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I haven't been assigned work all week. This is my first job/internship. Should I quit or stay longer?

sloan profile image Sloan ・1 min read

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I haven't been assigned work all week. It's hard to figure out who to talk to. I don't even know who my boss is.

Should I quit, or stay longer to figure things out? I feel incredibly crappy sitting doing nothing.

I'm a fairly skilled developer, but I've got no formal credentials. This is my first job/internship ever. Would quitting be bad? Would it reflect poorly?


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tomazfernandes profile image
Tomaz Lemos

Sometimes it can take a little time for the management people to find a suitable project for you to work in, or even a team. A new developer always takes some time to get into speed, to learn what the business is about and so on.

I’ve been in a situation where I spent the first two or three weeks in a job making online courses, but eventually things fell into place. And I actually used what I learned in the courses in the job, so there was really no waste of time.

I’d say give it more time, so you can find out what the job is really about. Then if it’s really not what you want, you can find another one.

Also, you can try to reach the person who recruited you to clarify the situation.

The fun part is when you actually feel like you’re making a difference, and it can be a couple of months before it happens.

Good luck!

kaydacode profile image
Kim Arnett 

Yes! Use the time to learn something new. Talk to your manager about what you can do in the mean time if theres any research that would benefit the team.

buphmin profile image

One of the best things you can do is ask. I can't imagine anyone being upset about you wanting to work and being proactive about it, especially as a new developer. If they do get mad about that then you pretty much have your answer right there. In the meantime try to get a feel of what the code is doing (broad scope) so that you are better able to take on work that does come your way.

jeikabu profile image

Great advice: 1) ask 2) be productive.

mauricehayward profile image
Maurice Hayward

No! In my internship last year my colleague and I had a similar problem.

We decided to make our own project! We went around the office asking people what problems they faced. We created a non trival web application to solve that problem.

Since we were new to web development, that project help us solidify concepts. And when actually got work, we were on point!

Take the initiative and create your own project !

shoupn profile image
Nick Shoup

Before you quit, talk to a co-worker about your dillemma. Find out who you report to directly and be clear about your situation. Internships are often about how well you fit in with the culture as it is about your abilities. If they hired you too be an intern developer you should find something to develop. I worked for a company early on when I was still learning programming and I went to a head salesperson when I was in a similar situation to yours. My direct manager wasn't very communicative about what I could do. But I know that the sales team used our data. So asked them directly if there were any projects I could work on. Needless to say they handed me a couple of projects to work on that I could help with.

If it still isn't working out, look for something else. But don't let your fears guide your actions.

jacobtstaggs profile image
Jacob Staggs

I held an internship for a year where I had maybe 3 projects. Those projects were busy work and basically made us rewrite it 5 times in different languages. Did I enjoy it? Nope. But with that spare time I had time to do homework, study, or even learn new technologies. Use that time wisely and it will not be as bad.

bgadrian profile image
Adrian B.G.

Maybe you can try a more pro-active approach first, find a problem and solve it, learn from their code and projects, move your chair near a friendly senior and observe them.

Bottom line is to take advantage of this opportunity!

mikkel250 profile image

One thing I can say is that the place I work for now started out like that... And only got worse from there (that being said I'm not currently working as a Dev, and it's not a software company). All of the previous advice is good, and pretty much describes what I did, but you may want to also consider looking for other opportunities as a fallback (I mean, you've got the time, obviously) if it doesn't work out. It may be an indication of a lack of organization/planning/generally-having-their-$hit-together (as is the case where I work), which may lead to frustration down the road.

justageek profile image
Brian Smith

If you need the income, never quit a job prior to finding its replacement, thought is my first thought.

whokilledkevin profile image

There are a few types of people: some can delegate tasks, some people prefer to make everything by their own. Maybe it's just a management problem and you are stuck in it. Best thing to do is have a talk about it and do not hesitate to leave if you see no reaction.

Though you still have time to study and it's the best. Take your time, do not worry. That's also an experience!