For quite some time I’m doing research in a topic chosen by my advisor. The problem we are studying is difficult and important, with no good solutions available so far. I am currently unhappy about doing that. There are several issues here:

  1. I feel that we are not making any real progress. Still, our advisor wants to continue with the project and write papers.

  2. I think that the approach we are pursuing (invented by my advisor) is not useful at all. So far it has produced numerous difficulties, but no solutions in any nontrivial cases.

  3. At the moment I’m writing a thesis about the subject. I am to describe my contributions to develop further the earlier work by my advisor. Due to lack of real progress, it will only contain complicated solutions to trivial problems. I think it’s worthless. To be honest I’m embarassed by it and don’t want to show it to anyone.

  4. I feel bad about the fact that I never had any say in choosing the research and thesis topic.

I think these points make strong case for changing the research team after having finished the thesis. However

  1. In general I do want to stay in the field in which my advisor is working in.

  2. I feel changing would have a negative impact on my career.

  3. I already changed once (after finishing bachelor’s). I feel that doing it again after finishing master’s would look unprofessional. I fear the impact on my status in the department would be negative.

  4. Moving to different city seems like the best choice profesionally, but it is impossible due to family reasons.

Do you have any advice what should I do in this situation?

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