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Future of Work

Why You Should Quit Your Job After 10 Years

Labor experts say a radical career shift every decade or two can be good for both workers and employers.

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Illustration: Xavier Lalanne-Tauzia for Bloomberg Businessweek

Greg Wilson spent much of autumn 2021 peering out from behind his laptop as his wife and their three small children headed off to the zoo or a playground near their St. Louis home, returning hours later, bubbly and smiling. “I kept getting jealous,” says the 43-year-old. “They were having fun every day, and I wanted to join them.” But as program manager at a large financial brokerage, a line of work he’d entered in his twenties, Wilson felt he couldn’t take time off. So last November, he quit to start writing a lifestyle blog.

Wilson’s restlessness appeared right on schedule, says Allison Gabriel, professor of management and organizations at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She’s one in a growing chorus of psychology and labor experts who suggest that workers redefine “career” as a dozen or so years in a field, followed by reevaluation and rerouting. “We’re seeing people decide 10 or more years into their careers that they want to try something completely new,” she says.