Can I talk to my advisor about the difficulties I am facing with getting a job? Should I also discuss with him that I am probably mediocre at my work and I am in a wrong field of study. This has affected my mental health for the past 1.5 years.

Overall, my advisor and I have a friendly relationship. How much should I let him know about my personal career related problems?

  • 1
    You should get help from a mental health professional. This site is not a good way to get help with your feelings. Jun 12, 2021 at 12:03
  • Search "impostor syndrome" on this site and elsewhere. Jun 14, 2021 at 8:18

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is acceptable. Recommended actually. They probably have a lot of insight into the issue, though the poor job market may be foreign to them.

You can, in fact, change fields, but it probably has to wait until you have a more secure position from which to do it. It takes a while and a lot of effort.

It doesn't sound like you are a poor scholar, however. Your mood/depression would be better discussed with a mental health professional.

The job market, especially in academia, is chaotic at the moment. It will take time to sort out and return to something more "normal". You may need to "get by" for a bit. But it would help if you maintain relationships during such a time so that you are well positioned to move when things open up. You certainly aren't alone in any of this, including the mental issues. Times are objectively hard at the moment.

  • Thank you for your advice and support. I have a contract with my advisor till the end of this year. He has offered to extend it to another year if I am interested. My fear is, if I do tell him about my apprehensions, he might think little of me and might rethink his decision to keep me hired.
    – JoseCarr
    Jun 12, 2021 at 11:16
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    Frame your discussion with him in terms of the externals, not your feelings. "What can I do now to maximize my potential?" No guarantees, but another year may make a difference.
    – Buffy
    Jun 12, 2021 at 11:20
  • @JoseCarr. Take the extension. Then later, check in with your advisor and then consider bringing up your concerns.
    – Mehta
    Jun 12, 2021 at 19:04

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