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Harvard Business Review on Advancing Your Career by Harvard Business Review

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How to Stay Stuck in the Wrong Career

by Herminia Ibarra

EVERYONE KNOWS A STORY about a smart and talented businessperson who has lost his or her passion for work, who no longer looks forward to going to the office yet remains stuck without a visible way out. Most everyone knows a story, too, about a person who ditched a 20-year career to pursue something completely different—the lawyer who gave it all up to become a writer or the auditor who quit her accounting firm to start her own toy company—and is the happier for it.

“Am I doing what is right for me, or should I change direction?” is one of the most pressing questions in the mid-career professional’s mind today. The numbers of people making major career changes, not to mention those just ...

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