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Several years ago I began working at a start-up software company as a post-graduate. I initially signed on as the web developer, but over the years my responsibilities grew and grew and now I'm essentially a full-stack developer and sys-administrator for my company.

Initially when I started this job I got all my business requirements direct from managers and the CEO. For the past couple of years, however, management focus has been on solely on the software development on other projects of which I have little to no involvement in. There hasn't been a single day working at this job where I was actively working on something that I felt wasn't benefiting the company in some fashion, but the bulk of it was either self-invented work or a low-priority project somebody in some other department asks of me which may or may not ever be used.

It's starting to get to the point where I sometimes have to ask myself "why am I even working here?". Nobody at my company seems to have any stake at all in my work and sometimes weeks will go by without me having to talk to another human being in my office about the work I do. There always seems to be discussion of big projects "on the horizon" for me, but it never seems to come to fruition. I feel extremely under utilized, and I'm starting to consider leaving and finding work someplace else.

Is there anything I can do to improve this situation?

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    if you are are comfortable working on your own initiative and your employer seems to allow that, then have you considered creating a larger project to address a business need or improve efficiency? I've found that working off my own initiative and presenting a completed solution to a business need can go down really well if done right. of course asking for the time required usually doesn't, so I usually work on it between other jobs and present a complete solution only when ready. it might be that you are expected to be doing that sort of thing so the company don't think they need to set goals – nurgle Apr 3 '15 at 9:47
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Consider getting involved in those other projects. If you don't have the skills, it's a great time to acquire them. If the company focus changes, you need to be prepared to change with it -- and ideally to help lead the change.

I spent a decade on a project, and tried to keep it going despite it being de-prioritized and raided for manpower... and drove myself half-crazy doing so. (I know, "short trip!"). Finally I had to accept that the company now had other priorities, and wasn't going to reward me for my efforts, and I bailed out to another project. I still hate seeing all that work -- and some potentially games changing ideas -- being neglected, but manglement made their decision and all I could do was move to something they do care about.

Be flexible, or be broken....

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First of all, ask yourself if you really want to work for the company in the long run. Do you like what you do? Do you feel important? Do you enjoy going to work every day? If the answer is no, ask yourself if it's likely to change to the better. If not, look for another job.

I've been in a similar situation myself and decided to leave, only to realize I should have done it much earlier.

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Ask your manager to meet with you and say the following,

Initially when I started this job I got all my business requirements direct from managers and the CEO. For the past couple of years, however, management focus has been on solely on the software development on other projects of which I have little to no involvement in. There hasn't been a single day working at this job where I was actively working on something that I felt wasn't benefiting the company in some fashion, but the bulk of it was either self-invented work or a low-priority project somebody in some other department asks of me which may or may not ever be used.

There always seems to be discussion of big projects "on the horizon" for me, but it never seems to come to fruition. I feel extremely under utilized, and I'm starting to consider leaving and finding work someplace else.

Is there anything I can do to improve this situation?

You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish just by communicating with your coworkers. A good manager will want to work with you to improve your situation – and thereby also improve their situation – by making you happier and more productive.

Worst case, you'll discover that your manager isn't interested in your happiness or productivity, and that information will help you make your decision about whether to stay there.

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