There are many compelling social and economic reasons why managers and professionals may decide or be obliged to consider changing careers at mid life. While 30 years ago, only two out of every 100 executives were likely to make a radical career change, during the last decade, this figure has risen to 35 per cent. In reviewing the literature, examines the needs and motives for career change and the individual, organizational and wider societal factors likely to facilitate or impede that change. Reports on a continuing study comparing the experiences and characteristics of successful and unsuccessful mid‐career changers and suggests that personality differences may play an important role in determining outcomes.
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