It feels like the career path has been closed.  Lifetime employment, closing.  The merit raise, fading.  Individualism, supervision, paternalism, and top-down command and control power…all disappearing before our eyes.

Fair enough, right?  But what does it mean to those of us trying to define and deploy our personal career brand?  For me, as those vestiges of the old world fade to black, it means a Free Agent Train is steaming inexorably toward our village.  Its approach prompts this question, “should we get on?”

Hard to know the answer to such a big question.  But one thing is certain…we all have a new job and new responsibility–lifetime career self-management and personal branding.  It appears to be the only value we can sustain over time and through the tumult of this “Change Age.”

Can everyone muster the gumption and courage to start running alongside and eventually board the Free Agent Train?  Probably not.

Leaders who progressed through the old hierarchical system will struggle with this new rulebook.  Their quantitative skills (and arrogance) are often useless in a world driven more and more by technology, communication, connection, and community.


To one degree or another, we’re all headed toward free agency.  If you buy that assumptive premise, then it’s logical to view our career as a “branded product.”  And if that’s the case, we should all probably start working now on developing our next generation of “product(s).”

There’s no better source on this subject than Personal Branding guru Dan Schawbel, author of the ground-breaking new book “Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success.”

I’m not going to mourn the loss of the hierarchical era and its traditional career partner.  Instead, I’m choosing to celebrate the dawning of an exciting opportunity to paint new pictures on a new canvas.

And I’ll do it at the same time I’m running alongside the Free Agent Train…listening intently for the “last call” to climb aboard.

I can help you!  Go to for more information.