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I feel like no one's engaging me at work to do anything useful. I'm not sure if it's just the time of year or the amount of work at the company as a whole. But this has been going on for a couple months now.

I notice that when new work comes up in meetings, my name is never mentioned. I'm getting a little worried about this and I wonder if it's time to to start looking. No one has come to me recently to complain about my performance or work recently tho that has happened in the past. I don't think my mistakes were egregious or destructive.

I have asked my boss if I would continue working on the projects we are working on. However that work never materialized and it's usually given to others.

I want to ask my boss for more work, because I don't feel I'm being utilized enough, and I am really bored each day. Plus I want to be useful!

What's the best way to ask my boss for more work? Is there anything wrong with just saying "Hey! Is there anything you want me to work on?" What if he says that there isn't?

Or is it best to look for something else?

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If there's no immediate upcoming projects, then you're usually expected to either look at the backlog, see if there's anything old that could do with modernizing, get documentation up to date, or just learn new stuff.

Ideally, you start with asking your manager what's in the upcoming pipeline in terms of project work as you're running thin on work. This should lead to you learning what the long-term plans are and planning to meet them head on. Don't say "I'm bored, I don't know what to do next" as you're at risk of being let go. Assume there's something in the pipeline coming up and lead the conversation in that route.

Only start looking for something else if you don't like the company that you're working for.

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"What if he says that there isn't?"

Suggest something. After several months in a company, you should have some ideas where you could make contributions and help would be appreciated, even if it's just the grunt work that nobody wants to do. Don't wait until you are engaged, instead show some initiative. Once, you have a reputation for being reliable, more work should come your way.

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  • Thanks! I am actually working on some documentation, but I would like to be more useful and there doesn't seem to be a lot of work at the moment. Is there anything wrong with saying "Hey, I'm working on some documentation. But I wanted to see if there was anything else I could help out on?"
    – user99201
    Dec 14 '20 at 15:25
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    Just an example: "Hey, I'm working on some documentation and when doing that I've noticed that we could have better test coverage. Would it be okay, if I used a few hours per week to work on improving this?"
    – Roland
    Dec 14 '20 at 15:32
  • OK that's a good example. Thank yuo!
    – user99201
    Dec 14 '20 at 15:34

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