Today people at all stages of their careers are asking themselves profound questions about the kind of work they do, how much of it they want to do, and the place it occupies in their lives. We’re asking ourselves these questions in part because fewer and fewer of us conceive of life as having the three “traditional” stages: a short early stage devoted to learning, a long middle stage dedicated to work, and a later stage devoted to enjoying one’s golden years. Instead, with growing frequency, we’re alternating between changing jobs and careers, pursuing opportunities for education, and making time for periods of rest and restoration.

A version of this article appeared in the November–December 2023 issue of Harvard Business Review.