Five Ways to Bungle a Job Change

by Boris Groysberg and Robin Abrahams

THE AVERAGE BABY BOOMER will switch jobs 10 times, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The worker as free agent—a concept popularized in the 1990s—remains a reality regardless of economic conditions, making it incumbent on all of us to take greater control of our own careers. The corporate ladder is still being disassembled like a Jenga tower, and even the CEO position is no longer a terminus. As one independent financier we interviewed put it, “[T]here are no final destinations. [Your career] is a process of continuous development.”

But while job moves are just about inevitable, they are seldom easy and nearly always emotionally fraught—and too often they ...

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