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I was hired a couple of months ago, and the interviewer who was going to become my boss told me I should be available ASAP.

It's been two months now, and I have not be staffed yet (that is, our clients haven't accepted me yet on their projects).

Today, he suggested to me a 3/4 days task that I have no skills in. This is the second "strange" task they assign me, the first one described on my previous question.

Is he telling me to look for another job in such a subtle way or is he trying to take advantage of my availability?

I am frankly uncomfortable with this situation.

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    It was a direct request disguised in a suggestion. – Leonidas Sep 17 '18 at 23:23
  • Ummm... I see you asked basically this same question some days ago... why do you think this is different? – DarkCygnus Sep 17 '18 at 23:28
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    I see, that is relevant to the context of your situation. I'll edit it into your post... and enhance my answer – DarkCygnus Sep 17 '18 at 23:33
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    I am a bit concerned, because I was already working on an internal project compatible with my skillset. The only difference is that they are not making money out of that internal project. – Leonidas Sep 18 '18 at 7:03
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    @Leonidas Doesn't it make sense that if they can find work for you that will bring in money, they would ask you to work on it? Wouldn't it be more worrying if you were only working on internal projects that didn't have any direct business value? – DaveG Sep 18 '18 at 13:36
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There are often jobs that need doing where nobody has the expertise. Depending on how qualified you are, you may be expected to figure out what is needed. Of course you will take a lot longer than someone who knows that specific task, but since there is nobody who does, taking longer is unavoidable.

It's not a hint to change jobs. It is a challenge and an opportunity. You can get a reputation for being able to handle anything given enough time, and not giving up. You can also get a bad reputation. I'd try hard to do that task properly and come out looking good.

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    also treat this is as a learning opportunity: you get to have some hands on experience outside your specialization. Its hugely useful to be able to say to clients "yeah I've done a thing to two with that" and you might be the onlyperson on earth who can say that. – Borgh Sep 21 '18 at 11:57
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It sounds like you're just sitting around twiddling your thumbs doing nothing. Your boss has given you a task that you don't have the skills for.

So rather than just saying you can't do it, take the time to teach yourself how to do it, then do it. It will take you a lot longer than an experienced person. But the task will still get done eventually, by someone who wasn't doing anything useful anyway. And you will have leaned some new skills.

In the long run, employers don't need single-skilled staff with a can't do attitude to anything they are not familiar with.

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Is he telling me to look for another job in such a subtle way or is he trying to take advantage of my availability?

I'm also against this theory. I rather think that you might have made a good impression on him during your interview like saying you can learn fast or that you like challenges and variety.

Maybe you're also the only one who he thinks will manage to complete the task or maybe the others weren't so good at it before? Anyways, I'd see it as an opportunity and would do my best to learn something new and expand my skills.

You're on the way to become the new expert.

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    Yes, this is a learning exercise and a good way to fill time :) everyone wins – Matthew E Cornish Sep 21 '18 at 8:43
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Is he telling me to look for another job in such a subtle way or is he trying to take advantage of my availability?

I think it's neither.

Your boss seems to be simply delegating a task to you, and in no way can one conclude that he is hinting you to find a new job. This is also not taking advantage of you, as you are currently employed by them (and thus are in a position to give you tasks).

Given that you are still waiting to be staffed into some client's project I'd say that your boss is simply making good use of the company's time and resources (human resources, that is, you), so you just don't stand there idling while you wait for clients to take you into their projects.

If you feel uncomfortable or unsure on how to proceed, I suggest you approach your boss to ask for guidance and feedback on the task you were given.


Edit: Seems that this is not the first task you have been assigned that makes you uneasy.

Besides considering doing what suggested on the first part of my answer, I'd also suggest you start job-hunting just to be safe, in case you keep getting tasks you don't like or didn't signed up for and consider it's best to seek for a job where you can do what you like and were hired for.

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From language, you are using (client, assignment) I'm assuming that you are working for a consultancy, agency, or outsourcing company. And this is the perfectly ok situation, people are usually expected to be T-shaped professionals - really good in something, and average and below average in everything else.

I'll give you a concrete example:

I could hire you as a software engineer, for a project starting in 2 months, legal team could then inform that they need another 4-6 week to negotiate contracts and I have no immediate work for you to do. But I have this R'n'D project where I need a User Experience professional. I would feel no hesitation, and will give you a task to design something, even if you don't have commercial experience or eduaction.

If you don't like the nature of the task do communicate it, but I don't think there is any conspiracy, if anything - your manager might be worried that you are getting bored and will be looking for another job and giving you tasks.

Also, consultants regardless of their primary speciality should be well-rounded people ideally, understanding how to write documents, presentations, public speaking, and have some knowledge about design, development, marketing, and sales - so that they can understand requirements and motivations better.

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