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Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself Paperback – May 1 2002
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From Library Journal
Not all "free agents" are highly paid athletes whose main skills are dunking a basketball or hitting a baseball. In fact, as Pink (contributing editor, Fast Company) reveals, over 25 million Americans are now self-employed, and fewer than one in ten works for a Fortune 500 company. This excellent work synthesizes the seismic shift in attitudes about and patterns of work in the economy from the early 1950s era of William Whyte's The Organization Man to today's independent worker, the free agent. Pink astutely summarizes what this major shift in the definition of employment now means to millions of Americans and explains the various types of free agents (including soloists, temps, and those involved in their own microbusiness). Other chapters cover examples of how self-sufficiency works so well for numerous life situations, while in many cases free-agency employment does not work well at all. This work may not be rooted in empirical research, but Pink's thorough review of the literature and his extensive roadwork interviewing hundreds of independent workers successfully merges psychosocial data with pragmatic reality. This major contribution to better understanding the trend toward independent contract work is highly recommended for all university libraries and larger public libraries. Dale Farris, Groves, TX
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
With Manpower, Inc., the temporary agency, the nation's largest private employer and one-quarter to one-third of American workers operating as "free agents," this author offers analysis of this "new economy" and advice on how to succeed in it. The Fast Company cover story that Pink, a former Gore chief speechwriter, wrote on the growth of "free agency" produced so much feedback that he traveled across the country with his young family to interview "America's new independent workers" for this book. Pink examines facts and figures, explores the roots of increasing free agency, and considers the new work ethic, employment contract, and time clock it generates. He outlines the structure of free-agent work and major disruptions (especially for involuntary free agents) and offers some predictions about how this new paradigm will affect institutional arrangements, including education, "e-tirement," real estate, finance, and politics. Pink understands how busy free agents are; each chapter closes with "The Box," which punchily summarizes the chapter's key points. Mary Carroll
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Moment of Truth came when the pressure of politics and long days caught up with him. He had a fainting spell. He very nearly puked on the Vice President. And he decided that maybe there was a better way to live his life.
Daniel quit the organizational life to work as a freelance writer. He got work right away. Having the White House on your resume usually helps with things like that.
He worked out of his home and pretty soon he noticed that lots of friends and neighbors were starting to do the same thing. "Aha!" he thought, "this could be a trend and I could write a book about it."
And so Daniel set off on a year-long jaunt around the country. He interviewed lots of folks. He researched the statistics on independent workers in the US. And he wrote his book. The book is a mixed bag.
On the upside, Pink has done a good job of pulling together a lot of different sources. He's interviewed a lot of people and he's the kind of writer who can make the results of those interviews sing. Those individual portraits are the strength of this book.
Would that he handled the statistics as well. In the early part of the book, Pink sets his work up as a sequel to William H. Whyte's Organization Man, one written for our times. The rigor of Pink's research and his use of statistics suffer from the comparison.
There's a certain amount of Statistical Voodoo here. In the quest to figure out just how many free agents there are we're presented with lots of different estimates from several different sources. Numbers are adjusted up, down and sideways.Read more ›
Many of the footnotes were based off newspapers and magazines, or sources listed in the text appear to be secondhand, or credit was somewhat misleading in the text. For example in Chapter 2 the author gives credit to ¡§Wells Fargo (Bank) study ¡K.¡¨ to give it more credibility but when you look in the footnotes it give the lead credit is given to the an advocacy organization the National Federation of Independent Business along with Wells Fargo. In reviewing their website the research is on NFIB¡¦s letterhead with Wells Fargo also supporting the publications. In his chapter, ¡§The New Time Clock¡¨ on page 105, the author lists studies by the Families and Work Institute and another by a NYU economist and a University of Pennsylvania colleague, but upon further review in the footnotes he lists the sources as a Los Angeles Times article and another in Business Week. The impression is given that he did not read or analyze the original research.Read more ›
We are no longer in the "new economy" of 2002 and the playing field has changed a bit. Is this book still worth reading? In the reviewer's opinion, it remains relevant for three reasons. First, even in a challenging, then recovering economy, there are many opportunities for "nanocorps" that can offer quick, flexible service to corporations that don't want to bring those services inside. Second, the recent economic pressures have spurred many to pursue after-hours work in a second job that supplements their daytime paycheck. Much of the author's advice is relevant to members of this second-shift workforce who don't have to entirely support themselves as free agents.
The third and best reason to read this book applies to those working for large companies as well as free agents, second-shifters, and other independents. Even if you are in a seemingly secure job, you should take a large measure of responsibility for your own career, thinking like a free agent or as someone who may become one with very little notice. This includes taking initiative to develop new skills, even funding training out of your own pocket. It may include purchasing your own computer equipment, reference materials and business cards when your employer will not. This book encourages all of us to prepare for portability to another organization--or to no organization. We are more occupationally and financially secure if we listen to this advice.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I've worked as an employee for ten years (5 government, 5 corporate) and have had my own microbusiness for the last seventeen. This book tells it like it is. Read morePublished on June 10 2003 by Janet Tokerud
I had to point something out. Prior to my current career, I was a freelance musican. Every freelancer I know has been living this book their whole careers. Read morePublished on Nov. 22 2002
In Baltimore, 700 low-income people have completed a 108- hour course in how to start a small business. The course is offered by a non-profit, Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore. Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2002 by Gettysburg Farm
Not a bad book if you have exhausted your list of other business and self-help literature. This book could easily have been reduced by a hundred pages and still made the point... Read morePublished on July 10 2002 by ram
And I never thought I would say that about any book other than the Bible. But Pink's book has become my professional Bible. Read morePublished on July 2 2002 by Bob Whitehead
Daniel Pink has provided us with a glimpse of what could be as we make our way through this revolution in our economy. Read morePublished on July 2 2002 by Theresa Heeg
This book is all about how America's new independent workers are transforming the way we live and the economy in which we work. Read morePublished on April 22 2002 by Dave Kinnear
Dan Pink is brilliant. This is not an overstatement. He gets a monster trend that everyone else has tripped over and ignored. He gets it. He articulates it. It's a GREAT read. Read morePublished on March 8 2002
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