Patt Morrison for March 9, 2012

White-collar mavericks: the new corporate culture

Cornell, 2011.

The good news is, that the economy added 227,000 jobs in February, according to numbers out today from the U.S. Labor Department. Jobs were added in industries across the board, from health care to manufacturing, and the White House was quick to point out that the economy is “continuing to heal” from the wounds of the recession. But it’s been slow going, and for many, the end doesn’t seem to be in sight.

Our boom-and-bust economy over recent decades has made repeated layoffs a part of life. Nearly every large company has experienced seismic shifts in fortune, and white-collar employees have had a hard time keeping their footing.

The promise of a long-term career – complete with gold watch – has become a thing of the past. How are today’s skilled workers responding? The answer is a new definition of employment in which rootless workers have come to think of themselves as a “company of one.”

Networking events, career seminars and the emergence of sites like LinkedIn.com, are just some of the ways recent generations have adapted to the insecurity of the corporate job market.

WEIGH IN:

Can the man (or woman) in the Grey Flannel Suit stay relevant in the 21st century?

Guest:

Carrie Lane, associate professor of American Studies at California State University Fullerton and author of “A Company of One: Insecurity, Independence and the New World of White-Collar Unemployment”


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