There comes a point during everybody’s time at Capgemini where you will be ‘warming the bench’. The bench is not a physical place at the side of the Capgemini football pitch, nor is it located in a gym surrounded by sweaty individuals, it is a simple term given to those who are not currently on a project or been kept busying completing their titled role. This is not a regular occurrence nor is it anyone’s fault but sometimes the balance or roles vs. resources tips, it is nothing personal.

The opinion of the bench is definitely differs depending on what the person you ask is currently doing. I guarantee if you ask someone who is currently active in a busy and stressful project about some bench time they will express with a delighted voice that they hope they have some before their next project. On the flip side of this if you ask the opinion of someone who is currently ‘sat on the bench’ they will vent their frustration.

As I write this I am seated on the ‘bench’ and have been since we submitted out last proposal last week. I was looking forward to some down time, a chance to clear out some admin activities that have been piling up and also partake in some overdue training modules online.
Although I have not been on the bench for long (and hope not to be) it took a matter of hours for the desire to be back to my normal job as soon as possible. Like with football while on the bench you do not have a ‘coach’ spurring you on, instead you are left to self-motivate and ensure you keep yourself busy. It is hard but doable.

So far I have completed several training courses, claimed multiple expenses, completed the employee survey, attended multiple webinars and generally filled any knowledge gaps I have. This has also been a good opportunity to complete non-business as usual work, such as work with the graduate community. I have been working hard to come up with a strategy to get Yammer (Facebook for businesses) used more widely within the graduate community. Or you could even consider writing a blog for the Capgemini website, I’ve heard that is a fairly good way of keeping yourself busy.

It is also important while on the ‘bench’ to keep you ear to the ground, are there any more roles out there? Is there anything I could be doing? Can I shadow a colleague? Speak to my network about what is next….
There is no doubt that you will be frustrated when on the ‘bench’ but enjoy the time where you can, sort out those pesky activities that get pushed to the side while you’re busy on a project as next week you could be jogging onto the pitch wondering why there are not enough hours in the day!

Ashley Brown
Graduate Bid Manager, Capgemini UK plc