Three years is the maximum length of time anyone should stay in a job, declared actor Peter Capaldi when he explained why he was stepping down from the Dr Who role after four years. "I've never done one job for three years. This is the first time I've done this and I feel it's time for me to move on to different challenges," he said. It's a pretty short tenure compared to the old days when people secured a job after leaving school or university and then stayed there until they collected their golden carriage clock. But increasingly, changing one's job every few years is considered the norm.
Marina, a dynamic, superbly educated and extremely charming woman I once knew, had the great fortune and misfortune of having her dream coming true. An American attending an MBA program in Europe, her fondest wish was to live and work in the Middle East. Her enthusiasm was rich: She loved the cuisine, passionately studied the culture and politics of the region, enjoyed its splendid literature and art, took courses in Arabic and even dated Middle Eastern men. Finally, Marina’s deepest wish came true: She was hired by a sophisticated marketing firm headquartered in Cairo, Egypt which also has offices in China and the U.S.
Within a week of moving to Cairo, however, Marina suffered a complete mental, emotional and physical breakdown. A couple of days later, her mother flew out to pick up her up and carry her back home to the U.S. Marina’s international career was over. What had gone wrong?