Hello all I have a career centered question.

Ok so I have been working in Software Development for about 3 years now. I was working on a client-server Accounting app at my old job. I stayed at that job for about 2 years, I learned alot and fit in with the culture pretty well. I left that position for a position at a larger company I was trying to step into a role where I could learn more about software development and have a chance to be promoted to a senior level position some time in the future.

Well 3 months in at my new job things don't seem to be going how I envisioned the way they would go. I was told in the interview that I would be working on helping them create a new system to display their current SSRS reports. They told me they needed someone who had some strong intermediate knowledge of C#.NET also they needed someone to help them implement a new inventory system that would replace their old one. In the interview I got the impression that they had a good idea of how and when they were going to implement this new system.

When I got there it was a different story however. There was absolutely no design specifics in place as how they would implement this new system. They have no version control, and seemingly no desire to implement version control. (Despite my insisting on the fact we need version control). There is no documentation process, and to top things off I have literally gotten to the point where I have absolutely nothing to work on.

Last Friday I did nothing all day and the Senior said to me to just relax and not feel guilty that I was doing absolutely nothing for the day.

Here in lies my question. What are the factors I should consider when trying to decide to stay or leave?

I do not want to be labeled a job hopper since I have only been in this position for 3 months now but I feel like I have made a mistake coming here. I feel like I am getting zero experience at this company and I am getting concerned I may get let go because of the lack of work. I was told a couple of weeks ago that they decided against creating a new SSRS system, they will however rebuild the website that is serving up the reports. But every time I ask WHEN we will begin re-writing the site I'm told they are not going to worry about that right now. What should I do in this situation, I honestly don't want to go back where I came from but I don't think it's a good career move to stay either. Also going back will possibly result in a large pay cut.

  • @JoeStrazzere yep, you saved it with that edit. I think that the edit was a good one, hope OP agrees with it. – DarkCygnus Dec 4 '17 at 20:38
  • The meaning is still intact. I don't think I should go back either, but I am very concerned at the lack of work where I'm at. And it's not just the lack either I've been here for 3 months and I don't feel like I have learned anything while I've been here. I've been trying to hold on to the skills I've acquired instead. I am also concerned that if this company ever has to cut it's IT budget I will be the first one they cut out. I apologize if my opinion on this matter sounds too subjective but I honestly don't know what to do in this situation. – User_ Dec 4 '17 at 20:39
  • (The last paragraph) I once waited for that "when" for more than a year, and it still didn't happen. Luckily we had other things to do also. So don't wait for anything - there is a high chance it never happens. – Juha Untinen Dec 5 '17 at 5:54
  • How is this off topic, I am asking for professional advice from developers who have been in this career field longer than I have. What's the point on having a Q&A forum if no one can ask legimate questions. I know there are other developers facing this very issue that need advice as well. – User_ Dec 5 '17 at 14:06
  • To everyone who tried to give me an objective response thank you and God bless you. Thanks DarkCygnus your answer gave me alot to think about. – User_ Dec 5 '17 at 14:18

What are the factors I should consider when trying to decide to stay or leave?

You should consider those that are important to you.

The salary you earn, and the chances of becoming Senior one day is an important factor, and you seem to suggest that in this new company you have better chances of getting such promotion.

Learning and growing on your knowledge as a professional is another important factor. Seems that this is not going good so far, as you feel you are not learning and growing your skills as expected.

The fact that you have been there a short period of time (3 months) is also important. Indeed, switching jobs too often or in such short periods may be seen as a job-hopper, so you are right in worrying about that.

Now, considering these things there are some suggestions I can make:

  1. If you feel you are not learning enough on your job, or that you have no tasks to work on, then something you can do is make good use of that time and learn/grow your skills on your own. Do some research on the technologies you like and use on your job. Read about new features of .NET or other technologies. Or well do some other tasks required by your job that are not project-related (finish your reports, tabulate your spendings or taxes, etc.). Not having tasks to do does not mean you have to lay there doing nothing, make good use of your time.

  2. Also, in the meantime, you may consider looking for other jobs (without compromising your performance, that is), so you have some options to consider in case this situation worsens and you decide to quit anyways. Remember, you have better chances of landing job offers while you are still employed, so I strongly suggest you search first before jumping off the ship.

  3. I would also like to analyze you worry about being perceived as a job-hopper. It is true that switching jobs often may be seen as such, however it seems to me that you past employment history is quite stable: 2 years on your last job surely doesn't denote work instability, and I suppose that before that you were at least 1 year on that other job (also quite stable). In any case, if you eventually quit this job and people ask you why on future interviews, you can say it was because it wasn't a good fit for you. Besides, they will still see your past job history and see that this is an isolated case. So, putting it in few words, I don't feel like this sole situation will cause you to be labeled as job-hopper.

  4. Finally, if you do consider quitting, I suggest that you at least try to wait until you have 6 months working there, so it does not seem too "job-hopper" as only 3 months could be seen. This is not a must, but surely will help this incident to not look so bad on your resume for future applications.

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