UK based recent graduate working in an moderately sized engineering company (~ Just over 1000 employees) for about 2 years.
I'm currently working in a technical role, on a long term project. Part of why I took the role on was that it has involved quite a bit of training to do similar projects in the future, so naturally it seemed like a good development opportunity.
However, about 9 months ago my technical supervisor went on long term sick leave. It's also not clear if he'll be able to return at all at this point, because of the nature of his illness. His responsibilities got split between myself, another colleague working in my area, and our project manager. I appreciate that these things happen, but, I feel as though the company is dragging it's heels in finding a replacement for him. Part of me thinks this is because there wasn't any planning for this kind of thing happening, but it's been so long now that I'm starting to think it's something else.
The person who left was very experienced in my field (25+ years experience). A lot of his role involved signing off on technical decisions, and checking work that I was doing. However, since he's left there's no one really to do this for me. I'm left more or less to get on and do things, without anyone overseeing my work; which makes me feel very uneasy given I'm still early in my career and I'm aware I can overlook things sometimes, plus there's no help available to me if I get stuck on a problem.
I've discussed this with my line manager several times, but I don't feel I can really get anything out of our conversations. He doesn't have the same technical background, and is not and to devote much time to help me (he is covering another role as well as his own). The last couple of times I spoke, he stated that this would only be for a bit, and the situation would improve - this was at the beginning of this year.
I appreciate that it could take a long time to hire someone with an equivalent level of experience. However, part of me feels the company is using this as a chance to recover some costs on our project and save money. I'm being told more and more of plans to do new work soon, yet there's no news from management on hiring additional staff.
Additionally, I'm increasingly being asked to make technical decisions which I don't feel I can answer properly, because I don't know enough. Similar to before, I've misjudged a couple of times after being instructed to make a decision, and I feel this has resulted in damaging relationships with our customer because it was incorrect.
Currently, I feel this is the start of a worrying trend and that I should begin looking elsewhere for jobs. Am I right to feel like this or have I missed something? I've asked my line manger what his opinion on my performance is and he's broadly stated that I'm doing fine; but he hasn't said this in an official performance review. I've not had one in over a year and have no performance objectives set. I'm starting to feel increasingly alienated from my work, my colleagues, and the company as a whole. Is this normal? Is there anything I can do to alleviate the situation, or is my best bet just to search for something new?