of directs each supervisor had. The number is now nearing 38 directs per supervisor. She is pushing to change it but she doesn't expect to see any change over the next couple of years.

After a several weeks of meetings, a supervisor posistion in a different department(quality) came up. She suggested I apply for it because it was more responsibility but  only 5 directs. They were looking for an experienced supervisor to lead the group. One problem, I did not meet some of basic qualifications. I applied anyway.

Well right after the interviews a second posistion opened up in the Quality department. This was a new position (10 )within the network, created by the president of the division. He wanted immediate improvement in qualiity  at each of the service centers.

The position would be someone that could lead projects across multiple teams interna and external of the shop, create measurements, pull different different cities together to solve issues. Drivebuilt in quality/TPM/Toyota Production System in the quality area.

The position would not have any directs, but  would still be on the management staff, to have input on the production side, involved in hiring supervisors and  production employees. Would have input within every department. Would have Voice of customer interface.

HR and the manager suggested I apply for the new position. They were concerned that I wouldn't accept the position because I would no longer have directs to coach up and do one on ones. They know that is my favorite part of the Job.

So I applied for both jobs. Well I got a call at home asking if I would have a problem taking a job with no directs. I said no.

The supervisor job was given to an external candidate. it hurt my ego that I didn't get it. But I stayed postive.

So the site leader sent me info on the new position and ask me if I would interview for the new position.

My site leader said since this is a new position I could make it as big as I wanted to. He said it was a perfect opportunity for me to get exposure across the entire network and have more influence how things change.

I was offered the position.

I would report directly to the site leader, not the QA supervisor.

He mentioned that he felt like he was pushing me into, but he felt like I could really make an impact in this positon.

Being that it is a new role I would have the opportunity to pull all 10 positions from the different sites together to define the standard work, processes and measurements.

I am nervous about going into a role that isn't defined, but i'm excited about being one to help define the roles.

I am concerned about how becoming a indvidual contributor would effect chances for future advancement. I feel like having directs is a way of getting noticed.

My manager suggested I call his boss, the VP, and ask him that very question. He is aware that I will be offered the position.

I guess I will call the VP.

Any suggestions on the questions I should ask?

Anyone has any suggestions on holding meetings to define the roles of a new position?

dfwcanes's picture


Just an update. The lateral move is paying off big time.The role is a individual contributor role. I love it. I have had the opportunity to network throughout my division. There are definitely more opportunites available for me. I am keeping my eye on a couple of director positions that may open up.

I will say that skills learned as a supervisor helps when managing project teams.



On a side not HR has finally come to the conclusion that they need to revise the 40-1 supervisor to employee ratio. Our site will add a 3rd supervisor position in the next 3 weeks. It almost took a year for the HRS group to see the issues at hand. My replacement as a supervisor had health issues from the stress within 2 months on the job

enlightened_managing's picture

Good read with a happy ending. Congratulations!

Just goes to show that good things happen when you're authentic & follow the process.

Also, amazing advice by MsSunshine



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