ERIC Number: ED452369
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Career Development of Free Agent Workers. ERIC Digest No. 228.
Various economic, technology-related, and other factors have converged to serve as a catalyst for the emergence of workers who consider themselves free agents. Estimates of the number of free agent workers range from 12.9 to 25 million. Individual free agent workers may take widely varying approaches to their careers; however, all have taken charge of their careers, consider interesting work a priority, and make increasing their skills an important part of their strategy. Emerging concepts of career development pertinent to the free agent worker model include the concept of the boundary-less career (not tied to traditional career paths) and internal versus external careers (self-estimation of career events versus actual jobs held). Because free agent workers have nontraditional careers, they lack access to the traditional career development opportunities that are available to workers who follow more traditional career paths. Two important career development strategies for free agent workers are engaging in learning and networking. Free agent learning is voluntary, self-directed, and focused primarily on new jobs. Networks serve several career development-related purposes for free agent learners. For example, networks fulfill free agent workers' need for contact with others, and they provide the contacts needed for professional success and survival. The networks may be virtual or take more traditional forms, including regular conference calls and meetings. (Contains 10 references.) (MN)
Descriptors: Adult Learning, Career Development, Career Education, Consultants, Continuing Education, Demand Occupations, Employment Patterns, Employment Qualifications, Independent Study, Influences, Labor Market, Learning Processes, Lifelong Learning, Literature Reviews, Networks, Nontraditional Occupations, Occupational Mobility, Self Employment, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Trend Analysis, Vocational Adjustment
For full text: http://www.ericacve.org/fulltext.asp.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.