My role in the current job resulted more junior than what I did before. I'm not learning much and my responsibility is lower than at the previous companies. I was worried that this could be the case already during the interview process, so I asked. I was assured that the position is not junior and that my senior experience would be considered to shorten the time to a promotion.

However, several months in, when I asked my boss about the way to progress at the company ("what conditions do people need to fulfill to get promoted?"), he expressed how surprised he was that I even asked after "just 6 months" and that most people don't get promoted ever. He also said that the project I'm on (he selected my project!) is not one on which I could hope to ever get promoted. I'm supposed to stay on this project for another year.

Guys, I would love to stay with the company. It's a big corporate with plenty of interesting jobs. The problem is, I'm not developing my skills at all. I'm afraid I will become irrelevant on the job market if I stay longer than I need to (probably 1-1.5 year). I'm in tech.

I see 0 initiative from my boss to develop me in the direction of more responsibility by e.g. giving me stretch tasks or asking how I like what I'm doing. What would be your advice? Or am I having unrealistic expectations given that I've been with the company for less than a year?

Just one thing: I'm normally quite proactive, so even if my bosses don't give me interesting tasks, I'm normally able to find myself some to both learn and deliver value to the company. But at the current company it was made clear to me that I'm expected to stay in my lane.

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    Yes, absolutely! You need to look for another employer, and leave as soon you receive a good offer. Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 22:56

3 Answers 3


Can you apply for other roles internally without manager permission?

  • You have a manager who doesn't care if you grow.
  • You have a company that has no real plans for your growth.
  • You are on a project which has no real paths for growth.

So at the very least you need to get off this team. Whether an internal transfer is feasible is very company specific.

Is there a reason you want to stay if you are not in one of those interesting jobs internally? A friend of mine fell for this and is regretting it. He went to a company where they did lots of interesting stuff and took a crappy job to try and get into there. Problem is, they won't let people off the crappy team to the fun team as they have staffing problems on the crappy team. So while a company might have interesting work, it is irrelevant if you are not doing it and there is no way to get to doing it.

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    I don't think applying for another role is an option. Not in the next 1-2 years.
    – user532598
    Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 17:41
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    @terra_incognita could you try and hack around the recruitment process by applying using the external portal? Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 18:00

Since your boss has made it clear to you that you are stuck with your current role and project, there are two options you can explore:

  1. Find out if your boss is right about you being stuck on your current project, with no hope for a transfer to another project / team / department. To do this, speak with other senior colleagues or HR, discreetly, to find out. Or even consider going above your boss (speak to his boss). Note though that this may lead to a, perhaps unpleasant, confrontation between you and your boss.

  2. Take advantage of the extra time you have to do some industry certifications. Or even some short-term management courses. After your project is up, look for a better opportunity elsewhere, if you still don't see a future within the current company.

  • I think doing some courses to stay sharp is good, if the OP has free time but that wasn't clear to me from the post that they definitely do. (It sounds like it's low-level/grunt work, but that could still fill a 40hr week) Commented Aug 20, 2021 at 10:31

I'm going to be very frank, and I expect a lot of downvotes as a result, but I'm going to be frank regardless.

Is your job to learn or to perform work?

Is it your employer's responsibility to make sure you have valid and current skills in the market place?

Is it your employer's responsibility to groom you for a better job at another company?

At the end of the day, your job is to perform the work that is assigned to you and for which your employer pays you. It's your responsibility to make sure that your skills are current and up to date and that you remain marketable and valuable.

Your current job and your managers bluntness tells me that you're going to need to take whatever steps are needed to make sure you remain marketable and valuable. Your employer isn't responsible for your career progress, or lack thereof. It is not their responsibility to give you opportunities to grow, flourish, and succeed. It would be nice if it was, but it isn't.

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    Harsh though this answer is, there is value in thinking about OP's situation from this perspective too. However, it isn't as if OP was wrong to approach his boss, hoping for a mentor to help him grow and advance. Nor is it wrong for him to think about his own growth and professional advancement "selfishly" (like the boss / company does).
    – sfxedit
    Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 18:03
  • I agree to some extent. I am developing my skills to the degree possible. However, I'm in a field in which this is quite difficult out of corporate context. (Think ERP).
    – user532598
    Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 18:09
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    While true in a lot of workplaces, this 'answer' doesn't answer OP's question.
    – jcm
    Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 22:18

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