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I started my new job 6 months ago and I still unsure what is expected of me. I do random tasks to help senior leads when they need help with their projects but when I ask what role I would be in, I'm told

"I'm sure we'll find something for you"

This a very large financial firm with large clients and from the job description, it looks like I would be actively be involved with clients, infrastructure, data analytic. This is perfect as I have an IT background and felt this would a good fit.

I can go days without anything to do but just sit around (I have brought this up several times during our meetings but I never get an answer).

We had a round of hirings of new associates and they are already working with leads on some of the projects and are actively involved and getting a lot of training and attention (and are more knowledgeable than me).

I have spoken to my manager and my concerns and since she is leaving for another department, doesn't seem to be really concerned about this. We have a new manager coming in couple of months and I'm afraid they will think I have not taken my job seriously and have been slacking off.

How can I tell my manager that I feel I have not gained any skills in the past 6 months without sounding like I was a bad hire? I was recently given a project with no guidance recently and obviously I wouldn't know where to start without the proper training I didn't receive.

  • How can the new manager state that you've been "slacking off" if you didn't have tasks to actually "slack off" to? Do you finish your tasks slowly because you know you have too much time to do them? – Cris May 28 '18 at 18:15
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    New manager is new to the company so does not know that I haven't received the proper training. Once they see that the people that came after me being more knowledgeable, it would obviously make me look bad. I will be going to a client onsite next month. They new manager thinks since I've been here 6 months, I should be ready. – Noah May 28 '18 at 18:18
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    My experience in financial services is waiting to be told what to do is a mistake. Often you are expected to learn things on your own. You should find what current processes are essential to your current team and learn about them, possibly automating them. There's a saying that you can understand a company's business by observing its cashflows (where does its capital come from, where does it go). Similarly I suggest you can understand what your team does by observing where does the data come from, how is it cleaned, what is it used for. – Chan-Ho Suh May 28 '18 at 18:48
  • @Chan-HoSuh, that's really not an option for me as most of the senior leads are most of the time on business trips and when they're not, they work from home. They are rarely in the office. – Noah May 28 '18 at 19:43
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    Taking what you're saying at face-value, you're stuck at work with nobody around to learn from, you can't communicate with anyone working from home, and you've been given a project with no idea of how to get guidance. I have a hard time taking this all at face-value though. – Chan-Ho Suh May 28 '18 at 20:22
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Three simple steps.

  1. Use your spare time to gather documentation of the times you've asked for training, assignments, and other things that you should have had already.
  2. Make it a priority to make sure your incoming manager knows the lengths you've gone to be as useful to the company as possible.
  3. Ensure all of your work is completed on time, on budget, within scope, and all those other things PM's love. This ensures your new manager has reason to think you're an underutilized resource instead of a waste of his budget.

Remember, he's going to want to look good to his bosses. One way he can do that is boosting team productivity by leveraging you. Another way is cutting the budget by cutting you. Which one he picks, well let's hope you're able to influence that.


* Please no lectures about pronouns. I tried it multiple ways and this sounded the cleanest. I fully support all walks of life in whatever career paths they choose.

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"When I was hired, I was expecting to do X, but so far that hasn't happened. When will the appropriate training, documentation, etc. occur?"

I would also discuss this with the new manager: "I've been working with the other people on small projects but after that I have no work. When will formal training start?" If this manager is a good manager, they'll make sure you get the work (and training) you need.

  • I am not sure if I follow how this answers the asked question? – Martin Tournoij May 29 '18 at 17:37
  • I misread the question...thus, I have updated it. – bjcolby15 May 29 '18 at 18:34
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6 months at a large company is not 6 months at a start up by a long long shot, so not having any significant responsibilities after 6 months is not unheard of.

Things you can do:

Take leadership courses (I bet they have them)

Give up on being productive and find some work hobbies (careful w this one)

Take some incentive > ask to work on some projects that matter (at least from your POV)

Ask to apply for a more senior role with more responsibility and interesting work.

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