I've just recently started working for a company on a 3 month probation; this is my second month. I feel like I am being underutilized. I do have specific duties that were assigned to me, but I need more because sometimes there's literally nothing for me to do.

How do I go about asking for more work without being a nuisance or seeming forward?

  • Why don't you do trainings during this free time? Try to learn things that can be helpful to you and your company in the future. You could also document your work; are your sure everything is properly documented, reported. Then, classify your work e-mails in case you need them later. Save, classify important work in a secondary hard drive... there is a lot to do in free work time.
    – Bebs
    Sep 3 '19 at 8:52
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    Does your manager know this? He might simply have underestimated your working speed. Usually just saying something in the lines of "hi boss, I have finished the tasks I was assigned to, do you have any suggestions on what I should start on?" should do the trick. Honestly, it does not really matter how you say it. Sep 3 '19 at 9:00
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    @AdzzzUK: I do not think it is a duplicate. There is a clear differenece between "kill time at work" and "ask for more work".
    – virolino
    Sep 3 '19 at 9:39
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    @virolino, not an exact duplicate but some of the suggestions in the answers are useful - researching and learning specifically.
    – AdzzzUK
    Sep 3 '19 at 11:00
  • @AdzzzUK: In my understanding, "some of the suggestions ... are useful" does not really equate to a duplicate.
    – virolino
    Sep 3 '19 at 11:22

Unless you start pestering your boss, or making suggestions, I don't think you'll be a nuisance or being too forward. You should just ask them for more work. When asking, it would be appropriate to have a few ideas ready to go, in case they ask you for suggestions.

You also ask your boss what you should be doing when there is no work assigned. That way you know exactly what to do in the future.

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    It's important to do this rather than just waiting, both so your boss can judge how fast you work, and so that when he spots you not working, he knows that it's because he's not assigned anything, rather than just you slacking off. Sep 3 '19 at 10:13

Simplest to ask... someone volunteering to take on more work will not be viewed as a nuisance. There are bigger problems if it is viewed as a nuisance.


I’m going to have some bandwidth soon, anything you need me to work on?

That tells that 1. You’re on track/ ahead on your current task 2. Gives the boss time to determine things for you to do next and not worry that you’re not doing anything

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