Some say that a person should change the work field every 5 to 7 years in order to stay productive and avoid stagnation. How does this apply to academia, for example, changing a research focus?
For example, some universities advise to take a sabbatical every 5 years or so.
Edited as suggested: What are the indicators to show that it is time or an opportunity to change the research area? Perhaps, there is a good answer based on your experience?
I know of no university that advises you to take a sabbatical. Lucky people have departments that allow them to take a sabbatical every once in a while. Sabbaticals don't generally result in a change in research focus.
I think there are three indicators about when it is time to change research focus.
- You are bored and want to change
- You can no longer publish in your area and receive rejections along the lines of "This is no longer a relevant area"
- You can no longer get funding in you area and receive rejections along the lines of "This is no longer a relevant area"