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Context

I am a Software Engineer and I work in a large software firm. It is my first job, but I had multiple open source projects before and I have a solid experience in software engineering.

My firm knows it and has invested on me, with promotions I should not be able to have due to my work experience (promoted Senior Engineer after 2 years of employment for instance) and great projects with different roles : team leader, architect, developer, etc.

Problem

Despite all these great projects, I am currently bored, the company is still giving me great projects (my work is way more interesting than the average on this company) and more work than the others, but I have the feeling that I am not doing the best I can : I spend half of my day on SO, Google News etc. and I always finish my assignments before the deadlines.

How can I address this problem with my manager ?

(I'm not using my main SO account and I don't want to give too many details because I don't want my company to know I posted this)

UPDATE FOR CLARIFICATION

I have already asked, a year ago for more work, that's why I have multiple projects. I have already cleaned my desk, and when I say I don't know what to do for half a day it is quite everyday. I can't ask for more projects because most projects require full time employee and I can't improve the code because every code modification must be sold to the client before.

My current attribution are :

  • Software architect
  • Technical expert (i.e. code reviews, training etc)
  • Trainer (the firm has an inside training program)

Past attributions :

  • Team leader
  • Trainee tutor
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    You have interesting projects with easy deadlines and plenty of spare time to either improve/expand your skillset while being paid real money.... terrible situation – Kilisi Jan 15 '18 at 17:26
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    Once done with personal responsibilities, maybe it is a good time to use your spare time for your team. Share knowledge, build some code standards, tips/hacks, show/teach how you do it and how to get faster (like you).. etc – Sandra K Jan 15 '18 at 17:28
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    @Kilisi Well, most bore-out situations can be described like this, and still, when it started to happen to me (during an internship few years ago, I came to the office every day to do... well... nothing for a week or two), I hated it. – LP154 Jan 16 '18 at 10:40
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    Console yourself with the certainty that worse times will come. – pmf Jan 16 '18 at 10:59
  • Sounds like you have 4 hours a day for professional development. You're going to get paid to learn dude. Enjoy it. It's rare.You have the ability to work on anything right now to expand your skill set and find interesting things to get into. – BirdLawExpert Jan 18 '18 at 17:37
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In similar situations I have asked my manager for more work or studied for certifications. If I absolutely had nothing to do (which can happen) I'd clean up my workspace.

As far as approaching your manager goes, just go talk to them.

If you already have a workload similar to others, then volunteering for more work can be two-edged, you may end up with more than you wanted and come under quite a bit of pressure for no extra money. This has happened to me early in my IT career, in later years I used the time to study, and at all times and in all industries cleaning my workspace was a good idea.

  • 4
    "cleaning my workspace" can go far beyond that, like having a look at this old code that works well, but probably could be improved. I know a CEO who recently revised some code he wrote in the 80s, to make it cleaner. That's cleaning your desk. – gazzz0x2z Jan 15 '18 at 21:03
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    @gazzz0x2z organising your file system, emails etc,. all makes things better. But I've grabbed cleaning supplies and disinfectant and done a thorough job and ended with the whole section on a cleaning spree. Even as boss of my tiny company I've spent many hours sweeping the driveway etc,. – Kilisi Jan 16 '18 at 14:35
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How can I address this problem with my manager ?

Before addressing this with your manager as a "problem", I suggest you considered finding something else to do in that time; learn a new skill, get up to date on the latest trends on the techs you use, answer mails, put in order your desk or pending paperwork, etc.

The thing is that you could be using this time to strengthen your skills and knowledge, so you can become a better professional and in the way contribute more positive things to the company. Few things your manager can to do stop you from "being bored"; that will depend on how you are taking the current tasks and projects you have.

If you still fell that you could be doing more (after using your spare time as suggested), I suggest you approach your boss and share all these new project ideas you have, so there is a chance he/she considers it and hopefully give you more interesting projects.

Now, if after trying all of this you continue to feel bored or that your job is no longer satisfying, you would be better looking for job somewhere else where you can have the load of projects that you wish to have.

  • 1
    This is the best answer. Invest in yourself first, then the company. It is likely that they hired you two years ago without realizing they didn't have enough work for you, or that the boss was raising a peasant army. Pick up a new language or dive deeper into one you use every day. You've been given the gift of time; don't squander it. – Nolo Problemo Jan 16 '18 at 22:46
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Work on improving the company's tool set. Is there an internal process that needs updating or improving? Bring it up to your manager that Process X is time consuming and/or cumbersome and could be streamlined by implementing Y. You will then have another project of your choosing that will benefit the company and doesn't need to be sold to the client. It might also give you the opportunity to learn another language or methodology.

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