I was hired a couple of months ago with a permanent contract as a senior software engineer for a company that operates as a software development agency. They hire engineers who then do work for the agency's clients at a billed rate.

I was briefed on my 2nd day about a project where I was told I am a candidate for the role, but there was a delay of many weeks until I was interviewed by the client who then rejected me for a matter of specific skills I don't have. Another client refused me as a candidate because I lack experience in their specific field (however, my company thought this was not rational as an excuse).

My boss gave me a task I believe to be "busy work," possibly because he felt I was bored. The task was not my domain of expertise, so I had to abandon it.

Right now, I am working on an interesting project with a different manager, but it doesn't feel like a formal arrangement. They are planning to deploy this project, however, as the first version seems promising.

I am very well paid, so I worry that I "cost too much" and I am afraid they will not want to have a senior engineer doing work that is not directly billable to clients for a long period of time.

Should I worry and make a plan B? Or should I trust that they know what they are doing?

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    Hired by an agency as a temp or contract employee to be farmed out? Are you at a desk 8 hours a day with nothing to do, collecting a paycheck? Are you bored? More details, please! Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 22:22
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    Question edited.
    – Leonidas
    Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 22:27
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    I edited the question to make it - I think - a little more clear. Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 22:46
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    The task was not my domain of expertise, so I had to abandon it. - This is what you should be worried about. Commented Sep 14, 2018 at 13:19
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    My son was hired by Infosys, spent two months in training, and then waited around for about another eight before he was put on a project. He's much happier now that he actually has something to do. It happens. Commented Sep 14, 2018 at 22:32

4 Answers 4


Have you spoken to your manager about this?

A good way to approach it would be to ask what the next appointment might be so you can start preparing by filling any skill gaps etc and ask him how you can add value.

Anything else is speculating and making yourself worry.

Having said that it might be wise to be open to other opportunities just in case they don't have anything in the pipeline.


Should I worry and make a plan B?

You should always have a plan B. As a software engineer you will not work for just one company during the course of your career. Your immediate concern might be alleviated by having a conversation with your manager as this answer points out. solarflares answer

Or should I trust that they know what they are doing?

You have only been there a couple months. Give them some more time, but pay attention to what I said about a plan B. If you are still uneasy in another month or so start looking around, as I have found it is always easier to find a job while employed.


It seems your biggest concern is whether you will be laid off in the short term but probably you should concern more about getting rust.

Once I was in a company that didn't have another project for me, I asked for something but only got Small tasks and eventually I was asked just to wait, so I tried to help other projects and was told I shouldn't do that.

Anyway, I got bored of doing nothing and quit for a better job where I learned tons of great stuff leveraging myself for a way better salary.


I assume you are working for a kind of consultancy.

It's not a good news if you aren't staffed for months, but it's not always a bad news.

You should:

  1. Talk to your manager
  2. Discuss with them your situation (e.g. in summer and in December/January just a few projects begin, so not so many new people are needed, which is why your situation may be normal)
  3. Discuss what your chances to get staffed are and ask whether there is something you can do to grow your chances e.g. get some new skills.

Act appropriately: Search for a new position if you're tired of waiting or wait if you can.

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