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Thinking of a mid-career switch? Not afraid of a little risk? A leap into high tech could be just the ticket

What could be more different than motor oil and the Internet? Yet last October, Jan Horsfall, 37, made the move from Valvoline, the billion-dollar maker of auto lubricants, to vice-president for marketing at Lycos, an Internet search-engine company. Although Lycos has less than $25 million in revenues and no profits, its share price has tripled over the past year, and Horsfall is sanguine about the future: "I get a minimum of two job offers a week for senior-level positions at all kinds of high-tech companies."

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