The requiem for jobs and careers as the American middle class has known them has already
sounded. Some purveyors of career advice claim that "jobs" are increasingly obsolete; instead,
people will perform tasks on a project-by-project basis under short-term contracts. They liken
workers to free agents in professional sports. Or they invoke Hollywood to describe future
teams assembled for particular ventures that will readily move on to the next one, carrying their
security with them via their reputations and network of contacts.