Protean Professionalism and Career Development

  • Steven KernoJr.
Part of the Series in Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMENG)

You might not remember Proteus. He was a sea god in ancient Greek mythology. To most engineers, mythology of any kind is likely to be a distant memory—something we learned about in high school, with little perceived relevance or applicability to today’s challenges and demands. Or so we thought.

Proteus was capable of altering his shape in order to fit the demands of his environment. His name is the basis of the adjective “protean,” which has the general meaning of versatile, flexible, adaptable, or capable of assuming many forms—much like the career demands confronting the modern engineer [1].

“Protean,” especially when applied to “career,” is not simply an abstract term involving a colorful superstition, but a modern reality that for many is simultaneously exhilarating in the freedom it provides, and terrifying in the security it erodes. The protean career [2, 3], with the growing need for individual motivation and continuous, career-related learning and development [4, 5], is indeed...


Transitory Career Career Concept Continuous Learning Process Corporate Ladder Protean Career 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven KernoJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Deere & CompanyMoline, Illinois and St. Ambrose UniversityDavenportUSA

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