Protean career: perspectives of study



The article analyzes different approaches to study of models of constructing the employment career in current environment. The changes having taken place in interrelationsbetween employees and organizations over recent 15 years led to changes in their mutual expectations including the ones concerning the career development. Boundaryless career based on career mobility and protean career based on subjective understanding of career success are regarded as alternatives to traditional careers. The main attributes of “new careers” are: an increased independence in employee-organization dyads, low level of mutual obligations, freedom of choice, self-actualization, priority of career loyalty and self-management in contrast to organization loyalty. Changes in career conceptualizing inevitably led to revision of career competences. Traditional professional competences give way to career meta-competences like adaptiveness, capacity for education, self-management, taking responsibility. At the same time empirical studies displaya prematurity of statements about the expressed loss of interest to traditional careers.

General Information

Keywords: employment career; psychological contract; traditional model of career construction; protean career; boundaryless career; career mobility; career competences; subjective criteria of career success

Journal rubric: Labour Psychology and Engineering Psychology

Article type: review article

For citation: Litvinova E.Y. Protean career: perspectives of study [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2013. Vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 118–129. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


Armstrong M. Praktika upravleniya chelovecheskimi resursami. 8-e izdanie. SPb. : Piter, 2008. 832 s. (Seriya «Klassika MVA»).

Information About the Authors

Elena Y. Litvinova, PhD in Psychology, associate professor at the Chair of Management Psychology, Faculty of Social Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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