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I joined the company right after finishing college. I know both software and hardware design and they gave me a project which included both the software and hardware support. But I was instructed only to do the software part and hardware part was assigned to some other employee. I completed the software and gave them the demo but due to hardware problems the project was delayed, then finally closed. But due to this overall project performance was very low, but individually, for me it was good. We started the project again and I was responsible for both the hardware and software. Within 4 months I delivered 2 projects. My manager was happy and the project is now in production. But in a performance review meeting he told me to look for another job because the project was complete and there were no further projects. I don't know what to do. At the time of interview, they didn't tell me that they only have 2 projects to complete.

Do I have any options besides accepting the termination? How can I extend my time with my current company?

closed as off-topic by Lilienthal, Chris E, gnat, Lightness Races in Orbit, Xavier J Jul 11 '16 at 15:27

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  • 37
    Start hunting for a job – Ed Heal Jul 11 '16 at 12:43
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    I was going to ask if you have a contract, but then I thought about it and it doesn't matter. If they do not have any more work for you I would update my resume and get it out there. Sounds at least like your boss will give you a favorable review. – JasonJ Jul 11 '16 at 12:45
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    "At the time of interview, they didn't tell me that they only have 2 project." - maybe they didn't know that back then, plans might have changed. (It does seem a bit short-sighted to let the only one capable of supporting your work go, though.) I assume they're letting you work your notice and paying you for it? What do you want to happen - are you angling for some sort of wrongful dismissal? – Rup Jul 11 '16 at 12:45
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    Welcome to IT, where the work changes constantly and the rules mean nothing. Corporate made a decision, I hate this phrase, But, it's just business. – Retired Codger Jul 11 '16 at 13:46
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    The company is not obligated to employ you forever. I don't really get your angle here. – Lightness Races in Orbit Jul 11 '16 at 15:07
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The company hired you to do a certain job, but after having problems with those sort of projects they probably decided against it in the future. So now they no longer need you, which unfortunately happens from time to time.

Start looking for a new job, but ask your boss if he would be willing to provide you with a reference to offset the very short time you were with the company.

  • I'd love to know what the -1 is all about. What do you disagree with, mysterious down-voter? – AndreiROM Jul 11 '16 at 17:04
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It will be difficult to convince a company to continue to pay you if they don't need your skillset. You could offer to do other work but that could meant the company will want to pay you less, since it means a job change, and the available work could be for a less expensive skill set.

It's worth it to get as much information as possible on why they don't see future work for your skills... for example, are they outsourcing the engineering elsewhere? Are they getting out of the business? Are they overstaffed? It may give you some insight as to whether there are other job options in the company.

At best, you may be able to negotiate a layoff package, which gives you some time to job hunt. And in your next round of interviews, it's good to be able to be clear that this was NOT a problem with your performance, but a change in business direction - it may also be helpful to have a reference letter from your boss to that effect.

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It's happened to all of us. We get assigned to a doomed project and our reputations take a hit. While your immediate manager may well like the results, in all likelihood, someone higher up asked a very pointed question: Okay, if this guy made it work in 4 months the second time around, why didn't he make it work the first time?

I say this often enough that it is practically a mantra: Document everything. It's too late to help your current position, but the moment you see a dependency delaying your work, raise concerns as high up the flag pole as you can. That way you have a paper trail and, if an issue like this arrives in the future, you can go back to management and say:

"Yes, I know the project failed, as you can see, I raised many concerns during the process, outlining the risks and how they eventually ended up derailing the project. I think if we implement these changes (list changes) we can resurrect the project."

You may want to sit down with your manager and ask if you can be reassigned, or if you have any project ideas of your own, bring them up NOW before you're out the door.

Update your resume regardless and spin the failed/resurrected project as you coming to the rescue and saving a dead project that now works well.

Even if you could stay at your current position, the management of your company sounds fickle at best. They've proven to you that they do not value you as a person or as a worker, so think long and hard before dedicating yourself to a company that shows no reciprocal intent.

So, try to salvage your career at the current company or move on, but be prepared to move on with little or no notice if you stay.

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    Or, if you have project ideas of your own (assuming no company IP involved,) you could just pursue those on your own after leaving. – reirab Jul 11 '16 at 15:21
  • Why document everything? It will do little to persuade the higher ups. Basically his manager went to the execs and were like, "Hey this project is doomed the devs suck." They believed him without any evidence. – Dan Jul 11 '16 at 18:15
  • @Dan, because anything can come back to bite you. Also, on an interview for a future company, you can describe your diligence. As I said, the management for this particular company sounds fickle, but sound practice is sound practice. – Retired Codger Jul 11 '16 at 18:30
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As with AndreiROM's and bethlakshmi's answer, learn to portray this as a success. Interviewers will almost certainly ask about such a short period of work, but most of them will understand the situation of completing a project and learning that no more work was expected. I've personally used the "victim of my own success" to good effect at multiple interviews to explain one job I had where we completed our project on-time, but then faced an immediate layoff because the other teams had not completed their part. If you state your case simply and without rancor, especially if you can add a nice rueful shrug, it tends to go over well, especially if you have your former manager willing to back your story.

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