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I am 26 years old and working in an IT company for more than 3 years. Right now , I am not happy about the quality of work being offered to me and it is happening with me for than 2 years. I don't see any growth at this moment. I am a kind of person who always look for something challenging and I am not getting it. I have tried raising it before though it was informal but nothing concrete happened. How should i approach my manager and raise my concerns about this?

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    Can you do better? Have you tried doing it better? What was the feedback when you did? Have you raised concerns before? Any cultural things we need to know about? E.g. here in The Netherlands I raise these things every now and then when I notice things that should've been better. Probably not with the best tactics (rather blunt really), but I do offer solutions / improvements alongside them. It's easy to say "This is a bad", but harder, and way more productive to say "This is bad. If doing/adding things like this and that, we'll at least make it mediocre.". – rkeet Jan 24 at 8:36
  • @rkeet I have tried raising it before though it was informal but nothing concrete happened. – Mr Nobody Jan 24 at 9:20
  • Does your company actively have projects that you would be interested in taking on? If not, it may be time to move on to some other company. – さりげない告白 Jan 24 at 10:13
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    @krishnaMurari Well, maybe you should consider doing something concrete. For example, show a couple of weaknesses and intentionally crash a couple of applications (restorable & not in production, but an acceptance environment which is an exact clone) intentionally. Show them what can happen with a few clicks, a mis-judged code update, misconfigured migrations, etc. Show them the impact. Then let them figure out what it would cost were it to happen, because usually with shoddy code, critical errors are not a matter of "if" but of "when". – rkeet Jan 24 at 10:41
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    You're welcome. Do mind the current top answer though. If you show important (crippling/expensive) problems and they're just shoved aside as unimportant, that answer is solid advice. – rkeet Jan 24 at 10:48
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If you're in the same company for 3 years, it usually means it's time to move on. Boredom, a fear of stagnating skillset and increasing your income (and those reasons are not in any particular order) are the main reason why software engineers change jobs every 18 months to 2 years.

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  • move on is the last option anyone would consider . Is there another option that you think will be good in this case ? – Mr Nobody Jan 24 at 10:17
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    @krishnaMurari You can't grow by staying in the same place all your life. This is especially true of the IT world – 520 says Reinstate Monica Jan 24 at 10:19
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    @520saysReinstateMonica "You can't grow by staying in the same place all your life". Thats not universally true. You might not be able to grow by staying in the same job, but you can definitely grow in the same company – tddmonkey Jan 24 at 11:17
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    @MrNobody "move on is the last option anyone would consider" > Not true. It was my case with my first jobs. Did 6,5 years there and was miserable for the last 3 at least. It's only when I finally decided to switch jobs that I realized how fool I had been to stay there for so long. Since then, switching jobs is one of the first things that comes to my mind when I feel my motivation is dropping. I now motivate anyone feeling miserable to move on, especially in IT where finding a new position is quite easy. – Laurent S. Jan 24 at 11:56
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    @520saysReinstateMonica I work in IT and have done for over 20 years so I understand how it works there and I stand by my point. Just because there is a trend for people to move in < 2 years doesn't mean you cant grow by staying at the same place. – tddmonkey Jan 24 at 12:32
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I am a kind of person who always look for something challenging and I am not getting it.

Question is: what did you do go get something challenging?

  • Did you talk to your manager about this?
  • Did you explore the problems that you or your organization may have (other than assigned works) and did any brainstorming to come up with ways to solve them? This can include

    • Automating QA, adding new cases
    • Improving the operational efficiency of existing code
    • Adding a new technology to reduce time/ cost
    • Analyzing market competition and suggest possible improvements to existing product etc.
  • Did you take part in any hackathons to generate and exchange new ideas?

  • Did you attend seminar / conferences to learn about new and upcoming technologies and implement them?
  • Did you try to find any new opportunities inside your organizations, maybe with a different group / project where you can utilize your expertise and create value?

In other words, what did you already try to make the situation better and how it did not work?

Do not just complain, Do not always expect to have the cutting-edge technology and tools and exiting work assignments for your daily work, that's what pet projects are for. If you want new challenges, do not expect your manager to hand them over to you - find out new challenges yourself which will help you and the organization, then approach your manager about that. Explain the scope of individual growth and organizational value-add opportunity with the work - most of the managers will appreciate that and even willing to sponsor you for getting that work done.


Edit:

I have tried raising it before though it was informal but nothing concrete happened.

Nothing concrete will happen out of anything informal - that's what formal process is for. make your discussion with your manager a formal one. Show them you are serious in your thoughts, then only the manager (or anyone, for that matter) will pay attention.

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  • Why should not an employee complain about the quality of work they are given? If a company cannot provide technical growth opportunities it usually means it's time to move on to the next company. – datavinci Jan 24 at 11:15
  • @RohanPota The thing is - complaining about something without proposing a solution is called nagging. Also, how do you know the "company" cannot provide growth opportunities? There's nothing in the question that indicates OP tried anything at all to improve the situation they are currently into. – Sourav Ghosh Jan 24 at 11:17
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Since management is not offering any new kind of work to you I would take the initiative myself to identify processes/workflows that can be improved, then come up with a game plan on how to implement it with rough timelines.

This way you can choose what you want to learn and grow in. Once you have a plan figuered out you can pitch it to your manager and see if you both can come to an agreement. You likely can't completely abandon your current "low quality" tasks, but this side project will be good motivation and, if successful, can prove that you're able to take on more interesting tasks.

Now if your manager is not interested and refuses you to take on other tasks then this may be a cue to move on. It just demonstrates that management is not interested to offer you new work you want to excel in. Your growth should be important to your manager, and without their support it kills that growth. Something to think about.

All the best.

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