Five bad reasons to change programs

Thinking of switching over to another program to get away from a prof you can’t stand? That might not be a good decision.

“Try to pinpoint the cause of your dissatisfaction before you jump from one program to another,” says Mathieu Guénette, a career counsellor and consultant at SPB Organizational Psychology. If you change courses for the wrong reasons, you could end up regretting your decision. The wrong reasons for switching include:

1. You aren’t confident in your abilities.

Do you feel like other students are doing better than you are? “It’s normal to doubt your skills and be afraid of making mistakes, especially when you’re just starting a program,” explains Guénette. The important thing is not to let self-doubt throw you off course. You’ve got to stop comparing yourself to your classmates and adopt a better view of yourself.

2. You don’t have all the skills for the job.

According to Aline Massé, a career counsellor at the Université de Sherbrooke, “When you start a program, it’s not realistic to expect that you’ll have all the skills you need. You have to develop them. Psychology students, for example, don’t normally start out knowing how to counsel others, but it’s something they learn over the course of their studies.”

3. You dislike some aspects of the program.

Being a student gives you the chance to explore all aspects of a given field. For instance, even though you are studying journalism, you might have courses in television and radio, too. And while you may hate taking the mike or getting in front of the camera, this shouldn’t stop you from pursuing a career at a daily newspaper.

4. Your internship isn’t cutting it.

“Step back and ask yourself what it is about your placement that you don’t like,” advises Guénette. Is it the boss, the work environment or the tasks you’ve been assigned? Don’t let one bad experience get you down. Instead, look for a placement at another company where you’ll have different responsibilities.

5. The job prospects don’t look promising.

“Even if the number of jobs in your field is down, motivated students stand a good chance of finding work,” states Massé. Is literature your thing? If you really love it, you’ll find a job related to it. For example, you could try teaching at the college level.