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I'm having trouble working with my manager at Microsoft (I keep getting bad projects)

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Mid-Level Software Engineer at Microsofta month ago

He keeps assigning me projects where the visibility is low and it has made me immensely frustrated. I'm looking for a new job but in the interim any suggestions how to deal with my manager? This has been happening for quite sometime now. I talked to him about it last year and then he moved me to a development project which I did pretty well but after it was over he again assigned me low priority projects/tasks which are very tedious to do and not so rewarding.

I'm not sure talking to him will help me in anyway because he is aware of my interests but he keeps doing this and acts like this is the best he can do.

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Discussion

(2 comments)
  • 3
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    Eng @ Taro
    a month ago

    That does sound like it can be frustrating. Before you completely jump ship (and assuming you like the company and team you are on), can you pitch a project to your manager that has high impact and high visibility?

    I would try to paint a full picture of how you see your career right now and where you want it to be 6 months or 1 year down the road. This way, your manager can more clearly see how your work isn't aligning with the trajectory that you want to be on.

  • 14
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a month ago

    This sucks and I feel for you, but given that you work at Microsoft (an absolutely gargantuan Big Tech company), it's entirely possible that this is the best your manager can do.

    Companies like Meta and Microsoft have tens of thousands of ambitious engineers, all of whom are clamoring for more and more scope to get good ratings and push for promotion. These companies also have well-defined products where the work is far more incremental than 0 to 1. With these 2 realities, it's inevitable that engineers feel like they don't have enough exciting projects to work on (this is why Big Tech engineers flock to startups after a couple years).

    Given all this, I think you should assume good intent here. Your manager is clearly trying to some extent. They gave you a good project last year, and they're still coming up with more work to give you now. Many managers won't even do that.

    While I generally endorse some level of passive job searching, I think you should try creating your own scope instead of being reliant on your manager for meaty projects. This is actually the expectation if you're on the higher-end of mid-level (for Microsoft, this means that you're 62 instead of 61). Check out the playlist here for examples and advice: [Taro Top 10] How To Create Scope As An Engineer