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Management article
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Reference no. R1001M
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Business Review", 2009

Abstract

The average baby boomer switches jobs 10 times in his or her career. Though such moves are just about inevitable, they're seldom easy - and they often lead to a noticeable decline in both short - and long-term performance. That's because people make them for the wrong reasons. Drawing on an extensive survey of executive search consultants, as well as surveys of HR heads and interviews with C-level executives around the world, the authors have identified senior managers' five most common career missteps: not doing enough research, leaving for money, going 'from' rather than 'to,' overestimating yourself, and thinking short term. These mistakes follow predictable patterns and persist throughout the course of a career; they're often a direct result of psychological, social, and time pressures. What if you do take the wrong job? The authors' research indicates that you should cut your losses and leave. But fleeing to another bad situation is not the answer. Make your next move strategically-and wherever you are in the search process, don't hesitate to go down another road when it becomes evident that a certain kind of change wouldn't be right.

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Abstract

The average baby boomer switches jobs 10 times in his or her career. Though such moves are just about inevitable, they're seldom easy - and they often lead to a noticeable decline in both short - and long-term performance. That's because people make them for the wrong reasons. Drawing on an extensive survey of executive search consultants, as well as surveys of HR heads and interviews with C-level executives around the world, the authors have identified senior managers' five most common career missteps: not doing enough research, leaving for money, going 'from' rather than 'to,' overestimating yourself, and thinking short term. These mistakes follow predictable patterns and persist throughout the course of a career; they're often a direct result of psychological, social, and time pressures. What if you do take the wrong job? The authors' research indicates that you should cut your losses and leave. But fleeing to another bad situation is not the answer. Make your next move strategically-and wherever you are in the search process, don't hesitate to go down another road when it becomes evident that a certain kind of change wouldn't be right.

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