I work in a service based company from India, which provides software solutions to many clients across the globe. For every client (or account), some resources (people like us) are allocated. Our company pays the basic salary, the client pays our variable pay.

I'm stuck in a client based account in my company. I'm not yet billable to the client. It's the beginning of my career & I'm stuck on bench for the past three months. I'm not allocated to any project whatsoever. Every such account has many projects, and I'm not getting any for the past three months.

They did try to allocate me to mainframe projects but I rejected them as I was promised Microsoft .NET projects when I was interviewed. Right now they are just delaying the whole thing saying no position is vacant & all that stuff.

I haven't yet asked for release from this account yet but from what I've heard from my colleagues is that they simply won't & also may give poor rating.

As for not asking, I'd simply be stuck here waiting to get allocated to some project. Earlier they said I'm a replacement for some guy who's going onsite. That guy went & then they said there's no requirement for that position offshore. Again, they're asking me to wait for someone to go onsite

I do not want to just quit, as I'm a fresher & jobs are hard to come by in India. Also, I'll have to pay 50k to the company as there's bond for 2 years.

Should I ask for a release from this account or is there any other option?

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    What happens if you ask for a release from the account? What happens if you don't? Update the question with those details, as it is really impossible for us to tell you what you should do without knowing anything about your situation. – Masked Man Mar 24 '15 at 7:30
  • The situation looks unusual to me. Could you clarify some details: What is a "client-based account"? What do you mean by "stuck on the bench"? Are you not getting any work assigned? Are you being paid? What kind of company do you work at? What country are you based in? – sleske Mar 24 '15 at 9:05
  • I'm assuming this is related to our old friend the relieving letter, and you can't just resign and move on? – The Wandering Dev Manager Mar 24 '15 at 9:16
  • @TheWanderingDevManager: I'm a fresher & jobs are hard to come by in India. Also, I'll have to pay 50k to the company as there's bond for 2 years – Alok Mar 24 '15 at 9:25
  • Yes, so that affects the answer, in most other locales, you'd just start looking and move on. The India situation with bonds and relieving letters needs a different answer, and there are a few already on workplace so there may be something relevant already. – The Wandering Dev Manager Mar 24 '15 at 9:40

They may not be offering you any other opportunities because your response to the mainframe assignment may have appeared to be pretentious. Entry-level engineers are not really in a position to make such demands. If you're desperate to work, and they're willing to train you, you should take it. It won't last forever (2 years, maximum, from your description of your bonded obligation).

Consider the value you might have if, 10 years from now, some account needs someone who understands mainframe work, and you're one of the few people in the company that can help.

Of course, you must stay current on newer technologies so you do not become labeled as a mainframe-only engineer. There are ways you can do that outside of work, if you are willing/able to spend extra time investing in your career.

  • Although your answer is very good & I would have done the same but the thing is that once you're allocated with a project, you're mostly stuck there itself. I've seen people working 8-9 years on the same project & they don't get release even after trying really hard. Most of them end up leaving the company – Alok Mar 25 '15 at 5:55
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    @AlokChaudry, after your 2 year commitment is complete, it will be your choice to stay allocated to your project any longer. You will be able to leave without a huge expense. Be sure to build up your skills in your spare time so you can move in that direction when the time comes. – Kent A. Mar 25 '15 at 10:11

As far as I can see, there are two aspects to this question: the legal aspect, and the practical aspect.

Legal aspect

You signed a contract which stipulates a bond of 50k rupee for two years, and which guarantees you a basic Salary plus variable pay depending on your work for clients.

Whether you have any legal recourse depends on what else the contract guarantees (for example, what type of work, and what happens if there is no work), and whether a court will find these provisions fair and enforcable. However, this is a legal question, and off-topic here. Probably only a lawyer or some kind of help organization (like a worker's association or trade union) will be able to help.

Practical aspect

As you are unhappy with your current situation, you can try to improve it in various ways. What exactly (if anything) works will depend on your situation, but some things you could try are:

  • Talk to your manager, and voice your concerns. Don't complain about not having work, instead explain that you would like to contribute more.
  • Maybe you can be assigned to another client temporarily? Make it clear you'd be willing to go back if your current client needs you?
  • Try to find out if there is more work to do for the current client. Maybe you can start with un-billed work, so you at least learn something.
  • Ask your colleagues whether this situation is normal - maybe they can help you.

However, if this does not work out, your best bet is probably to get some kind of legal help, to find out how you can leave this employer which may be trying to take advantage of you.

  • Although they cannot drag me to court for the 50k bond, but they can & will update this thing on National Skills Registry due to which I won't be able to join any reputed IT firm in the country. – Alok Mar 25 '15 at 5:59
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    In your practical aspect, Im about to try the 1st point that you mentioned. 2nd & 3rd won't work in my situation. 4th point I did try but the guy was from another account & he advised me to give interview in some other account & don't tell your current account manager right now. So, this is what I'm doing right now. Let's see if they can poach me out – Alok Mar 25 '15 at 6:02

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