I have a job where I was hired, given a nice salary, and stuck in a corner. I haven't been given anything to do in over a week. I'm free to just listen to music and do what I like in my office all day.

Is this my fault? My managers know I finished the last thing I was given. Is it my responsibility to ask for something to do? Am I justified in using this time to read the news while I wait for someone to remember I work here? Does anyone have any past experience with jobs like this?

  • See this.
    – enderland
    Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 19:00
  • Or this.
    – enderland
    Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 19:00
  • depends on the gig. It certainly doesn't HURT to ask for more work if you are up for it.
    – DA.
    Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 19:31
  • By the way Aerovistae, if you feel this question is significantly different than either of those two closely related questions, feel free to edit your post and add clarification to what makes it different.
    – enderland
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 2:44
  • if you have nothing to do you are at high risk of termination. no reason to pay someone if they are not doing anything. Always look for work to make yourself more valuable.
    – Bob
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


It probably depends on the position you have within the company.

I tend to hire relatively experienced people on my team. I don't expect to have to tell these people what to do every hour of every day.

In an early part of my life, I hired very entry-level people. Those who didn't eventually demonstrate that they were capable of finding useful tasks on their own and who waited around to be told each task, never progressed very far.

Your situation probably isn't "your fault", but it still makes good sense to see what you can do about it.

Ultimately, only your boss and you can determine what is your responsibility, and what is not. Since you aren't yet sure, it's clearly time for you to have a conversation with your managers. Tell them that you are finding times where your task list is done, and you aren't sure what to do in that situation. I guarantee they will appreciate your bringing this up.

  • 2
    He doesn't sound like he's been there long enough to be deciding on his own what needs to be done. Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 4:08

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