I sent a CV 3 months ago and changed jobs about 2 weeks ago - the recruitment process was pretty long, but the company has offered me to work in a foreign country, on a very interesting project, with interesting technologies I wanted to improve on in the future - great.

But it's an outsourcing company, and a week before staring the job, and 3 weeks after resigning from my previous job, they told me the project has changed and I will be working for a different client. MAYBE.

Right now, two weeks after I started, I'm sitting on a bench - there is no work for me, I'm waiting for a decision for which technologies(!) I will use, on which project I will work, and when I will start. Some people I've been talking to say it can even last two months.

I'm getting paid the full salary, but I'm bored, without commercial projects, and risking a gap in a career.

Is this normal? Is it okay to start sending CVs?

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    Why would this be a gap in your career? You're getting paid a full salary, so you're working for the outsourcing company. In your CV, you should firstly mention the time you worked for the outsourcing company and then if you want you can detail the specific companies you were outsourced to. – Cronax Mar 7 '17 at 14:42
  • Are you paid for this time? Do you have written contract? What's on that contract about idle time? – Mołot Mar 7 '17 at 15:45

It happens.

What can you do productively with that time? You learn new stuff. If your company gives you resources, then use them to learn and extend your current skills. Do whatever you can to make your time when you do start work more productive.

If there's a shortlist of technologies that your company is looking into, then research and learn all of them. You'll be a few steps ahead of your colleagues who have been staring at Facebook videos for all that time.

Even if you do get let go at the end of that period, you have at least used that time to give you benefits moving forwards and you have the notice period in which to start looking for another job.

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    In fact, you can ask your manager directly what you should focus on learning. – MissMonicaE Mar 7 '17 at 14:53

This situation is very common with consultancies, projects come and go and the situation changes every day. One day they tell you to pack your stuff and go to South Africa, the next day you still find yourself sitting on the bench.

My longest time on the bench was 3 months and have met people who happened to be there even longer and I have known experienced new hires who quit after 6 months on the bench. You need to be ready to commit and have trust that they can place you one day.

My advice is to mentally prepare to spend there up to 6 months always having a good explanation for potential oportunities including client interviews what you have been doing while on the bench.

If your company does not have anything for you to work on, then I would aim during this time to obtain relevant certifications in your field.

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I work for a consulting company with a bench, although my particular role is not "benchable".

One of the things my employer does is assign small groups of people on the bench to build prototype internal systems using new technologies. This seems to work OK as a training tool.

To echo another answer, if your employer values internal or external certifications, try to get some of them. A Microsoft/Sun/AWS/etc. certification is a tangible thing that demonstrates progress, provided it's gained through study and practice rather than rote memorisation.

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