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Promoting employability in a "flat" worldPolly ParkerT. L. Friedman (2005) described a "flat" worldplatform where competition and collaboration takeplace in real time among people all over the planet.Implications exist for people to assume responsibilityfor managing their own careers and ensuring theirown security in a global economy. This articleaddresses those challenges from both theindividual's and the career counselor's perspectives.It proposes the "intelligent career' framework—comprising3"waysofknowing"andinterdependencies among them—as a helpful basisfor effective career development. People can use theframework to navigate their careers in order todevelop new skills, develop broader reputations, andin turn sustain employability.Now that people can connect with others anywhere, anytime, in ananosecond, it is timely to consider the implications of theglobalized world. It is a world that, in Thomas Friedman's terms,is flat. In a flat world, "life-time employment is a form of fat that aflat world simply cannot sustain any longer" (Friedman, 2005, p.368). Individual workers are going to be more responsible formanaging their own careers, risks, and economic security. Theywill need to be self-reliant yet supported by business andgovernment to enhance lifetime employability, brought about by"replacing that fat with muscle" (Friedman, 2005, p. 369).Profound changes in the world of work have altered previouslywell-understood social contracts and highlighted the tensionbetween employment and employability. Security is no longersynonymous with a "job for life." Rather, it depends on the abilityto maintain market currency continuously and ensure lifetimeemployability (Friedman, 2005, p. 369). In this article, I considerways to help people to build and enact careers that sustainemployability. I describe the "intelligent career" as a framework topromote employability that can be used both by individuals andby counselors who support these individuals in their careerdevelopment. In particular, I focus on the intelligent career's three"ways of knowing" and discuss reciprocal influences among2journalofemployment counselingMurch200845
them. Finally, I identify some practical considerations for theemployment counselor.THE CHANGING NATURE OF WORKSeveral forces have contributed to the constantly changingenvironment and the work and careers that emerge from it. Aprincipal force is globalization, which has been experienced inthree distinct waves.The first wave involved the building of physical connections andis symbolized by Columbus's 1492 voyage to the New World.The second wave further modified the effects of physical distancethrough improvements in transportation (from steam engines toairplanes) and telecommunications (from the telegraph up toearly versions of the World Wide Web). The third wave is theability to collaborate and compete globally, using personalcomputers and fiber-optic cables, to access digital contentthrough the rise of work-flow software (Friedman, 2005).

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Test, The Social Contract, journal of employment counseling

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