When I wrote the first edition of this book in 1999, ‘ careers ’ was the word on people’s lips – what had happened to classic white-collar careers? After all, the previous decade had seen some of the old ‘ truths ’ about the nature of employment in the West being fundamentally shaken. These ‘ truths ’ or expectations have been described as the ‘ psychological contract ’ between employer and employee. It used to go something like this: as long as the employee was doing a good job they might expect continuing employment and be able to contemplate promotion up the career ladder. In return, the employer expected high levels of performance and loyalty from employees.