Jan Yager, Ph.D.


Hardcover (ISBN 978-1-889262-39-0) $31.95
Paperback (ISBN 978-1-889262-29-1) $20.95
e-book (in Mobi ePub formats) $9.99 (ISBN 978-1-938998-59-1)
audiobook (10 hours 19 minutes) $24.95 (from,, and

Media kit with sample questions


Foreign editions

French; Spanish; Arabic; Simplified and complex Chinese; Korean; Vietnamese; Russian; Serbian


This in-depth study of friendship is based on the author’s doctoral thesis and additional original research consisting of surveys and interviews. Friendshifts is a word Dr. Yager coined to denote how sometimes our friendships may shift throughout our lives, and even how we define a friend. Fortunately, in some instances, lifelong friendship does happen. Friendshifts explores what you can do to help a friendship to last. Even with the most enduring friendships, there may be an ending because of death. (There is a section on “Coping with Endings Because of Death.”)
The examples, anecdotes, quotes, and studies cited throughout the book reinforce the notion that the right friends will help you to get ahead or to be happy in life, and even to live a longer life; the wrong friends can sabotage you or even get you hurt or killed.

Friendshifts is divided into five parts: Part 1, “That’s What Friends Are For,” covers the power of friendship, definitions of casual, close, and best friends; perspective on friendship including the Great Friend and the Modern Friend Approach; the process of becoming friends, from acquaintance to friend; and friendship patterns (two-way, three-way, four and more friendships); Part 2, “Friendshifts, or How Friendship Changes Throughout Life,” has chapters on childhood and the single years and marriage and friendship; Part 3, “How to Be a Better Friend,” has chapters on how to maintain and improve a friendship; how to prevent a friendship from ending; and how to handle friendships that end; Part 4, “Work and Friendship,” has two chapters including “How Friendship Enhances Your Career” and “Male and Female Work Friendships;” and Part 5, “Life and Friendship” has two chapters including, “The Friendship Factor in Everyday Life,” on how to apply the author’s friendship principles to befriending your relatives including your children, your father or mother, and your spouse (romantic partner) and “Summing Up.”

Chapter 11
“How Friendship Enhances Your Career” (by Jan Yager from Friendshifts)


“Yager ably demonstrates how friends can improve the quality of our lives, enhance our self-esteem, provide encouragement, and compensate for family defects.” (Library Journal)

“Rewarding, sensible self-help manual for making, keeping and improving friendships sociologist Yager’s how-to takes its title from a word she coined, which refers to the way friendships change as we move through life’s stages…. This primer amply supports its central message, that friends are vital to our emotional health.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A fascinating book.“— Fortune magazine

“A provocative exploration of the most vital of connections, Jan Yager’s book is a guidepost to the art of giving and receiving friendship” —bestselling author Victoria Secunda


Introduction to the 2nd Edition
Part 1 That’s What Friends Are For

  • 1 The Power of Friendship
  • 2 What is a Friend?
  • 3 Perspectives on Friendship
  • 4 From Acquaintance to Friend
  • 5 Friendship Patterns

Part 2 Friendshifts, or How Friendship Changes Throughout Life

  • 6 Childhood and the Single Years
  • 7 Marriage and Friendship

Part 3 How to be a Better Friend

  • 8 How to Maintain and Improve a Friendship
  • 9 How to Prevent a Friendship From Ending
  • 10 How to Handle Friendships that End

Part 4 Work and Friendship

  • 11 How Friendship Enhances Your Career
  • 12 Male and Female Work Friendships

Part 5 Life and Friendship

  • 13 The Friendship Factor in Everyday Life
  • 14 Summing Up

About the Author
Reading Group Guide

About the author

Jan Yager, Ph.D. is a sociologist and the award-winning author of 35+ nonfiction and fiction titles translated into 30+ languages.

Book details

287 pages
Print versions Copyright © 1999, 1997 (2nd edition)
E-book version Copyright © 2013 (with new introduction, bibliography, resources, Appendix)
Audiobook version Copyright © 2013 (with new introduction)

Interview with author Jan Yager on the Today Show with Katie Couric about Friendshifts

Interview on June 21, 2013 with entrepreneur Chicke Fitzgerald, founder of EGG (Executive Girlfriends Group), with Jan Yager on the new e-book and audio editions of Friendshifts
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