While there is no end to the list of what causes (negative) stress, here we focus on a few factors that affect a Project Manager. This list is just a start, to help bring about awareness and recognition of those factors that could be impacting you.
The list is categorized under major headings for ease of understanding.
- Your team is not co-operating. You may be dealing with attitude problems of some team members.
- Fear of delegation. Here you worry that if you delegate (too much) some one else will pass you over in the organization.
- Cannot trust team members to complete the work satisfactorily. Hence you are getting your hands dirty and resorting to micro-management.
- Misunderstanding or even wrongly understanding colleagues at work.
- Your boss is dumping more work than you can accomplish in the given time frame. Too many things to do and too little time.
- You hate your boss.
- Boss lacks capability - you know more than the boss.
- New to the domain you are managing; so you feel it hard to cope up with what is happening.
- Not enough resources (such as time, money, people, equipment, etc.) on hand for you to get the job done.
- Project not progressing as per plan.
- Having to handle difficult stakeholders, including clients, sponsors, team members, etc.
- New project, new client and working with a new team.
- New to project management, and hence, feeling overwhelmed.
- Difficult to understand the clients (ever changing) needs.
- Not having (enough) room to grow. You have more capability than your job expects of you, and you are forced to be mediocre at the workplace.
- Competing against another person; this is a typical rat race.
- Constrained to do the job even if you don't like. This may be due to obligations that you have elsewhere, for example, financial commitments on the personal front, etc.
- Company's goals not inline with or similar to your own personal goals (or maybe even conflicting). This constant mismatch causes lots of stress.
- You are unable to be your best and do your best. You are frustrated that you are wasting yourself here.
- Fear of change, especially from that which you are already comfortable with.
- No freedom to make decisions. May be you are in a traditional command-and-control style of organization.
- Upper management believes project management is an overhead that they can live without; consequently you get very little respect. .
- Nothing you do appears important in the organization.
- Lack of job rotation leading to boredom from doing the same job repeatedly.
- Lack of (billable) projects at workplace with no certainty going forward.
- Skill set obsolescence - you have done the same stuff for far too long and haven't quite picked up other useful skills in the marketplace.
- Family, friends and other social pressures being carried over to the work environment.
- Not prepared to handle unexpected things at your workplace, in your life, or in other environments.
- Health issues holding you back at work.
While these are known issues, we will discuss how to handle these in a future post. If you have something to add, just share your experience below.