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Your Next Job: Intellectual Mercenary

As the labor shortage continues to grow in the coming decades, the very nature of work may change with it. The model of the future? Think Hollywood.

Intellectual MercenaryThat's the insight offered by Harvard Business blogger Tammy J. Erickson in her piece, Cycling: The Hollywood Approach to Talent Management. Making movies today in Tinsel Town is similar to bringing together a team on a project. Studios, which once controlled the whole enchilada, are now more like financing and distribution partners, Erickson notes. The producer pulls together the cast and crew, including a director. Once the movie is shot and distributed, the players go their separate ways to their next projects.

With the labor pool shrinking, "It is likely that some form of this model will come to many of our industries over the next decade or two," says Erickson.

This is a significant opportunity for the millions of current workers heading towards retirement age. Many of these folks will prefer to keep working post retirement, but in periods of full-time work interspersed with periods of no work. In other words, cycling.

Moving from project to project, workers will become intellectual mercenaries. But cycling takes special skills, both on the part of individuals and the businesses who will employ them

To take advantage of cycling in the future, you should start doing things today including building networks, developing a personal brand, and continuous education, she Erickson. Read her column to see the full list.

Does the idea of cycling into retirement excite you?

(Green screen image by Mark Sebastian, CC 2.0)