Not enough workload for me at current Development Company

Hey WSO. Over the past couple of months, I feel that my workload at my company has been anywhere from light to nonexistent. 

A little background. I have been a development analyst at a full service family office in a major market for 9 months. I got hired directly out of college. Was my dream role. We have $1 billion under construction right now. 15 employees, most of whom are experienced (I'm 1 of 2 under 30, most have been at the company 10 years+). I have mentors at the company I can talk to at any time who all helped grow the company to the level it is today. 

However, I don't feel there is enough for me to do. There will be 3+ consecutive days where I literally have nothing to do at an 8-5 job. Maybe a couple tasks that take an hour each (ex. input these numbers into excel, make this chart). I spend a lot of this time reading and looking through files to learn the business, but I can't spend all day doing that. I feel that to get experience and learn the fastest, I need to be doing things/get more involved.

I understand that junior employees don't have major responsibilities in active deals, but I feel the fact I have nothing to do is concerning. I've implied to my supervisor and others around the office that I have some free time and can help out, but don't want to phrase it as "I have nothing to do" because then it could show that I'm not needed. Also, most of the time I ask/email offering my help, I don't get opportunities. If I do, it's all grunt work someone who has zero industry knowledge could do. I get that this is part of being at the bottom of the food chain, and I'll do it, but I don't want to solely be doing things that require no serious thought. 

I did receive a 10% raise 3 months ago from $55k->$60k and have gotten praise on some of my work, so I think that company likes my work product. I just feel like I'm being held back by not having enough meaningful work to do. 

Has anyone dealt with this situation at the junior level? 

Real Estate Modeling Course

  • Real-life RE Modeling Tests from actual Interviews
  • Various asset classes including multi-family, commercial and more
  • Huge discount - until more tests and cases added

Comments (14)

Apr 22, 2021 - 8:03pm

I had this experience at a more senior level because the company was limited in deal flow due to a number of self-imposed restrictions. Use the time to a) learn as much as you can, b) try your hand at assembling your own deal, and c) look for another job. Chances are it won't improve and sitting at your desk doing nothing for days on end will depress you.

Apr 22, 2021 - 8:33pm

How long has this been happening? Give it some time and look at the greater business. How busy are you guys? Where does your role fit in the organization? Are you in a lull due to the current business / cycle and where your company's projects are?  If it is a lull, just relax, unless it's going to be a 2 year lull type of thing. Try to take a 30,000 foot view to understand what's going on. 

Apr 22, 2021 - 9:57pm

We are definitely in between projects. A lot of our projects are 90% complete or are in lease-up right now (we're multifamily). Phase 2 of our 4 phase mixed use development just started. We are looking at some new deals opportunities now, we signed an LOI and are towards the end of due diligence in one deal and about to send an LOI out on an off market deal- both projects are 350+ units. 

I definitely think there is a little bit of a lull but the main people I work with still seem busy. I'm the only young analyst at my company, so there's no one else my level who would take my share of work. 

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Apr 23, 2021 - 11:39am

Not sure the structure of your office, but if there is someone who is more or less your "direct manager," I would try and get a feel for their day to day, and find different things they are working on and ask if you can specifically shadow them while they do those tasks. This will allow you to learn how to do said task, and once you get a feel for it they may be more willing to pass the work off to you.

Apr 23, 2021 - 11:51am

I had this exact same issue and recently switched jobs largely because of it. I was on the acquisitions / leasing team but also did AM & a little bit of development work

Things I tried: market research (new cities / opportunities, potential tenants, any trends in the market, etc.) and asking around if people need help (largely resulted in 1-3 hours of pointless work that no one ever looked at).

Neither of those worked in any sustainable form so I bounced. No point in being somewhere with maybe 10 hours of work to do per week. I was going nuts, just reading articles and random subreddits

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Apr 23, 2021 - 12:06pm

That sounds similar to my situation. I've done a lot of analyses that no one ever looked at or it ended up the analysis wasn't needed after all. How long did this go on for until you decided to leave? 

Apr 23, 2021 - 12:15pm

The whole 2 years that I was there haha

In the summer it was better as fewer people were in the office so I would gym from ~1-2, and/or leave early to play golf

See if you can swing working from home 1 or 2 days a week, then only do office work when you're in the office. Keep you cell and email on hand on your 1-2 new days off, and do whatever you want (including but not limited to talking to recruiters about new job prospects haha)

Most Helpful
Apr 23, 2021 - 2:23pm

Had a similar experience to this and ended up leaving the company.  What I didn't realize at the time is that I was hired ahead of growth I didn't realize was coming and I missed out on the big upswing in comp, responsibility, title promotion, etc.  In general, real estate developers and investors don't hire just for the sake of hiring. It's expensive, time-consuming, and a pain in the ass to find someone.  My two cents would be to stick it out awhile longer and if at the two-year mark it's the same things going on, it's probably time to bounce. At that point, you'll have two years of experience and be able to negotiate a lot better comp, with better companies, and probably a better overall role than someone with 9 months to a year experience.  

Apr 26, 2021 - 12:07pm

The most valuable thing anyone working in development can do is secure a site.    

Network and look for your 1st site. Talk to land brokers, call all the sites on Loopnet, attend ULI events. Even if nothing materializes, you will learn just how hard securing a site is, you have will have new questions to ask your bosses, and expanding your network of brokers that know you, increases your value. I guarantee if you bring your bosses a site that you found, nothing but good things will follow. 

“Capitalism: God’s way of determining who is smart and who is poor.” Ron Swanson

  • 1
  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Oct 8, 2021 - 2:47pm

Quis vero dolor iure sit quis voluptas. Totam vel aut vel repellat.

Consectetur quis cupiditate dolorum quo officiis. Laboriosam sint error qui omnis tempore ullam repudiandae. Quibusdam deserunt nam doloremque ea. Voluptatem quisquam consequuntur vero et.

Qui earum temporibus dolorum expedita. Officiis quaerat hic voluptatum ipsa. Enim atque nemo sapiente assumenda aut voluptates. Accusantium voluptas cumque ut iure ipsum non quisquam. Debitis autem officia harum qui dolor vitae.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

October 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (39) $363
  • Associates (229) $233
  • 2nd Year Analyst (137) $154
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (31) $147
  • Intern/Summer Associate (104) $143
  • 1st Year Analyst (501) $135
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (387) $83