I've been working for a year on a big consulting company, which I personally think it's a great place to work and the chances to grow as a professional are good.

I've worked on 3 projects so far, the first one was on a consulting project and the other 2 was on computer programming and development (which is not the reason I entered this company). Inside this company, only engineers (me) work on consulting while the rest of the guys (not engineers) work on development. In terms of internal company departments, engineers are not supposed to be working on development because we have a higher salary.

I asked my manager why they keep assigning me development projects and he stated somehow "We think you are good at developing because you are asian" which doesn't bother me at all. Besides, I'm not good at it, trainees are the ones who teach me. What bothers me is I'm not getting consulting projects which I'm supposed to be working on.

I'm not trying to say developers are worse or better, they just have different skills.

An analogy would be like working as a dishwasher on a restaurant when they hired you for serving food.

According to my co-workers, I should be patient and wait for a new project (hopefully on consulting). But I'm thinking of quitting and look for another job.

Since it is the second time this company has done this to me, should I keep waiting and have patience or just look for another job?

  • Do you think you can easily get another job? Quite often when working anywhere you may get tasks which don't really fit your job description. Not a nice answer from your manager, I have no idea what being Asian has to do with it. – Kilisi Apr 12 '16 at 20:25
  • Yes, agree with tasks. What I meant is the area I belong to. They hired me to work on certain area. Still belong to the same, but working for a different one. – user3546771 Apr 12 '16 at 20:29
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    Take it up with your manager again, if you're contemplating quitting, you have nothing to lose. – Kilisi Apr 12 '16 at 20:30
  • This initial statement "I've been working for a year on a big consulting company, which I personally think it's a great place to work and the chances to grow as a professional are good." is directly contradicted by the rest of your post. If you keep on doing a job you hate, your chances to grow professionally are not good. So I am with the others on this one, look for another job, and then quit. It's always easier to find another job if you already have one. – Stephan Branczyk Apr 13 '16 at 3:11

You can speak to your manager about your future career goals stating you strongly prefer the consulting role over the software development one. You need your manager to listen to you and give you projects that align more with your interests. If he gives more legitimate reasons as why you are given software development role (e.g. shortage of consulting projects or shortage of software developers), then this is less cause for concern.

While you mentioned that your manager's statement:

We think you are good at developing because you are Asian

doesn't bother you, it raises red flags for me. It makes me question whether he will listen to your opinions about your future projects.

Also don't quit your job before you have another one lined up. You never know how long the job search will take.

  • This reminds me of what an Asian friend who worked at CompUSA told me. They would put all the blacks to work in the stock room and they would put all the Asians in front of the store to answer technical questions (despite the fact that my Asian friend didn't know anything about computers and would have preferred to work in the back). – Stephan Branczyk Apr 13 '16 at 3:18

I ran into a similar situation with my first job out of college. It turned out that I was really good at this one project, and because I had the expertise I was not getting the chance to work on different projects to expand my skillset. Early in my career I didn't want to be too specialized. I had conversations with my management that didn't help, so I had one last conversation.

I told them what I wanted - someone to train to take over responsibility for the project I was on so that I would be available to do something different. I told them the timeframe - I would like to see progress in 6 months. I told them what I would do if things didn't change - I would start looking for other opportunities. They agreed that 6 months was better than two weeks to train my replacement, and that we would start working on it.

Fortunately for me, and maybe not so fortunately for them, my management didn't find a way to get me something new to work on by my deadline, and the job I moved to as a result of that was so much better for my career (and was less stressful). It actually worked out OK, because I did manage to familiarize a co-worker with the project so that when I left things weren't too disrupted and I left on good terms.

Know what you want and what needs to happen for you to get there. Don't be afraid to tell your management what steps they need to take to keep you engaged and happy in your position. If you like the company and the folks you work with, you should give them the opportunity to make things right and ensure they understand how important these things are to you. There is a risk that they don't value you as much as they should, and that they will tell you to go pound sand, but that's actually a really good thing to figure out before you spend too much of your time going nowhere.

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