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Free Agent Nation: How Americans New Independent Workers Are Transforming the Way We Live

Free Agent Nation: How Americans New Independent Workers Are Transforming the Way We Live [Kindle Edition]

Daniel H. Pink
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Ever since the dawn of the industrial revolution, it has been the organizing principle of society -- people are what they do, defined by their corporate labels. But the modern corporation has begun its death march. There are 25 million free agents -- entrepreneurs, independent contractors, free-lancers, and temps. In this landmark book, trend-watcher Daniel H. Pink shows why those numbers are growing exponentially. He tells readers who free agents are, how they will impact the economy, and why the laws must be rethought to accommodate the new paradigm. He also asks what happens when life no longer revolves around the job, when people are not tethered to a single location or identity. The answers will surprise all.

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More About the Author

Daniel H. Pink is the author of four provocative books about the changing world of work -- including the New York Times bestsellers, A WHOLE NEW MIND and DRIVE, which together have been translated into 27 languages. Described by the Financial Times as "rapidly acquiring international guru status," Pink lectures on business, innovation, and economic transformation to corporations and universities around the world. He held is last "real job" in the White House, where he served from 1995 to 1997 as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore.

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How the Talented Are Creating a Better Life 10 May 2004
The term, free agent, is borrowed from sports. It describes the players who are most talented and for whom other teams bid. As a result, they often command enormous salaries, perks, and influence. Recently, the term has been applied to people like free lance software programmers who are sought after because of their special expertise. In Free Agent Nation, the term is applied more broadly to describe all those who rely on project assignments outside of being directly and permanently employed by someone else. This group includes lots of professional free lancers as well as people who work through temporary agencies with few skills at deadly dull tasks.
The ideal in the 1950s was to work for one employer, to be loyal to that employer and to receive loyalty in return. Steady progress would follow as seniority grew. Keeping the ship afloat came before the individual's needs. This world was described in the classic book, The Organization Man by William H. Whyte, Jr. Since then the world has changed quite a bit, and Daniel H. Pink's Free Agent Nation is the conscious updating of the working ideal to reflect today's growing free lance economy. This ideal emphasizes freedom, work satisfaction, flexibility, accountability, self-defined markers of success, and being authentic in your own eyes. It's the ultimate of wanting to do good and to do well.
Mr. Pink draws on his own experiences, hundreds of interviews with free agents, qualitative surveys, and his review of the literature on this subject to weave together the best integrated story on how independent work is becoming a norm as well as an ideal in the United States. Mr. Pink's strength is that he is a great communicator.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Nation of Individuals 5 Jun 2011
By John M. Ford TOP 500 REVIEWER
Daniel Pink reports the results of his background research and a large number of interviews with "free agents" who work for themselves as consultants, contractors, and small businesses of one. He claims that this is a growing trend in the American workforce and explores the lifestyles, business plans, and satisfaction of these independent workers.

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.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dan Pink has written a well researched and insightful book about the Free Agent economy and many of his predictions are now things that we take for granted such as the growth of small web-based businesses and peer-to-peer lending (though he doesn't use that term).

From a UK perspective, the main downside of the book is that it is focused on the US experience and so the sections on US taxes and health insurance had less relevant for me.

This is a worthwhile read for anyone considering self-employment. I also enjoyed two of Dan's other books: Drive and To Sell is Human.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 21 Aug 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Amazing book. Extremely inspiring and insightful.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review 22 July 2009
By Stueeh Warburton VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good book for those who want to work for themselves. Starbucks is the meeting place!
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