A brief background of myself: I worked for 4 years at my first company as a software engineer. There, we only had 5 members, one position for one role: 1 software engineer, 1 database engineer, 1 senior network engineer, 1 IT support and 1 IT manager.

When the pandemic occurred, I had to find another job, therefore I went back to my hometown to find a job. Luckily, I managed to find one as a developer. I got 1 project from the current company, the project is small and the job is to add modules for business model and monitoring the user usage. I am alone in managing the project, while the company still has other projects that are already being managed by another team which consists of more than 2-4 persons. I have worked here for 5 months and the past 2 month has involved monitoring and waiting for new features or feedback from the users, while the other team is busy in integrating with a new system called SAP.

At my current place, I feel kind of left out or outcast maybe due to shyness or my unwillingness to start a conversation with other teams or people.

As time passed by, I managed to complete my user guidance as I don't have any work to do and neither am I having to help others. Lately I feel like I have Imposter Syndrome, because I never work with other persons before and I think because of this I'm not included in the other team, or have my own team. As a result, I am thinking of quitting this job.

The question is what should I do in the meantime? Or should I perhaps quit the IT industry altogether and try another field?

Note: Actually I'm not confident in my coding compared to the other team/people, because I never collaborate. And I'm 28 years old this year.

  • 1
    There is someone that you report to. Have you discussed with them what you should be working on when you are not busy? Nov 5, 2021 at 8:04
  • I do have one upper/seniority above me. I had a small pep before and he ask me to do monitoring for more 2 weeks. he himself also being occurred by other project. because of that, there are times I felt like, MAYBE this is the way the management want to cut a person Nov 5, 2021 at 8:09
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    The way management gets rid of people is they say: "You're fired". Don't assume you're going to get fired. Nov 5, 2021 at 8:10
  • Thanks for your insight. I think I assumed to much and thinking too much scenario. Nov 5, 2021 at 8:22
  • 29 years ago I was working (as an electrical engineer) on contract to a chemical process plant. Little was expected of me; plant maintenance just wanted me around for when there was something to do. My direct employer got paid either way. I spent some spare time reading reference material ad learning about the chemistry behind their products. Also, I played in a band back then and used downtime at work to write songs. (I still do that on the side. 23 years ago I married the main singer/songwriter/guitarist in the band.) Don't worry too much.
    – Theodore
    Nov 5, 2021 at 20:06

3 Answers 3


So, you think you might be getting benched. When you feel like you might be getting benched is the perfect time to find out if you're actually getting benched. Of course, no manager will ever tell you that straight-up, because they want to retain you for as long as possible (mostly to give them time to find your replacement), so you can't ask them straight-up, they'll always say "no".

Here's my standard answer to anyone who thinks they might be getting benched:

Step 1: Talk to your manager and raise your concerns. You can say straight up "I think you might be benching me" if you like; I would probably do that myself. Take the issue head-on and explain exactly what you're feeling and why. Tell your manager this is a problem for you and you want to know how you can work together to resolve it (of course, your manager benching you is their problem not yours, but you want to at least pretend to be accommodating, even if you don't feel that way).

Step 2: Listen to your manager's feedback, and listen carefully. Your manager will probably say something like "we have some more projects coming, they're being finalized, give me some time and I'll get you something". If your manager doesn't promise you a project, that gives you an opening to walk out and, as stated above, your manager wants to retain you, at least until they can find your replacement. If you are in fact benched, this will be a lie; if you are not in fact benched then this will be the truth.

Step 3: Find out whether or not your manager is lying. This is much simpler than it sounds. Ask your manager for a hard deadline on when they expect your next project to be ready for you to start working on it. If they give you a wishy-washy answer like "well, I don't know, it's going through the pipeline, blah blah blah", that's a lie. Otherwise, they'll give you a straight-up answer, and it will likely be sooner rather than later (within a few weeks). If the answer is more than 2 weeks away, I would treat that as a lie as well, because 2 weeks is about as long as it takes to find your replacement if they're already in the pipeline. Otherwise, the answer is within 2 weeks from now.

All of the above should happen in 1 meeting, no back-and-forth emails or multiple chats or whatever. Schedule a meeting, get this resolved.

Step 4: Polish your resume and start sending it out. Don't wait for your manager to come back with the project. The sooner you start applying, the less time you'll have to wait to find a new job. You can always withdraw from applications if your situation improves, so, just in case your manager is lying, start sending out resumes anyway. This is regardless of whether or not you believe your manager is lying; even if they've given you a deadline within 2 weeks, still start doing this. In fact, start doing this especially if they've given you a deadline within 2 weeks for your next project, for reasons below.

Step 5: Wait out the appropriate time that your manager has asked. If they said a week, wait a week. If they said 10 days, wait 10 days. Do not wait a single second longer than you were asked to. If, after that period of time, you have your new project, then great, you solved your problem and you're not being benched! However, if, after that period of time, you're still without a project, have another meeting with your manager and ask for "an update on the project". The goal of this meeting, for you, is not actually to get an update on the project; at this point, your manager missed their deadline, and that should be good enough to determine that they lied in the previous meeting. At this point you should already be prepared to leave the company (and you should have already applied and started interviewing elsewhere, as above). The goal here is merely to see what your manager has to say; personally I'm always a fan of giving the other person as much benefit of the doubt as I can and hearing them out if they want to tell me something. Probably they will give some excuse and extend their deadline. If they extend their deadline beyond end-of-day, that's a clear lie. Otherwise, give them until the end of the day and see what happens.

Step 6: You can at this point continue grilling your manager over why the project is delayed, why you feel disrespected, and so on, if you feel like it; you should already be prepared to leave the company so it doesn't matter to you, if you want to let your manager know how you feel. You can also simply drop the subject and continue your applications and interviews elsewhere and not worry about it. But either way, if you made it here, you are 100% being benched and should act accordingly. Functionally speaking, even if you're not fired per se, you are fired de-facto and you should act as such. You need to find another job ASAP, which is why you should have already started applying back in step 4 and you should already be a week or 2 into your job search at this point and have a few interviews lined up.

As for the rest of your question, it sounds like you just got a crappy position. This isn't what the software world is like, it's normally very collaborative. Find another job at another company and you'll be much happier, don't give up!

  • Thanks for your guidance and tips. Right now I'm thinking busying myself learn new things, ignore others opinions and thought while waiting for the time being. if the time is due, I'm will start applying to other company, worse case Freelance or start a business Nov 8, 2021 at 2:01

I see you've spoken to your manager about not having much to do, hopefully he'll be thinking about what else to get you to do while you're doing your "two more weeks of monitoring". You may have to be explicit and say "I have very little to do, I would like to be involved in another project". I know it is hard to be so direct, but ultimately you are trying to help them!

While you're waiting, there are times my job has been a bit quiet in the last few months, for example I'm waiting on something from someone who just happens to have gone on holiday. Anyway, I've taken the opportunity to do things that will improve my skills. Is there anything in the software you're meant to be working with which is annoying you or hard to work with? Maybe you could try and make it better? I assume its under version control so you can try stuff without worrying you'll break it. Or is there something you really want to learn? You could undertake some free training, or ask your company to pay for something (though then it has to be something they want).

  • There's something I want to learn such as ASP or python,. learning from scratch like CRUD first, but I don't know if the way I code standarized with the other, there's no way I ask them to teach me or give me a sample of piece of code. the other thing is there's always something bugged me, so we are all in one room, when there's a problem or solving problem I could listen to it, but can not follow up, hence I felt demoralize. instead I just read some stuff at the internet like quora, workplace and e-book regarding self-help Nov 5, 2021 at 9:25

It seems expectations are unclear from both sides. What do they expect you to do? How much authority do you have with your tasks?

If you were more confident with your code, I would suggest refactoring code to make future changes easier. Another option would be updating documentation.

If you have time to kill and a good relationship with the client, I would recommend shadowing someone who uses the software on a daily basis to see how they really feel about it. Find out where they get stuck, what problems they encounter, and any other frustrations.

Find something useful to do. Work hard on it. Even if your team don't see it, you'll learn a lot and it will be time well spent.

Why are you thinking of quitting IT from this one bad experience? If this company doesn't work out, find another one that gives you the support you need to grow into the professional you want to be.

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