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Some background, I was hired about a year ago as a software developer. During the interview process, the manager basically botched the initial interview. I was introduced to some of their current challenges, which I realized was going to be primarily a bug-fixing nightmare and very little new development. I responded to the interview that I wasn't interested in the position since it would be mostly maintenance. The manager wanted to meet again, as he was very interested in me, and wanted to confirm with me that I wouldn't be doing this maintenance work long term, but would initially help. I was told that around 3 months from now, I'd be doing completely different work, building out a whole new system for them, and a few other things which sounded interesting enough to continue the interview process and eventually accept the job.
Fast-forward a year, I've not started any of the promised work, and have been for the last many months concentrated full-time on the maintenance work which I hate. It's exactly as I thought it would be, and I really don't enjoy my job as a result.
I want to bring this concern up with my manager that I'm unhappy, but not sure how honest I should be here. I've asked a few times over this year, "When do you expect this new development work to start for me?", unfortunately he doesn't set the direction of the business anymore than I do, so he says he's heard talk of new systems, but nothing decided yet. I'm also seeing that the company just doesn't have much new development work available to even give me, at least with the division I'm in now. I feel kind of stuck in my present position, as what I'm doing definitely does not line up with my career goals.
How can I best express my unhappiness with my current role, as to not give a bad impression with my manager? He's basically the manager of "everything I don't like to do", so I'm concerned I'm going to have to go above his head to get the kind of projects I'd rather do.