Employee vs “Free Agent”

In professional football or baseball, a free agent is a player whose contract with a team has expired and who is thus eligible to sign with another club or franchise.

In today’s workplace most people are in fact “free agents.”  They have no contract and they are free to negotiate with a new “team” if they choose.  Yet many people just stay because they continue to get a paycheck – without even looking around to see if they could get a better offer.

Who are free agent workers? “Free agents don’t expect (or want) a lifetime career with a single employer. They have taken responsibility for charting and preparing their own professional futures.

Changing jobs is commonplace.  Free agent workers think of themselves as having talent to sell and they shop it around for the best offer.

We are rapidly moving toward an American workplace where only 50% of workers are “employees.”  The rest are consultants, contingency workers, independent contractors, temps, entrepreneurs, electronic immigrants, etc.

A person between 18 and 42 will have an average of 10.8 different jobs.  We can no longer be identified by who we work for.
To shift from “Employee” to “Free Agent” you must:

1.       Clarify your most marketable skills

2.       Describe yourself in terms of the kind of work you do, not who you work for

3.       Recognize you may have 1 or several “customers”

4.       Be confident you can move up in your career even while moving from company to company.

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