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Protean Career

A career that involves frequent changes of organization, work setting, and job content No commitment to a single organization or line of work Such a career is shaped by the individual's own needs, goals, and values rather than by organizational structures or received ideas of professional development Success depends on adaptability, self-motivation, and a willingness to learn new skills. The criterion of success is internal (psychological success), not external. The increasing trend towards protean career patterns has radically altered the nature of psychological contracts between organizations and their employees

Has implications for issues such as job mobility, job security, training, and benefits such as healthcare, work/life related programs, educational assistance, and retirement, attached to working for a particular employer
Not everyone has this orientation to the career.

The Protean Solution


1. Embrace and be committed to change 2. Add more value to your job every day: become in invaluable asset 3. Develop multiple streams of income 4. Become an independent entrepreneur 5. Live within your means 6. A Societal shift is Required 7. Government is not an answer

On the positive side, for example, Such individuals are highly competent have a clear sense of identity are able to be adaptable are likely to pursue roles that are

more congruent with their priorities and values


are likely to see their careers in the broader context of their lives and identify work that fits in this broader context as professional identity may no longer play as dominant a role for such individuals, they are free to focus on other sub identities, such as family, community, or other personal interests they look for flexible workplace arrangements such as job sharing, reduced hours, and part-time work, that enable them to have more time to focus on other highly-valued commitments they may also be more likely to consider making trade-offs with their spouses in terms of pacing their careers to fit the demand's of their families.

On the negative side, stability, security, and predictability of one's work life and one's career development could be adversely impacted by this loss of the more stable patterns of the past.