Thoughts of a stressed out employee

By Aniqa Zainab
Fri, 03, 19

My boss doesn’t like me. He thinks I am not competent and intelligent enough.....


My boss doesn’t like me. He thinks I am not competent and intelligent enough. He is neither considerate nor understanding. My colleagues aren’t friendly. I feel odd among them. My workplace is not my happy place. I don’t feel at home there.

These are just some of the thoughts that run through my mind everyday when I am at work.

I am sure many fresh graduates who have just started their first job will relate to these feelings. They are uncertain of what they are doing and feel utterly helpless; they doubt themselves and even consider quitting their job.

Workplace stress is common in employees regardless of their age, sex, field of work, and employment level. Employees feel this stress due to various factors, for instance, their inability to adapt in unfamiliar environment, work under pressure, and deal with unsupportive bosses and team members.

These discomforting feelings will continuously bother you when you are new and have taken your first step in the corporate world even when you know you’re doing what you love. You know your job will help you realise your professional goals and creative interests. You know you have the right opportunity and you are headed in the right direction. But you don’t get to choose your boss and your co-workers. You can, however, get accustomed to your office environment and can also shape or improve it in the way you want.

Boss vs. me

Let us say that all those employees who have had cool and genuinely good bosses are lucky. Not only good bosses are easy to work with, they also motivate you to be better in your craft.

It is said that having a mentor in your life is important. They know how to deal with circumstances and they will teach you that. However, life gets difficult at times. Some people don’t get such good bosses. My experience has been one that I will not cherish in the long run. Maybe, part of the problem was my expectations. I have always been absorbed in my own world, in the comfort and warmth of my family, and all the perks that come with being the youngest child at home. I had not experienced the kind of world out there. I have now, and it helped me learn and grow strong and wise.

Therefore, I decided to reflect on the past six months of my professional life and share my key lessons. They may help those who find themselves in a similar situation.


What I have realised is persistence is essential at work, especially if you’ve just started your job. Your nature of job, skill set, or socio-economic status does not matter. You need to be really strong, big-hearted, and ready to stand for yourself and others, too. Have patience and be open to challenges. Do not fear failure and just go for what you really want.

Communicate in a clear way

Many a time, misunderstandings occur only because people do not convey their message, idea or thought properly and clearly. My boss often got annoyed when he didn’t understand what I had said. Why? Because he was unable to interpret my point the way I meant.

Always try to compose your thoughts and intentions in sentences that are understood in the way you want.

Don’t mix two separate briefs together because your boss could get confused. Don’t be hasty and pay close attention to what is being communicated.

You should ask questions; be honest if you don’t understand anything.

Find strength and confidence

Uncharted waters are not easy to swim. Don’t lose heart if you fail at your first attempt or even your third one. Always remember it is an opportunity for you to polish your skills, develop strength and look forward. Remember that formal schooling just provides us with basic education. Our learning starts when we practise or use that knowledge in real scenarios.

Now that I have been working professionally, I get to learn new skills, new things every day. Like, for instance, I have learnt functions and features of my computer that I didn’t know earlier. These small accomplishments have expanded my skill set. You need to trust your capability. Let go of fear, shyness and insecurities about yourself.

Do not neglect your physical and mental health

Your physical and emotional health should be your priority. I often skip meals when there is more workload.

Workplace stress, negative emotions and fatigue impact our physical and mental health. In that case, even the slightest of bumps make us feel we would never be able to get past it. Like it is the end and we will not be able to move on. For emotional peace and stability, do not indulge in over thinking. Guarding the trail of our thoughts and fears is not easy, but it isn’t right to engage in negativity and delve further into despair and darkness. Pull yourself away from it by cultivating happiness. Find out things and activities you love and do them instead. Slow down, spend more time with people you love and are close with. Even think about people who make you happy.

Don’t starve yourself; have your meals on time even when you don’t feel like eating.

Do not hesitate to walk away

More importantly, do not let the need to conform force you to be around toxic people and take up work you don’t want to. Remember that you can always walk away.