My Boss doesn’t want me to WORK..

Hi Amit,

This is my first mail to you and I would like to share that I’m really liking the stuff you send on a regular basis. I am honored to be part of your mailing list.

My purpose of writing to you is to share about my new job in HR and I seek some solution on the same. I hope that you will help me out.

Presently I am working in a Hospital as an Executive – HR (Training and Development) and I want to really work hard but somehow my Sr. Manager – HR (female) is not giving me enough work from the last one month after I joined them as a full time employee post completion of my training period. Its really frustrating for me to sit idle the entire day.

To develop a better understanding, let me explain in a little detail to you. Before joining this hospital on-rolls, I was with them for a probation period of 3 months as a Trainee – HR. During this time, I used to make presentations (visit entire office/hospital) by taking pictures of misconduct (if any) in the hospital as well as gathering training requirement from the various other departments. I completed my job as a Trainee and since April, I am on their rolls as an Executive HR in the hospital. Now the problem is that since I have joined them as a full time employee, my Manager is not giving me any work to do. I asked her to clear my role and assign work so that I can be engaged but she is not willing to give any independent responsibility to me.

Daily I am asking her to allocate some work to me but nothing is happening. There are only 7 people in the entire HR department including me and my Senior Manager HR. There are around 1000 employees in the hospital hence work is there but I am been kept out of it. All the current HR team members with me have less than a year of experience and I have in total 5 years of experience but unfortunately I had to discontinue my job after getting married on account of some unavoidable circumstances. So there is a gap of one year in my present job and my last job.


I am not getting the correct way to handle my manager who was appreciating my work during my Training period and I really don’t know what went wrong that she is not asking or even giving any responsibility to me. This is sometimes becoming very frustrating for me.

Can you please suggest some solution or approach which I should adopt as I am not in a situation to leave my  job and sit at home doing nothing. 

And also can you please suggest me the work which I can do which can help me make my own place in the HR department. Culture is good here …no politics…no unfair treatment to people…….. ALL IS WELL and good here

Please suggest me what should I do.



First of all understand that the organizational dynamics changes when you join them as a full time working professional. As a trainee your work was appreciated, but that doesn’t mean you will get a similar recognition after you are employed with them. The quantum and quality of work suddenly changes. 

The organization starts expecting a lot once you join them as an employee. When they are paying you, they expect jobs to be finished in a more professional manner. The level of expectations from a Trainee and that of a paid employee is quite high and you would have to work harder to prove your worth.

In our company, when we hire trainees, we assign projects and expect them to learn and work sincerely. Some take their training period seriously while majority just want a Training Certificate. We appreciate if they perform as per our expectations however, in case they don’t deliver, it does not hamper our mainstream work as we have already given them non critical tasks. How much keen they are in taking up vital tasks forms the basis of giving them important and critical assignment from our end. Otherwise training becomes just a mere formality for both of us. 

You mentioned that as a trainee you performed well and got an offer from them to work full time. Its an achievement and you should feel good about it. After all you must have done a good job in your training period. Happiness is a great motivator and one should celebrate small victories to keep the spirits high and flying. 

There is a bigger responsibility on your shoulders now. You need to take your calibre and performance to the next level.

Ambition is the DESIRE to get what you deserve. Reckless ambition is the desire to get what you deserve whether you deserve it or not.

As an HR professional I can say that communication resolves many issues.  However, this medium must be used effectively as over usage can turn relations bitter.

None of us like people banging our doors again and again, when we don’t want them to come in.

Your constant follow up with your manager to assign work, can irritate her. You never know she might have some different plans for you. May be she wants to observe initially before giving critical assignments to you. I think learn the organizational dynamics and wait for some more time before asking quality work from her.

The management needs to build trust in you and ensure that you settle down first. May be they are testing your patience (which is an important quality required in HR) and are waiting to see how you react.

Keeping an individual idle is the biggest test of patience.

My advice to you that since you have recently joined on rolls from April, don’t be restless and give some more time to them and to yourself.

Few suggestions from my end. Hope they help you.

  • Give yourself and the organization time to understand each other.

  • To get yourself acquainted with the organizational procedures by reading their manuals, policies etc. Meet more people in  the company and understand their job profile.

  • There is this thing called Job Description (JD) for any role in an organization. You can ask your manager to share the JD for your role. In case there is no JD, you can create one by taking support of your boss.

  • Do whatever work (even small) assigned to you with full sincerity and loyalty.

  • You mentioned that the culture is good and favourable. Try and become a custodian of the organization values and heritage.

  • Give your 100% in the training and development initiatives. Sit with people and interact with them and identify gaps in skills and how can you cater to their training needs. Prepare a summary report and present it to your boss.

  •  Looking at your work history an association for at least 2-3 years with a company is good as continuity is maintained and you have a pretty decent resume. Recruiters don’t consider you a frequent job hopper.

  • Try to be more pally with your boss. Don’t irritate her by asking for work again and again. Instead try and find out what she likes doing and how she spends time when she is not working. This way you can establish a connection and discuss on topics that are of interest to her as well.

Last but not the least, stay calm and composed and don’t let small obstacles shake you in any way.

Let me know what you think and how things changed after implementing my suggestions. Do you think they will work or not. Let me hear your frank feedback in the comments.

  • Christina says:


    I agree with the reply made on this query by the author. In addition, would like to mention few more points just like –
    1. As a new comer first observe and learn the activities,
    2. Try to understand the flow of work, how others working, what are the strategy, departmental objectives and goal (if any).
    3. Follow the position description. If not any then try to prepare a fixed one and get approved by your supervisor. It will make your life easier.
    4. If there is any ongoing T & D program, align with it voluntarily. These are not the final solution, try to use your common knowledge. You are the best solver for your problem. You try to understand why this is happening, is it intentional or occasional or why?

    Hope you will find a solution.


  • sivaram says:


    It happens sometimes in the organisation, when the boss does not like the subordinate for whatever the reason be!

    The above points are very true and useful to engage himself and get rid of the stress.

    In addition to the above, I would like to just say that he can talk to his boss with open mind at her free time and convey his interest rather feelings without irritating her, by which he can understand what made him to sit idle (I feel there is something which made her to do like that. It may help him not to repeat the same in the future. If needed, he can apologize for it).

    He can also come up with new proposals/initiatives, with his previous experience, that is missing in the organisation to her for the development of people capability and efficiency. Sometimes it may be accepted and he might get a chance to lead the initiatives.


  • Jackson Ajieh says:


    Reading through your challenges you are having at work, it’s very obvious that you are working with a boss that doesn’t want to share knowledge and may be she have negative impression of you about the way you always asked her for delegation of job which that in one way or the other has made her to have another thought.

    One fact, could it be that you are not still loyal to her as u use to be when u were on training? Or could it be that since you have been made a permanent staff of the hospital u have changed in personnel relationship.

    Please check your ways of dealing with your boss and your behavioural system when it comes to work place.

    JOB SUGGESTION: there is what we call Senior Staff Destination (SSD),its a weekly chart flow of personnel. I have more to suggest to u after now. When you are loyal to your boss in H.R office you will enjoy working in the department. The department is the best department to work. When I just started working in H.R office it took me 3 months to make my boss to trust me because I know my job and I was loyal to him and even on his behalf I know what to do all time. Sometimes, I manage the office for a month when he’s out for training.


  • Neeti says:

    Hi Amit,

    Best way to find work for yourself is to get the KRAs of all team members of your department. Identify gaps and suggest to your boss to assign you tasks where you see potential of your work getting identified. Don’t snatch work of others. Define your own KRAs and seek her approval.

    Patience Pays !

    All the best !!
    Take Care


  • Dolan Jack says:

    To add it to all points raised above, the other alternative is to request for a job description from the boss and get her response and make that as an entry point to approach your boss.

    From there, u can now express your feelings because you are not guided on what to do since you do not have guidelines (JD) of your job to perform. Be open to your boss and show him that you really need to work but you can not at the moment because you have no direction.

    ITs your job given to you and you are trained to it, so dont be scared to ask because you know your roles and responsibilities from the training you did; all you need is the offer of a job description. Dont be ignorant to just stay idle otherwise you end up doing other peoples’ jobs! You have the right to claim the JD express your needs and as a learned and experienced boss, she will notice that you know what you are supposed to do.


  • Saichandhr says:

    Hello Young HR,

    This is Saichand,i have gone through your posting.I would like to suggest you to keep the following things in your mind:

    1) You should create good relation with your Boss.

    2) Be with patient.

    3) Express your interest of doing tasks in such a way other than verbally.

    4) No need to worry about the gap b/w your current job and previous job.Try to learn the new concepts in HR.

    5) You should have good employee relations.

    6) Try to work in a team rather than individually.Team work will gives you good results.

    7) Don’t think like the employees around you are having less than 1yr experience feel all of them as your colleagues.

    I wish you all the best.



  • Ihab says:

    Hi Amit,

    I am Ihab; according to me what you have mentioned I think the problem of your boss is that she does not want you to work has a past issue or case and has took place during your probation period (as trainee) that does not mean negative case perhaps was positive but now is negative (from your boss viewpoint )…..!! Ok let me demonstrate this…

    As you said: Your boss was appreciating your work during your Trainee period but now not!!!! The question here is why????. So from my part the reason is not your professionalism in work (because you upgraded from trainee to staff) but the reason behind all this is your ATTITUDE, I do not mean it is bad but currently it CHANGED ……….

    Please think about the below it is just guesses but perhaps it took place

    *As a trainee you were keep going to your boss office and say Good Morning, How are you But now after you became staff you say good mooring but when you meet your boss in office. (maybe your boss took it personally)

    *As staff you became closer to person (from your team) and this Person whither he/ she has a misunderstanding with your boss or this person is a Lady and when you were a trainee there is not appear and close friendship .( Jealousy ).

    *After you became staff maybe there is a person conveyed unreal information to your boss(gossip).

    So solution here is to find out a bridge to connect you with your boss and this bridge is to find activities and new ideas that make you as initiative person rather than waiting to do duties.

    I suggest to you the Morning café activities as below.

    *Prepare for morning cafe gathering (all team sit together boss) to be weekly that is to sit together and present, discuss or converse casually for one hour any topics or new ideas …..etc.

    *Prepare for morning cafe gathering with other departments (Monthly) and suggest that you will participate your boss to visit and sit with other departments for one hour morning café to reflect the brilliant face of HR.

    The above is just suggestions and attempt to help you and I hope to hear good news about you.

    All the best :)

  • Dr. Manisha says:

    Good busy without the job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just joking

    Take a chill pill with this issue .Don’t panic and try to take views about yourself from peer group if anything serious is happening with you.

    Sometimes seniors try to observe your behaviour for some days to assign you some new TASK AND DUTIES. SO WAIT AND KEEP THE WORK GOING which you feel important and open avenues to learn where you are.

    Dr. Manisha

  • Scola says:

    I would suggest you stop asking for assignments, though you did complete probation your boss might be still assessing/observing you. The fact that you have been confirmed as a member of the team indicates that you are already doing well so be patient. If I were you I would volunteer to help the other team members with the the tasks assigned to them. Come on try to use teamwork skills. Congrats on your new job though

  • Jonah Gilmai says:

    Hi Young HR Manager,

    My name is Jonah.

    I would like to add a comment to the above problem.

    My suggestion is the you refer to the job description (JD), if there is one. If there is no JD, then create one for yourself. JD is equally important because, your job depends on the JD. Your duties and responsibilities are based on the JD.

    Please take note of all the previous comments.

    Have a nice day!

  • Ahmadshah Nejati says:

    Dear Amit,

    As per the circumstance that you told me i assume there is a misunderstanding between the subordinate and the manager. She need to sit with her and ask her to provide her TOR in order that can lay down her performance objective and she can go ahead with the rest of the year, in order if there is no communication between her line manager.

    I am sure she will be more effective rather than the organization and HR department, so politely send her an email and ask her in the email very professional to give her a change for a small meeting and on the meeting tell her that she has such a achievement, job performance , etc,,,, and tell her that she is looking for challenges in order that she can be fruitful for the team , or her and overall for HR Department and organization otherwise this gaps in her communication as HR Generalist i am sure it will not be good an approach for her career.

    Thanks and regards,

    Ahmad Shah Hussain Nejati (Mr)

  • Parvez says:

    It is nice buddy, why is she taking so much tension. If she doesn’t want to give work load to her it is fine.

    Try interact will the hr person and whole hospital administration. Do not ask for job but be ready, if future, in any meeting if she will ask some questions she must be ready for it.

    HR is all about to satisfy the ego or your sr. and colleagues. Try to be proactive and enjoy your job.

    Nothing to be serious.


  • Victoria says:

    Hi dear,

    Sorry for what she is currently facing in the HR department.

    Straight to the point ,i first asked my self why its that way but when i focused ,i got a thought.

    The thing is in most cases ,managers like trainees but when they become confirmed, they become insecure of the trainees and therefore,they tend not to care about them any more.

    But the solution which i give is:

    1.Learn how to handle her/him so you may not crush and she/he gets an excuse to terminate you.

    2.Share with her (in a more indirect way)that you appreciated his/her work of training you but you don’t intend to replace her/take away her job/position but rather you enjoy it when you work together.

    Another things is ,some times when we are confirmed,managers tend to think that we are now well conversant with the work politics and therefore they tend to give us space to make certain decisions on our own.

    So i suggest that you help yourself by at least figuring out what needs to be done and then you do it, like probably filing,Employee supervision and follow-ups,knowing their leave days and finding out
    what they what.

    This will help her not to undergo hypo stress.

    Hope you overcome the problem you are facing in the department.

    Best regards

  • Mercy says:

    Hi Amit,

    Interesting experience there.

    After your 3 months’ period of probation and the report given about the Snr. Manager being happy with her work, I would have expected things to be a little smoother for her. However, since this is not the case, don’t lose heart. Maybe the way she is “asking” your snr. manager to assign her duties is not coming out well for her. She probably feels threatened by her wanting to take on more assignments and responsibility. (By the way, does she give her other colleagues assignments?)

    I would suggest that she sit with her during a coffee/tea break or any other time she can create to get her opinion on the areas that would need to be attended to by the HR department and how she feels she can help in addressing those issues. (Don’t point out the areas needing attention herself even if they are glaring you in the face). By doing that, you let her remain in charge while at the same time not
    appearing overly ambitious yourself.

    Suggest that she carry out the assignment together in the first instances where possible and if not, keep her up-todate with her progress. Give a full report of her activities on completion of assignment and appreciate her support both morally and otherwise.

    Start with small assignments and gradually she will feel more comfortable rather than apprehensive about you wanting to take on additional responsibility. For now, I think she feels like she want to usurp her powers hence the reluctance on her part to assign her duties.

    The whole issue hinges on communication, which can be both verbal and non-verbal. Control your body language to send the right vibes that are reassuring to your manager. Remember, its the non-verbal communication that tend to come out loudest and at times to our disadvantage!

    Wish you the best in this endeavour.


  • Manjunath says:

    Dear Amit Sir,

    Every organization are having different kind of culture, HR aspects to maintain a healthy work life, but way of adopting/implementing is different, again that is depend upon the nature of organization And in the structure of organization, we may find the various steps from top level to grassroots level where you may find culture, vision, innovations, creativities in the system and meantime we need to generate the atmosphere and working conditions more positive, we only create the freedom, we only
    attain the responsibilities.

    Thanking with Rgs,


  • Nancy says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience
    All your suggestions are important but the time to implement them is much as important as they are. There are two perspectives to the circumstance, one the boss feels threatened and secondly, it is a test of patient. In order to understand which perspective it is be creative and get involved in understanding the organization more as you give your boss a bit of time to assess the reality on the ground but don’t bag her for duties.
    I think this would help in passing the test.

  • Ragima Rao says:

    As an “Executive” you dont expect your manager to allot work.You should be able to think independently and work yourself in the area of training.You should tell your manager ” this is what I want to do”.I dont think your manager will object to your initiative which presently appear to be lacking

    R Rao

  • BK Sharma says:

    Few things stand out

    1. If what you say is true that the culture is good, if that be so then you need to examine yourself. There could something be wrong with you as well.

    2 As an experienced executive you should know your job whic is cut out as trg manager. You could ney SHOULD do the following immediately:

    A Compile an inventory of training resources
    B Examine old training schedule of training and make a proposed trg schedule
    C Examine old annual reports to and collect training needs and check with Dept Heads to collect current trg needs

    Collect all this data in presentable form and make presentation in the form of action plan and send it to Hr head or better discuss with her.

    I am sure these will get some response from her. In case nothing happens get back to me

    B K Sharma

  • Parul says:

    i thnk shez jst chckng ur patience…meanwhile keep an eye on d hr activities n frgt abt leavng ur job n sittin idle…act responsibly n be patient..jst hope she vl undrstnd….

  • Claire Simpson says:


    Your Snr. Manager is suffering from job insecurity. she fears you may take over from her if she gives you more tasks to perform or delegate certain tasks for you to perform. And she does that so you get fed up, frustrated and resign or something, That will let her feel secured. that’s what she has an intent to doing in long run. some possible solutions are that you may go to her if you don’t already do that and ask whether there are tasks to be performed so you may assist. if she turns you down, try and raise your concern to another person of the same level with your boss. (you are no longer a trainee but a staff of the HR dept. and you deserve to work to improve on your skills.) That person should be respectful and affable in the company. the person can talk with your boss on your behalf. perhaps you might have done something she didn’t like (but she should communicate that to you for you to know where you erred) so that person can find out fot you to bridge back trust and good office ethics.

    Leaving is good but not advisable until you exhaust all the possible channels to solving the prob. Try think about forming a consultium into payroll administration. many companies and HRs find it boring to go through this process and may intend to do outsourcing for it. you can take advantage of it perhaps. i don’t know your country that much though.

    Hope i have been of help kinda


  • Jyoti Anand says:


    In the situation described I have following suggestions :

    1. Have you been given your JD ? If yes, then, you need not be asking for task/work on a daily basis. If not, then, ask for your JD or have it defined!

    2. I think you need to do some straight talking with your senior i.e. have a 1-2-1 (one-to-one) meeting and sort out (amicably ofcourse) !

    3. During your Trainee period you will have discovered OFI / AFI (opportunities / areas for improvements) which could be pursued till your JD is ready or some specific task is given to you.

    4. Needless to say but you will keep the record of all work done by you until such time that your role is defined !

    5. In review meetings you could bring up this matter about you not having proper JD or work schedule.

    I hope the above suggestions could provide some solution !



  • Caribbean Girl says:

    I agree with Jo. Especially the the JD. This is your guide to your responsibilities. If you have a JD then you should work within its boundaries. if the boss is assigning tasks which are within its boundaries then there is no need to complain. If you believe that the tasks assigned, though within the boundaries of the JD, are minimal then I think your efforts should be directed to requesting a review of the JD and not a request for new assignments.

    Caribbean Girl

  • Jamal says:

    i think you must be start to development your self by put a plan about the training company need and then delivered the report to your boss then ask him about his opinion

  • Sharan says:

    Hi Amit,

    I saw your suggestion about this topic.

    Could you please let us know calm for how many months…… I’m calm for more than a year expecting that I may have a better future in the company but the output is that almost i have become a secretary than the role that i have to play as per the KRA given to me.

    Problem is if the secretary kind of work is not handled then during the performance appraisal i am told that i’m not a good team player. Finally to keep myself busy I started pursuing my distance education MBA – Here during exams when leave is applied for the supervisor reacts as though they are doing some favour inspite of having sufficient leaves in the account.

    Let me know how do I handle this situation…..


  • Amit Bhagria says:

    Hi Sharan,

    I can understand your situation and what you must have gone through. I think there was a difference in what was promised and what was given to you. Is this the fact?

    Was the role not made clear to you before joining? Were you hired for an HR role and afterwards it convereted into a secy role?

    All and all if you are finding the current job not inline your passion or expectations, I would suggest you to move ahead and look for some other good opportunities. That ways you will feel happy and work hard in delivery.


  • Shipra says:

    If the manager didn’t give any JD? not giving time to get approve things? only negative comments (not on work, on other things?)

    No fix work is assigned? negative things to other


    really nice to see your suggestion


  • Shipra says:

    all suggestions are really useful…hopefully i will do good by considering all suggestions.. :)

    Thanks to all I’m blessed


  • Omar says:

    Hi Amit,

    Well Amit, am very much greatful to have on the young HR managers’ site, because i got a lot from u to develop maself with. But inregard to ma view, it’s unfortunaty that am not working, but as for a full time student, what i have learn about organization is verse,but for employees to give their best of ability to any organization in regard to motivation, i thing the best way to do is by giving recognition to does employees whom credit is due to give. One might say money is the way to motivate,ie., by paying salaries, but it’s not a motivator.So for one to give his best in the organization, should be given recognition to the imput he make to the organizational performance in one way to other. In ma view thing this is one best way to motivate…….



  • Dr. Ben Walton says:


    When your immediate boss repudiate to give you duties is considered as constructual dismissal. The individual manager is trying to frustrate you so that you call it quit by yourself. In our country Zimbabwe this will be considered as unfair labour practice which is a serious offence.

    Under International Labour Organisation (ILO) this will be serious violation of your fundamental democratic rights. Coming to the point, do not let go such situations unchallenged. Write to her your immediate superior elaborating the labour discontent she is causing and challenge the process as Kouzes and Posner said, You want to be a professional leader, challenge the process. Correct what is wrong by promulgating the code of conduct to her. There is no employer who would tolerate that, to have employees coming to work and not give them duties to do and pay them remuneration at the end of the month like its a charitable organisation. If you are afraid of direct confrontation then approach your union if you are a member of any organisation.

    DO NOT HESITATE TO CHALLENGE THE PROCESS. I shall be happy to hear from you and the outcome. Your GOD shall stand with you, he is a fair GOD. Colossians 4:1


  • G. Niran says:


    Try to analyze the situation about what your senior HR thinks.If he does again and again, make him to get cool with your positive attitude and be with enough patient.you take some initiative towards your work Again your HR is not carrying not giving any assignment means perhaps she is afraid of your growth and if it continuous dare to through your job…why because you need value not a job. Do remember All the employees have not value but the value employees are very rare they never afraid of job. BE WITH YOUR OWN VALUE say thank to your senior manager to find a job better than this.

    Friendly Yours

    G Niran

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