am on bench

Are you off from the focus light, feeling nervous, worried, frustrated, left behind, losing patience, no sound sleep, confidence decreasing with days? HR and managers do not want to meet eyes with you when you come across them in office. Then Let me guess, ARE YOU ON BENCH? There, I get you.

These are the common symptoms seen in most of the employees in any industry, who are ON BENCH. Though you were a good performer till date, with no negative records in your past experience, being on bench is like “Toofan se pehle sannata” OR “Lull before the storm!” Yes, that urge to get into some x, y, z project, no matter how hectic it is, just because he / she can’t welcome any kind of shocks has become very common nowadays. Sadly there are even souls who are foolish to think about ending up their life without a second thought as they are on bench. Rather than thinking would I be allotted to a project, would I really get any new assignment here or will I be thrown out, will i get a mail from manager or HR etc.

When on bench think about the below mentioned questions:

  • Why am i moved to bench?
  • How do I utilize the time to the fullest (while on bench)?
  • Do i have knowledge on latest technologies / tools in my field?
  • Can I even rate myself 3 out of 5  in the skills I have in my field competing with the latest trend in the market?
  • How do I improve myself in my field?
  • Can i get certified in anything which can be showcased?

Answers to these questions and start working towards the same. This would surely get you back to track, keeping you busy, productive and acquire new skill set or improve existing one. A lot of time people get disappointed when they are moved to bench. Yes, its risky to be on bench but if one remains self-motivated towards achieving a goal this period is best to do so. As the famous saying goes;

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

But a lot of time people think bad / negative about themselves or think that they are not capable of doing the job and that’s the reason for being on bench. However that might not be the case all time. Possible reasons for moving an employee to free pool are as below.

  1. Project closed.
  2. Resources doesn’t meet the requirement or has a poor performance.
  3. Client has less budget and hence resources are cut-down.
  4. Internal politics in the organisation.
  5. Company needs to show case the available resources who can readily be allocated to the new project.
  6. (Rare cases) The resource requests for a change of project for valid reasons.

Facts / bitter truth if you are on bench:

  • Your resumes will have less weight-age if you are on bench for long time as your performance graph will remain stagnant. This will even effect the skills you learnt earlier if you don’t keep sharpening them.
  • If you are going for an interview next, you will be questioned about what did you do when you where on bench.
  • Most of MNC / large companies have ‘Bench Concept’ just to welcome new projects with ready resource count during emergencies but the count is limited.
  • If things are really worse, one might even get an email / call from HR saying that you might have to leave the company in so and so time and ask you to start looking for other opportunities outside the organisation.
  • Company will assign / allocate to a project or other internal work of lower grades.
  • You would be asked to learn a new and different tool / technology from scratch irrespective of you want to or not.
  • Everyone will start judging you and look at you with less respect and you would also be put on assessments to decide your capabilities.
  • Your hike / promotion will definitely be affected if you are on bench for longer period.

Also read: Are you satisfied with your job?

What do I actually do while am on bench?

  • Firstly, be happy you have an opportunity unlike others who are running a marathon while in actual projects. You got a chance to take a break, upgrade your skills to either match the requirement in the company or even for your ‘Dreamt-to- go” company.
  • Know the current market and prepare yourself accordingly.
  • A lot of time we complete the task assigned but we wouldn’t know why are we doing it. This is because our fundamentals are not very strong. Enhance fundamentals.
  • Go through online training’s, there are lots in lane. Choose the best suited for you.
  • Not only read / work on sample examples but try to implement a small project or something worth showcasing.
  • For many starting a project on their own is impossible; [e.g. a software developer can build a blogging application or a students portal or time-sheet tracking application or anything that you had ever dreamt about].
  • Appear for various entrance exams if you choose for higher education!
  • Get certified in the field you are worth to be and interested to be. Keep them handy, they are like desserts in your plate! Always highlighted.
  • Provide training to interns / juniors (juniors w.r.t to the technological knowledge) and you will build an experience in mentoring skills.
  • Invent new ideas or methods to improve the area of (Business / QA / IT) which ever field you are working.
  • Attend conferences related to your work / across the city, make new connections.
  • Needless to say, it isn’t as easy as spoken, but think wide! There are no limits in any fields! This results in a value-add and will surely raise you to heights.
  • Go for a small vacation as you never get leaves when you are in project. Relax your mind and then continue on your marathon.
  • Attend few interviews and evaluate yourself as per current market needs and trends. If you get lucky you can even change your job and during bench your notice period will also decrease.

STOP wishing and START doing! Wanting to happen and wishing to happen doesn’t help, make it happen.

Remember, sun not just shines but also burns so that it could shine. Tough situations will always make you a better being! Mistakes do happen, but it shows you are doing something. Its all about thorough planning and implementing the plan quickly. When things go well, you will surely turn back and be proud that you never gave up!

Note: If you are / were on bench or have knowledge on how to tackle the scenario or even come across difficulties or wish to share your experiences, please comment below. It would definitely be helpful to others as well as boost us to come up with more interesting articles.

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