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six Choosing Your Course W hat is the difference between high-achieving women and men? The most profound difference I have found is that high-achieving women change jobs and even industries more often than men. This statistic is even more important when you look at the dif- ferences men and women give for choosing to leave. None of the women in my study said they left a job or took on a new one based on a title or salary. They said titles and money were criteria in their selection, but paled in com- parison to the possibility of doing meaningful work in their professional fields. The women all wanted to do something that had a major impact on the company or the world. Once they started a new job, as long as they felt they were making continual significant and unique contributions, they were inclined to stay with the company. If they didn't feel they were adding visible value with opportunities to try out new ideas, they moved on. If for some reason they had to stay in a job where they lost this sense of value, they felt as if they were suffocating. Whereas men are more likely to be wooed by position, power, and compensation, high-achiev- ing women over the age of thirty are more attracted by the opportunity to be significant. If their work doesn't prove to be meaningful to them, they wander in search of their purpose. Kelly, age thirty-nine, said, "If my work doesn't give me a sense that I am doing something special, I'm not happy. 116