Protean Career and Mosaic Mentoring

Proteus was old sea god of Greek mythology. He knew past, present and future of each person, but always avoided telling anyone about it. Only way to make him tell was to tie him up when he was asleep and wait till he woke up. But capturing him this way was not enough; he could take different forms like that of lion, leopard, snake, tree etc. and would try to escape. If person capturing him could still manage to restrain him, then Proteus would tell him what he wanted to know.

This ability of Proteus to change his form gave birth to adjective- Protean- which means versatile, capable of taking many forms etc.

In organisational psychology/HRD, the term is applied to career planning- Protean career. There is lot of literature available on this; but the basic steps in protean career remain same…

1) Monitor and assess the job market

2) Anticipate future developments, trends, and industry shifts

3) Gain the necessary skills, qualifications, relationships, and assets to meet the shifts.

4) Adapt quickly to thrive in an ever-changing workplace.

A person should constantly monitor the changes that are taking place in his organisation, field of interest or function and should be agile enough to shape his career accordingly to keep growing in his profession.


One way to start your version of protean career is to get aware of your interests by giving psychometric tests like Holland personality traits, a free online version if this is available ( click on link given below)

Along with self-awareness, opt for mosaic mentoring. Mosaic mentoring differs from traditional mentoring programs run by HR department. In mosaic mentoring you have number of mentors ranging from senior executives, to peers, to subordinates, to those who may not know you, but you treat them as role model. Having such variety of mentors helps you in increasing your knowledge and awareness levels, improve your network and have pool of experts on whom you can bounce off your ideas.

From traditional career growth to traditional mentoring, employee should shift to protean career and mosaic mentoring.






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