Switching careers? Executive search companies are always looking for people ripe for a change.

Back in the day, people worked for the same company for 40 years, retired at 65 and got a gold watch and a farewell party.

That rarely happens anymore.

Today, people don’t care so much about whatever rewards might go along with 30 or 40 years of service. We want our careers to be fulfilling and meaningful. We want to feel we’re contributing something — that we’re making a difference.

And we have shorter attention spans today, as well as a sense that it’s a big world … and if we’re unsatisfied in one job or at one company, there’s a better fit out there. Job changes are no big deal.

Not only is there no shame in moving from one company to another (as long as it’s not happening, say, every six months), it’s actually the norm.

Ellis Chase, one of New York’s top career consultants, executive coaches and consultant to Columbia Business School’s Executive MBA Career Management and Alumni Relations Career Services, says in USA Today, “The majority of individuals make three major career changes in their lives, and they change jobs about 12 times. The womb-to-tomb paradigm about staying in one job is gone.”

People don’t just change jobs anymore.  They change careers. A banker may become an artist. A nonprofit leader, like our own Shana Plott, can become an executive search consultant.

Chase says, “You can no longer think, ‘I have to do everything I can to fit the career.’ It’s totally the other way around. You have to consider: ‘How does the career fit me?’ More and more, personal values have to drive the decision the older you get.”