Diary of a Junior Engineer...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by wimic, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. wimic macrumors regular

    wimic

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Location:
    calgary, alberta
    #1
    I recently graduated from university with my B.Eng in civil engineering. I'm working for a consulting company here in Calgary, AB (Canada), along with a good friend (and fellow graduate) of mine. There's only one problem - I never have any work to do! There's lots of work going on around me, and the more senior people seem to be constantly run off their feet with work. It's almost like they can't justify taking the time to give us work because it a) takes time to come up with suitable tasks, b) would take us a little longer to complete the task, and c) it's just plain easier for them to do it themselves.

    Here is my question to you: Is it an employer's responsibility to provide an adequate work load for junior employees?

    I have a lot to offer and I'm ready and willing to help in any way I can, but it seems that every time I ASK for work, I get stuck with a task that is neither interesting nor important. My boss is very easy to talk to and I've explained to him that I want more work - and he assures me that soon I'll have more. But soon never seems to come. It's been over a month now.

    I'm a very competent worker, and my boss has commented a number of times that he's very pleased with my performance. It's just discouraging when you're not given the opportunity to fulfill your potential.

    Any comments?
     
  2. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #2
    You've said it yourself, you're a junior employee. There is a shared responsibility with you and your employer to be sure you stay productive and busy. You're new and young which means when you ask for work you will more than likely get stuck with menial, tedious work that the other employees don't want to do. To come out of college and expect to be thrust into the middle of a big project with a lot of important work is very rare and naive. Employers will want to test you with the trivial menial tasks to that they don't jeopardize a project by counting on someone with very little experience.

    The best advice would be to suck up the tedious boring work, and do it when assigned and ask for more any time you are not busy. If you can try to find ways to improve the process. If it involves anything with the computer that can be scripted try to figure out a good way to script it to save yourself and the company time and effort. After putting in your time on the lower rungs you will be rewarded as your work gets recognized and eventually you will be given interesting and important work.
     
  3. wimic thread starter macrumors regular

    wimic

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Location:
    calgary, alberta
    #3
    it's not about me wanting to jump right into things head first. i understand that there's a hierarchy... but i haven't had ANYTHING to do in the past month... it's frustrating is all.
     
  4. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    American Riviera
    #4
    I agree with atszyman about finding ways to improve the process at work. Look around, see what is keeping all of those senior people running around all of the time, and take advantage of your current down time to think about ways you could make it more efficient. As a more senior engineer I would be pleased if a new person could suggest a way to make my life simpler. Remember, you can add value to the company in a variety of ways, try and be a bit creative.
     
  5. ToddW macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    #5
    It is like this for all engineers coming out of college into the work force. I surfed the internet and back for my first month. Finally I took enough intiative to start asking for work more and more and a year later I had my own project. It takes time but eventually it works. Got ot your supervisor or cheif engineer and ask for stuff to do. You might end up doing crude data analysis or spreadsheets but it all pays the same. Hang in there!
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    I agree w/what atszyman said too. Going from college to the "real world" means starting over as a "nobody" again and working up from there. If after 6-8 months you are still only getting the same menial tasks I'd have a talk w/your boss about it. But until then just keep letting him know when you don't have much going on and don't bitch about what tasks he gives you. Your boss will appreciation your "pro-activeness" and that you are willing to help out the team even if it means doing grunt work.


    Lethal
     

Share This Page