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Changing it up every 3 years

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A good post today by Chris Anderson about completely changing jobs every 3 years.  He writes:

When I was at The Economist, there was a policy to rotate everyone every three years. The idea was that fresh eyes were more important than experience. “Foreign everywhere” was the mantra, and around your second year in Cairo, you could expect to get a call from the editor asking you to consider Mumbai or Sao Paolo–ideally two places you’d never been to and knew nothing about.

I’ve changed jobs every 2 years and do find that if you don’t continue to challenge yourself and learn new things, you can get complacent and bored.

Another interesting point about the post is the connection with Macolm Gladwell’s new book, Outliers, which talks about how people achieve success.  Anderson writes:

I was thinking about the three-year rule while reading about Malcolm Gladwell‘s observation that it takes 10,000 hours to become truly expert at something. If you really throw yourself into a job, you’ll spend 60 hours a week working. That’s 3,000 hours a year (allowing for vacation), which means you’ll hit the 10,000 hour mark a few months after your third year.

What do you think – how often do you try something new?

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Written by Mike Lewis

December 17th, 2008 at 1:16 pm