The End of Free Agent Nation (at least for me)

Image: Bob RosnerA friend that I went to high school is an accomplished writer on ethical issues. He’s written a couple of books and columns for the NY Times and Fortune. He once called me the biggest BS artist he’s ever met, because I write about the workplace but don’t work in one. Of course I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Sure Jeff, and you write about ethics.”

Seriously, even though I wrote most of my articles while in shorts on my couch, I always had guidance about what was going on in the workplace from the 50,000 people who’ve written to me through the years, both bosses and employees. This insight has provided an invaluable understanding about workplace dynamics and a treasure trove of creative solutions for solving common workplace problems.

I’ve also done an average of 25 speeches a year. Which has allowed me yet another venue to take the pulse of what’s going on at work. And finally, I’ve coached a number of executives through the years.

A couple of weeks ago a company asked me to serve as a consultant to them. This isn’t unusual, I’ve done it a number of times during the course of my career.

But as the conversations continued, they eventually asked me to work for them full time. Don’t worry, I’ll continue to write my column and blog.

This got me thinking about the basic tenet of Free Agent Nation. That being an entrepreneur is the most evolved place to spend your time in the workplace. I disagree, even though I’ve done the free agent thing for many years.

I think that there are times in your life where it makes sense to be on your own and there are also times where it makes sense to occupy box on the organizational chart.

Okay, it’s weird to think about having a desk and being expected to show up at an office regularly. But I’m excited about a concept that I haven’t had for many years, colleagues, people who I can bounce ideas off of. And yes, people that I have to convince. But even that prospect can only serve to make my ideas better.

There is life after Free Agent Nation. And I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

About The Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, “The Boss’s Survival Guide.” If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

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Madeline Messa

Madeline Messa is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. With her legal research and writing for Workplace Fairness, she strives to equip people with the information they need to be their own best advocate.