Changing jobs an average of five times over 10 years can send the wrong signal to potential employers, according to Paul McDonald, senior executive director of the staffing firm Robert Half. It's expensive for employers to hire and train new people, so they want someone they know will stick around for a while, and who want to grow with the job, McDonald notes. "Firms are likelier to look more favorably on a history of job candidates who've advanced their careers with each move and shown a commitment to professional growth," he says.

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