Here‘s a new site and community engaged in exploraing and understanding what it means to be a knowledge worker.
My ‘take home’ from this is that it appears to me that a knowledge worker is increasingly shifting to the mentality and/ or practices of the free agent. In part, this is a result of the wider context we operate in – as a quote from the work literacy site suggests:
Being adaptable in a flat world, knowing how to “learn how to learn,” will be one of the most important assets any worker can have, because job churn will come faster, because innovation will happen faster. – Friedman
But also its the organisational contexts we work in where getting things done and learning new things requires navigating through the informal coalitions both internally and increasingly externally. Reflecting on my own working experience, I increasingly use external contacts and information resources and its increasingly easy to do so without being ‘sneaky’ about it thanks to new technology. By Dad doesn’t get this and neither does my boss – but he doesn’t inquire too closely as I’m trusted to do my job. But at the same time, by using my wider network, I’m increasingly on the radar of others, so get involved in their work but also am more open to other work offers. This may be good for me – if my engagement with my current work declines then its fairly easy to look elsewhere without having to reconstruct large segments of my intellectual capital and/ or information resources. I’m lucky to be able to be thinking in terms of personal professional satisfaction/ development rather than job satisfaction – and that can be a big difference.