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TLDR: I'm a Software Developer. A few months ago, I've been assigned to a new team, to work on a new company project. Whilst managing the team, it appears that my superiors often forget that I'm even on the team (don't call me to team meetings, forget to assign me tasks more than suitable for my job description, etc.). Does this reveal that I'm not a valuable asset to the company?

Background

I have been working as a Software Engineer in a small startup company for almost 3 years. This is my first job. Up until now, I've been working on the same project mostly with the same colleagues and bosses. Everyone has a basic grasp of what each worker does in the company.

A few months ago, I got assigned to work on a new software project along with some colleagues from the previous project and some recently hired colleagues. I'm now responsible for a piece of software that only one of the former workers knew how it worked.

Problem

I've now witnessed several situations which make me feel nobody even realizes that I'm working on this new project:

  • The PM calls for spontaneous status meetings to discuss the project's current pending issues. I've been left out of these meetings several times. I'm either not informed of these meetings or the PM individually calls the others to the meeting, completely forgetting about me. This could be easily avoided because we have internal chat apps for general announcements like these.

  • The PM and the company owners often forget what I'm working on or have no idea what I do. On one occasion, the owner introduced us to some visitors like such:

    "This is Bob, who works on X. This is Alice, who works on Y. This is <my name>, which works on...err...ah...".

    I had to step up and explain what work I do here.

    While I do have work, it doesn't seem to really matter whether I get it done or not. I could theoretically procrastinate for weeks without anyone ever noticing.

  • When I do get invited to project meetings, it is rather clear our boss has no clue what task I should be assigned to. On one occasion, he initially assigned a task to a new employee, when I was clearly the ideal person for the task. When another experience colleague suggested that I would be more suited for the task, the boss replied in a somewhat mocking fashion:

    Oh right! I was forgetting about you...! You can do it then, <my name>

Conclusion

The incidents make me feel that work goes under-appreciated here and makes me wonder about my future in this company. Maybe these are indicators that they're letting me go soon?

I'm pretty sure that if I bring this up to my boss, he'll just shrug it off and perhaps even blame this on my "quiet personality".

How can I remedy this situation and ensure I'm being valued in the company?

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    Possible duplicate of how to get noticed for the actual work I do at work – gnat Jul 31 '18 at 13:32
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    @gnat I disagree with the target dupe. It's related but here OP asks how to make his superiors recall that he is on certain project, so they can be considered. On the linked post, that OP asks about coworkers doing the easy tasks and taking the credit while they take the hard ones. – DarkCygnus Jul 31 '18 at 18:57
  • This may be overstepping, but are you of a race, sex, gender, sexual preference, etc., that most of the rest of the people aren't? – David Thornley Jul 31 '18 at 20:09
  • @DavidThornley Nope. – Jpcace Jul 31 '18 at 23:29
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I think they are indicators that the company has poor communication, not that they are intent on letting you go. As far as being valued, they are paying you, so your contributions are valued in the truest sense of the term, but you want recognition.

So, to get recognition and ensure people know what you've been up to, you need to become your own PR firm. There are several things you can do:

  1. Make it a point to socialize more with everyone. Ask them how they are doing and what they are working on these days; they will almost certainly do the same.
  2. Start a monthly/quarterly newsletter. Talk about the work you/your department is doing and how it helps other people in the organization.
  3. Consider daily stand-ups as a way of keeping people abreast within your group.
  4. Send your boss emails with new accomplishments you/your team has finished.
  • My company has recently implemented points 2, 3, and 4 and I can confirm that it has significantly improved everybody's knowledge of what others are doing, and allowed us to contribute more effectively to one another's work. Point #1 is more of an individual pursuit. – lukebeast887 Jul 31 '18 at 14:41
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    4 is key - I send my boss an email at the end of each week telling him what I've been working on, what I've finished, and also what I plan on working on the next week. So he always knows where I am, and where I am going. – thursdaysgeek Jul 31 '18 at 15:10
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This is clearly a management issue. The depth of the issue depends on whether it's only you whose's being undermanaged or the whole team and whether the team has appropriate processes in place such as task tracking, stand up meetings, sprint planning, etc... Regardless, you are clearly not being included in any of those, so the only thing you can do in this situation is to become your own manager.

To do that you need to get a big picture of the project, i.e. where is it going, what needs to be done to get there and what is currently being done. Once you do that you will be able to see what tasks are available and which ones are more suited or interesting for you.

With this information in mind you should go directly to your manager, report to him about the task you've finished and inquire about what should you do next. If your manager doesn't have an immediate answer for you or you think you have a better idea of what you should do (for the benefit of the project), you should suggest it to your manager while explaining your reasoning in a non-insisting fashion. It is important for you to have a direct face-to-face contact with your manager if possible, since the regular organizational procedures don't work for you at this point.

If done properly (i.e. in a professional manner), this will show initiative from your side and make you seem proactive which in turn should make you more desirable for a manager to assign work to. As an added bonus, being your own manager in this way will allow you to take lead in project-related discussions since you now have a big picture of the project and at least some notion of how it should proceed, which you had to figure out while looking for your next task.

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