Have you ever noticed? The staff at great restaurants are never standing still.
They’re always looking for something else to do. Refill a glass, wipe a surface, prepare for the next service… nobody is waiting for instructions from their manager.
Great engineers don’t wait for instructions.
Don’t wait for orders from your manager. Your current tickets on Jira is only part of your job. Be on the watch for small improvements.
If nobody is reviewing performance on New Relic, have a poke around and see if there is anything you can help with.
Is there something in the deployment pipeline that could be improved?
Is there a manual task that could be automated?
Can you help out with interviewing?
Can you help source candidates?
Of course, while you’re pitching these ideas, you still need to get those Jira tickets done. Sometimes that horrible task hasn’t been automated because the technology is so old and broken, it would cost too much time.
I trust you’ll be able to find the right balance. Over time, you’ll build a reputation as an engineer that is always looking for improvements. You are making your manager’s life easier. You’ll soon be given bigger responsibilities.