just wondering some thoughts. I started a new job on a construction project as a project engineer. I have 8-10 years experience and the pay it very good. In the interview I was told I would be very busy. Now I have been at this job for 2 months and have nothing to do. I ask for work to do and and simply get told to sit tight. I don't like doing nothing because it feels like I am wasting company resources. I have been reading engineering standards for the past 2 months and it is very grueling and difficult. So, is it okay to just do nothing at a company?

  • There are good answers in that possible duplicate. In the meantime though, speaking as someone who has run a team in an engineering firm, I can tell you - there may be legitimate reasons for there to be no active work right now. I'd had periods where I would hire desirable new staff but have nothing they could actively work on for half a year. The work tends to come in large chunks which makes it a challenge to average out and assign in a way that keeps everyone equally busy. And there may be contract negotiations or clearances or permits or other obstacles as well.
    – dwizum
    Aug 26 '19 at 13:55

Well to the question "is it okay to just do nothing at a company", if the company is aware that you aren't busy and you've done your due diligence in appropriately regular reminders of that, then morally I don't think there's an issue. It's their money and you aren't deceiving them, you've made them aware of the situation.

However, the more important question is do you want to do nothing for months on end? As you've noticed, a job is more than just the pay. Even with good pay, doing nothing all day becomes very boring and frustrating. One option is to find things to study in all this downtime that could supplement your professional capabilities and improve your prospects, both for this job (if you ever end up doing anything) or for future jobs.

Though at the end of the day, if you're just wondering if doing nothing substantial all day for months is worth a big paycheck, that's something only you can decide.


Well, 2 month is a long enough time to gauge the work environment and I am hoping you were not blind to what's happening around you.

The reason I say this, there are times in a company work that, things get on hold for many reasons, just to be released in a torrent form, drowning every employee with excessive work. Two months of no real work, especially for a newbie (regardless of experience level, you are newbie to the company) is not unheard of.

So, If I were you, I would look around and see of there is a sense of extreme work for everybody but yourself. If everyone's work pace is kinda slow, you might be in one of those slow/lull periods of the company and it is okay to trust the words of "sit tight".

If this is not the case, I would ask the managers of other projects, that is going on around you (physically speaking) if they need any help. If they are strapped for headcount, they would take you up in your offer in a heartbeat, or at least seek upper management approval to include you in the project, if the company is structured enough.

If you show initiative and still can not get any real work to do, it is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the wait doesn't reach to outrageous levels, like a year and no work is not good for anyone.

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