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It's my first job for that matter. It has been two months since I joined this job. I am a Linux Systems Administrator but clearly I feel I'm not being mentored as I should. My manager told a senior colleague to mentor me and another senior colleague to mentor another guy. That other guy is getting mentored whereas I'm not getting mentored by the senior colleague.

Neither am I being relied to do projects or tasks. They show zero confidence in me. I've anxiety, I know that, but at least I deserve a chance.

However, at the same time, I hear lots of praise from related managers. They say they love my dedication to learning new skills.

I really don't know what's going on? I'm seriously planning to quit this job once I feel confident of my skills and know I can get a better job elsewhere where I'm relied upon and trusted. Currently, I am dedicating day and night to learning various related things for the job so that even if I have to remove this experience from my resume, it won't look that bad.

What else could I do? Should I talk to my manager about the lack of responsibilities? The colleague in question also came at the same time as me but is receiving lots of responsibilities and is relied upon. Even though the responsibilities be as small as calling someone.

Update on the situation: I contacted the manager about this and asked for more responsibilities. But I'm still being under-responsible. They are giving me little responsibilities compared to the other guy. When I talked about this to my manager indirectly, he was telling me that the more responsibilities you've, the more the salary you'll get. My performance hasn't been bad at all. My flaws are I'm not a highly social person, but except that I am normal. Is this time for "quiet quitting"?

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    One of the hardest things to get used to early in your career is the pace of the workplace. In school, 2 months is almost a full semester and you will be ready to move onto the next subject soon. At work, 2 months is nothing. You're incredibly fresh and not expected to know how to do anything yet. What responsibilities do you wish you had?
    – Seth R
    Jun 25, 2023 at 15:43
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    Just to echo what @SethR said, even as a very experienced developer I always found the first month or so at a new job very, very, very difficult. Not knowing where anything is, what the configuration of systems are, who to ask questions of, what's expected, in some cases not even knowing the programming environment. I always compared it to putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Initially it's just a huge mass of pieces. As you put together the frame you start fitting pieces in place, and a picture starts to emerge. Give it time.
    – DaveG
    Jun 26, 2023 at 1:41
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    Just want to point out that some workplaces are just awful at onboarding new employees. It's not your fault (don't feel bad about it) but it is your problem and you're the one who has to deal with it. So as the answers say, it's time to reach out and establish the communication and mentorship that you need.
    – teego1967
    Jun 26, 2023 at 11:10
  • why is this getting downvoted? Jun 27, 2023 at 13:21
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    I don't know why it is getting downvoted. I upvoted, but I think the question is a bit too vague to answer. With some small improvements and more clarification, it can be a good question. Jul 8, 2023 at 10:48

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As a new employee in the workforce, it is incumbent on you to reach out to your mentor and/or supervisor when you lack direction. Senior people and managers are busy and they don't tend to look for issues but expect people to communicate to them. Explain the issue to your manager while letting him know all of the research that you've done but ask for additional responsibilities while speaking to your eagerness to learn. Communication is important in the real world... managers aren't like college professors constantly reminding you of a deadline, etc. That's a tough transition for some from college to the workforce. Good luck.

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    I am from India, I don't think it's culturally acceptable to be that direct. Jun 26, 2023 at 14:38
  • OP, you are missing the point. Your career is suffering and you deserve to be treated with dignity, not to have others feet be placed upon you. Do you expect others to be mindreaders?
    – Anthony
    Jun 26, 2023 at 15:01
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    @zeeshanseikh You don't "THINK" it is culturally acceptable? Have you asked anyone to be sure? I think the bottom line is that you need to take more positive control over your own career instead of sitting back, not communicating and waiting for someone else to help you.
    – rhoonah
    Jun 27, 2023 at 17:13
  • @zeeshanseikh I've worked with plenty of Indians that are extremely direct. If anything, they're way too direct, almost offensive, but definitely very blunt. Not my bosses either. Equal or lower. Could be a language issue, but I think successful ones learned to be direct, and are just over doing it due to language barriers.
    – Nelson
    Jul 11, 2023 at 3:18
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What else could I do? Should I talk to my manager about the lack of responsibilities?

If you haven't talked to your manager about this in the two months you have been there, do it now.

You should strive for regular one-on-one meetings with your boss where this sort of thing is discussed. I recommend weekly.

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  • I am from India, I don't think it's culturally acceptable to be that direct. Jun 26, 2023 at 14:38
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    @zeeshanseikh Please elaborate on your sentence. Is your job in India? Is it your own culture that makes direct questions unacceptable? Or is it the workplace culture that makes direct questions unacceptable?
    – Nova
    Jun 28, 2023 at 18:15
  • Job in India. I mean Jun 30, 2023 at 1:45
  • "I am from India, I don't think it's culturally acceptable to be that direct." THen look for another job because if you follow cultural limitations WHILE NOT GROWING IN YOUR JOB the next step is letting you go.
    – TomTom
    Jul 11, 2023 at 9:57
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Wait a minute, you're a Systems Administrator. Why would you need to ask your bosses for work?

I would die to be in your position. Systems Administrator are constantly told to do far more than they have time for. You should be looking into the existing systems and perform administrative duties, whether maintenance, cleanup, creating reports, writing scripts to monitor system health, understand the various architectures that exist, or anything else that are useful for your bosses.

I'm surprised that, being a non-social person, you don't end up loving this setup and just working with focus and no distraction. I'm an introvert and I despise meetings and micro-managers (~15 years of experience, very wide mix of skillsets).

And honestly, it's TWO MONTHS. I'm surprised you're able to do anything at all before 3. Spend the time to figure out what you are allowed to do and what you aren't. Who the loud ones are (just observe them). Walk around and familiarize yourself with the facilities, because you're going to want to know where everything is (outlets, electrical and network wire conduits, AP cabinets, server rooms, Wi-Fi booster sub-stations, etc.)

If you're actually social, then start talking to different departments and get to know what their pain-points are. If you're not, create monitoring systems that can tell you when something is not performing well (lowered server response times, poor per-client transfer rates, etc.)

The timeline that you give yourself to "perform" is much too short. A small company system administrator, with < 10 systems, I would expect an onboarding time of 1-2 months. Anything larger than that, and that's easily 2+ months, and probably up to 6. Obvious much longer if it gets more complex. The onboarding time shoots into the stratosphere once you consider legacy systems, systems from merger/subsidiary, custom-build department systems, Excel MACROS (I hate these things), etc.

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  • My heart loves this situation and like you said, I'm preparing contents of RHCSA, LPIC-1 in my free time but the point is what'd I say if I don't get selected in this job to my another employer? That I did nothing for 6 months? I just studied for 6 months? It sounds like a joke of myself. Jul 14, 2023 at 7:21
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You've said somethings in your question that indirectly imply that you have a slightly flawed model of how the workplace works. A lot of your discontent seems to be stemming from a comparison to this other new coworker. In school everything is fair, and deliberately so: you all get the same assignments and tests and are graded using the same rubric.

The workplace is not like this.

The could be giving favorable treatment to your coworker for various reasons: he/she is better at this than you, he/she is more personable than you, he/she got the luck of the draw, he/she has connections to somebody higher up, etc. It could just be they like his/her haircut better. It could be any, all, or none of that and (unless it involves discrimination via a protected category) it doesn't matter. Also kindly consider the possibility that you are making a mountain out of a molehill's worth of difference, we can't really judge but I'd sanity-check that with a trusted coworker.

But even if your coworker is truly being given preferential treatment, so what? How does his/her success in any way diminish you? The only real questions are whether you are getting what you want out of the job and whether the job is getting what it wants out of you. I get that you're young and ambitious, and you're absolutely right to not want to wait around forever in a sub-optimal spot, but you also lack any sort of frame of reference (which is presumably why you're asking the question, good on you).

Linux is complicated. It takes years to get good at it. Any time work isn't keeping you full up with more tasks than there are hours in the day that is an opportunity for self-directed learning and if you really want to make the fastest progress you can focus on that. There are no professional teachers in the workplace except for corporate trainers, and technologists are presently waaay too valuable to be used in that capacity.

Go learn how bind works and all about A records and cnames or something. Get good at Python and/or Bash scripting. Learn Ansible or Chef or Puppet. Learn vim. Learn some useful shell utils like jq, sed, etc. Master regular expressions. I mean I just came up with that list off the top of my head, I could do this all day, take the time as a gift and use it.

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My answer is strictly about this one phrase: "remove this experience from my resume".

That's usually not as good an idea as you may think. It draws more attention to the time period. People want to know that you were working and not in a situation such as prison, etc.

You want to make sure you leave on good terms, as this can stay with you for years.

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