excessive anxiety and stress from work is it normal?

i have been in my job for about 10 months now and this is my second job. i generally like my jobscope, i like what im doing (although i do have a lot on my hands) and colleagues are nice. but the company sets unrealistic KPIs for us to hit each month. and the KPIs are only achievable by people doing my role. other people on my team does not have to worry about it as it falls on me. i have been hitting those KPIs monthly and this month, although the month just started, seems to be having a very slow start. my manager and director has been telling me that i need to improve on the results this month. that is stressing me out and achieving that KPI is also on top of the 1039293829298 things i have to do.
usually a staff will report the results on a daily basis at night and i noticed whenever i see the staff’s name pop up on my phone and i know its to report the results, my heart starts beating really fast and its like im going through a panic attack. it has been like this since a two months back when i barely hit KPI at the end of the month.
the simple solution to this is to mute the group or disable notifications but because i need to know the results too, i can’t ignore the message.
i started noticing im really high on anxiety these few days, my mood has changed, i feel sad and stressed all the time. i don’t know what to do. i’ve been crying a lot. is this normal? i thought these kind of stress only happens when im in sales or any kind of commission based roles but im just someone doing marketing. i am thinking of switching jobs for the past few days but im afraid its gonna be the wrong move for me since i enjoy the current jobscope but just hate how they set unrealistic KPIs and stressed you to hit it. but i also can’t see myself working in this job any longer. i feel suffocated, i cry everyday, i have no mood to do anything.

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Hi @marshmallow you sound pretty burnt out! It doesn’t seem fair that you’re the only person on the team that has to take responsibility for hitting these KPIs, it sounds like a really unsustainable position to be in.

I wonder if you’re able to have a conversation with your manager and director that it’s not possible for you to continue on like this? Maybe either redistributing some of your responsibilities so that you can focus on this KPI since it matters to them so much.

Otherwise honestly it seems that moving out of your job might be the right call. Given that you seem to be doing so much for the company already, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble pivoting that to demonstrate your competence on your resume! It can’t hurt to start looking at what other options are out there, especially if your mental health is suffering this much. Take care!! rooting for you.

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Hi @marshmallow

Thanks for coming on this platform to share your struggles with us. It does sounds difficult to be in your shoes and I wonder how you have been managing for so long with such anxiety.

Firstly, it doesn’t seem helpful for the management to be setting such standards because it creates a stressful environment. From your sharing, your position in marketing shouldn’t have such KPIs to achieve as compared to sales roles. It is okay to question this because you know what should be expected and this seems to be more than what you should be expecting. Having to look at the results on a daily basis feels suffocating and stressful. And I do see why you find it hard to ignore the messages as well, it might make you more anxious. I am not sure if there is a better way to navigate this practice to lessen the stress that you feel on a daily basis. It could be discussing with your supervisor or whether your team members can take turns to look at it, so the team can brainstorm ideas the next day.

Also, I wonder if you have considered speaking with the management or HR about this as it doesn’t seem like a healthy culture. Such stress would decrease productivity and motivation at work. It probably also contributed to your sharing on not being able to reach the KPIs at the end of the month. I would like to remind you that it is not your fault and do try not to blame yourself for it. Excessive self-blame could lead to a downward spiral of negative thoughts about yourself and possibly decreasing your productivity at work.

It also sounds like you are already thinking about leaving as you talk about finding it hard to see yourself in this role further. Maybe it will be helpful for you to list down pros and cons, to help yourself make an informed decision. Also, it feels like you have been considering this for some time and it is affecting you to a great extent. I cannot imagine how it is like for you and how you are coping with all these. If you would like, you can also keep a lookout for other jobs and try going for interviews. It could be helpful in understanding on how other work cultures are like and help you make a decision in your career direction too.

Do take some time to rethink your priorities. Think about what you want in your life and remember that life is not all about work. You work for different reasons, perhaps due to interests, colleagues, or other life goals. If this work environment is taking away other aspects of your life that you enjoy then maybe you want to consider a change in environment.

It is helpful to know what is important to you and try to set aside time for activities or hobbies that you enjoy. I see that work is already affecting your personal life as you realised your mood has changed and you feel sad all the time. Finding time to do the things you enjoy mightbe a positive motivation for you.

Lastly, when you are feeling anxious. You might want to try some exercises listed below and see if it is helpful.

  1. Deep breathing exercises. Sit in a comfortable position. Breathe in deeply through your nose, and slowly exhale through your nose or mouth. Repeat for 5 minutes or until you feel better.

  2. Change your environment. You may consider going to your neighbourhood for a walk, take a bath or listen to some music. It is about taking your mind off the stressful thoughts for a while.

  3. Talk to somebody. You can talk to a family member or a friend about how you are feeling. Talking helps to gain different insights and perspectives about your situation. It provides emotional support too.

  4. Visualisation. You can sit or lie in a comfortable position. Visualise yourself in a place that makes you feel relaxed. Think about what needs to be in that place to help you feel safe.

I hope this is helpful and that you are able to find something that works for you. Remember you are not alone in this journey and do reach out if you need. Take care!

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U hit kpis n ur managers pocket the shared profit. U get burnt out w new mental illnesses then who will take care of u? Definitely not ur managers

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