What to Do If You Don’t Feel Useful

February 12th, 2019


You feel like the company is moving on without you. You see exciting new projects coming up, but other teams get the lion’s share of the work. Opportunities that might become fast-tracks to promotions and recognition don’t even come on your radar anymore.

In short, you feel useless.

But you can’t just sit on the sidelines waiting for someone to tap you on your shoulder. You need to seek out the opportunities. You need to make yourself useful.

Talk to Your Boss

Your boss might not know you want more action. They might worry about overburdening you and have purposely held back on issuing you new assignments.

Your manager also might not be aware of all your abilities. They don’t walk around with a copy of your resume cued up on their phone. You do your job and you do it well – at this point, that’s all they really know about your skill set.

Schedule some time to talk to your boss about the situation. Let them know you are looking for higher-level assignments. And remind them about the other qualifications you have that you’re currently not getting a chance to leverage on the company’s behalf.

Find Something New to Work On

You can’t always wait for your boss to notice you. They’re busy running the team and working to achieve their own goals. Your ambitions might get lost in the shuffle.

So, look for ways to create your own opportunity.

Seek out the projects you’d like to work on and ask to be assigned. Or develop projects of your own. Find situations that need addressing and write up a formal proposal on how to fix them.

At first, these attempts might not go anywhere. But your boss may start to see you in a new light. Once they recognize your ability and ambition, they might become more open to your suggestions. At some point in the future, they may grant one of your requests.

Learn a New Skill

Perhaps there’s a reason you’ve been left out of your company’s more interesting endeavors. Investigate whether you have a gap in your skill set that is holding you back.

If you discover you have a hole in your training, take steps to fill the inadequacy. Ask your boss if there are competencies you can add that will make you eligible for more interesting assignments. You can pursue the necessary training to bring yourself up to date.

Help Other Departments

If you can’t get the engagement you want within your current team, look for opportunities elsewhere in the company. In other words, if the breakout chances aren’t coming to you, go to the breakout chances.

Find out what departments get the most opportunities and look to transfer there. You may have to start at the bottom of the pecking order on a new team. But, eventually, you’ll be in line for the more interesting assignments.

Feeling engaged and useful makes for a more rewarding work experience. Teaming with a staffing firm can help you find a perfect position to utilize your skills. Contact SmartTalent today to find out how they can steer you to the ideal situation.

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