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Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  528 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Widely acclaimed for its engaging style and provocative perspective, this book has helped thousands transform their working lives. Now the paperback edition features a comprehensive 30-page resource guide that explains the basics of working for oneself.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Business Plus (first published April 1st 2001)
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Work Rules! by Laszlo BockThe Talent Sourcing and Recruitment Handbook by Shally SteckerlPersuasion Engineering by Richard BandlerFree Agent Nation by Daniel H. PinkHow to Create a Mind by Ray Kurzweil
Recruiting and Sourcing Talent
4th out of 69 books — 2 voters
Marketing For Tomorrow, Not Yesterday by Zain RajThe Art of Startup Fundraising by Alejandro CremadesPositioning by Al RiesThe Extremely Successful Salesman's Club by Chris     MurrayFree by Chris Anderson
Strong Business Books
62nd out of 67 books — 73 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,793)
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Bob Redmond
Jul 01, 2009 Bob Redmond rated it really liked it
This is another interesting book from Daniel Pink about the intersection of cultural trends, market forces, and an individual's place amidst them. Once upon a time, people found themselves easily within families, nations, corporations, or other "ideological apparatuses" to paraphrase Louis Althusser. Now, however, all the machines are broken and decentralized. Pink does a great job of putting a lot of this into focus.

On the other hand, most of what he writes here is patently obvious. Maybe it wa
Barry Davis
Feb 16, 2016 Barry Davis rated it it was amazing
Exceptional book on what Pink calls “the future of working for yourself.” He developed this book after more than a year of face-to-face interviews with several hundred workers, describing it as “as ground-level view of a revolution in how Americans work and live.” Pink is not saying that everyone will become a free agent (or should, includes a link to a website with password to find out if you are cut of the free agent cloth), but many will be making the leap. He writes in an entertaining and di ...more
Jan 04, 2009 Isk rated it liked it
Interesting chapters: Chapter 15, 16. The rest is boring: uninteresting details, or obvious if you've given any thought to freelancing.

Might be good if you are new to or utterly bemused by freelancing; otherwise, not recommended (except perhaps the chapters mentioned above) -- just read the chapter summaries the author provides.

Interesting tidbits:
1/4 of workers in America are freelancers; 2/3 in California hold non-traditional jobs.
Most people find jobs through contacts; and 5/6 of those cases,
Annemieke Windt
Feb 12, 2012 Annemieke Windt rated it liked it
Daniel Pink - Free Agent Nation
Sometimes a book is overtaken by history. Daniel Pink's Free Agent Nation is an optimistic look at the future, where more people will work for themselves and an entire economy will be reorganized to accomodate this growing army of Free Agents. But it's a book from 2001, written before 9/11 and before the Credit Crunch. So with hindsight it's an overly optimistic book.

Does that mean that it was a waiste of time to read it. No, certainly not. Pink is an engaging writ
May 03, 2012 Annakingston rated it liked it
Shelves: new-business
Now, I just want to say up front I love Dan Pink, that is to say, I’m a big Dan Pink fan, whichmade it even worse to be so disappointed with Free Agent Nation. It’s not that he didn’t have anything useful to say on the topic of starting your own business, just that it all seemed a bit trite and the ideas regurgitated from somewhere else. He talked a lot about why being a freeagent was changing the world (really?a big claim) but not much about how.

What I did like about this book is that Dan knows
Aug 07, 2014 Finlay rated it liked it
Lots of values in here that resonate with me. The book is quite dry, and seems a little dated (2001) -- it would be interesting to see newer numbers to see how these trends progressed, especially in light of services like AWS and Stripe that make it easier than ever to independently serve your stuff to the world. Feels like a bit of a companion to The Cluetrain Manifesto.
Max Ong Zong Bao
Mar 25, 2014 Max Ong Zong Bao rated it really liked it
Work at your own terms, at your own size, at your own choice of locations from Starbucks to the public library and earn a good living out of it. The basis of a free agent that is conceived in this book
Jamie Christensen
Mar 24, 2013 Jamie Christensen rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Interesting book and amazingly still relevant, probably even more so than when the author wrote it in 2001. I usually think it's interesting to see how predictions have changed when a book is older -- this is a pretty timeless one. His theories on more people choosing to work independently rather than for large corporations is even more relevant after coming through the financial crisis. Sadly, I wish some of his predictions on small business taxes, healthcare and other social policies had come ...more
Paul Deveaux
Jul 15, 2012 Paul Deveaux rated it really liked it

Good historical and cultural background to the changing landscape of work. Interesting to read the book now and see what predictions came true and which ones we are still waiting for. Definitely not the book to read if you need to kick start yourself into self employment. It is very much a background work bordering on academic. For more hands on guidance I would recommend Pam Slim's Escape from Cubicle Nation, Chris Guillebeau's The $100 Startup, or Jon Acuff's Quitter. Those three are more cur
James Strocel
Apr 10, 2015 James Strocel rated it really liked it
Even though this book was written in 2001, it carries important truths about the new social contract of employment
Jan 31, 2016 Lisa rated it liked it
A bit dated, but still filled with practical tips for those living the 'made-up life.'
An interesting read. Starts out with well-reasoned hypotheses, but moves to fantastical speculation by the end of the book.
Tori Finkle
Oct 09, 2015 Tori Finkle rated it really liked it
Ahead of its time. Lots of data (much of it now outdated) but highly readable.
Oct 10, 2009 Penny rated it really liked it
This might be the book that really started us on the path to getting an LLC going. A friend of mine lent me a copy of this book. Although I didn't have time to read much of it Gary just loved it. He put post-it notes on page after page.

Although it may paint the picture of being you own boss as a bit too rosy, it does give you some good ideas about what's going to be involved in leaving the world of being an employee.
Anthony Cheng
Dec 03, 2013 Anthony Cheng rated it it was amazing
An absolutely fantastic book that hasn't aged well in some spots (it was written in 2001), 'Free Agent Nation' still feels of-the-moment. Whether by choice or by force, a bigger and bigger chunk of the American workforce is becoming independent. The W-2s are being replaced by 1099s. This book spins out the ramifications of that change on the personal and societal level. Recommended.
May 18, 2008 Aaron rated it liked it
Dan Pink's first book is his densest--he's honed his writing a great deal in his two books since. The first half is good, but the second half really starts to drag and is kind of dated. Eight years of the Bush administration and corporation-friendly policies have probably set back some of the predictions made in this book by a decade or so.
Jarkko Laine
Apr 20, 2009 Jarkko Laine rated it really liked it
Loved the ideas and research. Some chapters were a bit boring, and the book could have been shorter. But because of the importance of the topic, I feel this is a must read for anyone not satisfied with being a corporate man or woman.
Julia Bouie
Jun 19, 2011 Julia Bouie rated it liked it
Have always loved Daniel Pink's take on things. We run an outsourced model and it definitely has it's challenges but it guess it comes down to the ethics of the business partner.
Bernard Rodriguez
Apr 02, 2010 Bernard Rodriguez rated it really liked it
Shelves: skimmed
Interesting data presented. Some of the same ideas can be explored and be seen applied in Pink's Johnny Bunko" manga, which is a 20 minute read and worth checking out.
Greg Linster
Nov 07, 2012 Greg Linster rated it really liked it
Considering that this book was published in 2002, I think Pink wrote it with prescient optimism. I hope he is right about the future of work in America.
Emma Jones
Mar 30, 2010 Emma Jones rated it it was amazing
This was the book that inspired me to start Enterprise Nation! Dan Pink spotted that free agency was taking off and he charts its development with panache.
Aaron Glett
Mar 08, 2013 Aaron Glett rated it really liked it
Great book on the benefits and pros and cons of the future contract economy and what needs to happen to enable it to work more smoothly.
Kristian Norling
Jul 01, 2014 Kristian Norling rated it really liked it
Impressed that the author described and predicted free agency so well in 2002. This book is still valid and a good read.
May 01, 2011 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
hard cover with dustjacket
somewhat marked up dustjacket but otherwise in excellent condition

re women's working status
Sep 24, 2013 Fullfaun rated it really liked it
This is a dry read for me, More Scientific ... like a thesis paper than anything helpful on how to BE a free agent.
Jun 07, 2008 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Perfectly describes my career aspirations and helped provide the necessary courage needed to start my own company.
Jan 31, 2011 Marsha rated it really liked it
Interesting and relevant given my hope to find something useful to do between retirement and not working anymore.
Dec 10, 2013 Natasha rated it really liked it
Less of a "how-to" guide than a sociological research study, but very relevant and helpful nonetheless.
Steven Hartman
Jun 15, 2013 Steven Hartman rated it liked it
Interesting and has a lot of good info but a good chunk is obsolete because it came out in 2001.
Explores how American's new independent workers are transforming the way we live.
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Daniel H. Pink is the author of a trio of provocative, bestselling books on the changing world of work: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, and Free Agent Nation. His next book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, will be published in 2010.

Dan's articles on business and technology appear in many publications, including The
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