Monday, June 26, 2006

Free Agent Nation

In Free Agent Nation, journalist Daniel Pink documents the rise of "free agents" in the American economy. These 25 million "free agents" range from minimum-wage temps to highly paid solo-practice entrepreneurs in fields such as design, high tech, and therapy. Some people choose free agentry in order to gain control over the hours and the content of their work; others fall into it because of layoffs or reorganization of corporate jobs. Pink believes that whether chosen or involuntary, free agentry is likely to be part of the career path of more and more Americans.

Tonight I was one of a dozen members of the Seattle-area group Biznik who met in Ballard for a spirited discussion of the book. Members were uniformly enthusiastic about it; for some the book validated their own experiences as free agents, for others it raised issues they hadn't considered. If you are working solo, or planning to, I recommend this book. It's not a "how to succeed" -- it's simply an in-depth picture of free-agentry and excellent documentation on how it evolved and where it's taking us.

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