Guest commentator: Scott Harkey, Associate Director of Development, Penn Medicine @PennMedicine

How can young professionals cultivate a meaningful career?

The purpose-driven generation. A well-deserved title bestowed on young professionals born between 1984-1995. Now more than ever, young professionals are placing a strong emphasis on being involved with socially-driven companies, both personally and professionally. We see this with companies like TOMS Shoes, Warby Parker, and many others, but how can young professionals incorporate that same sense of purpose in their own careers?

Being involved and seeing firsthand the powerful combination of world-renowned medical education, incredible patient-care, and breakthrough-research has provided me with purpose-driven work at Penn Medicine, propelling me into a career that I never would have imagined when I graduated from Clemson University in South Carolina. Here at Penn, I’ve been able to merge my business strengths with my passion. When I first joined the Young Professionals Council (known as the Young Professionals Network at the time), one of the professional development books I received was How to Find Fulfilling Work by Roman Krznaric. In the book, Krznaric advises that young professionals truly find where their values and talents meet, creating the opportunity to be a part of something that they not only care about but are naturally prone to being successful at.

Additionally, I had the opportunity to pursue my masters at Penn to continue learning about an industry I have come to be passionate about. That being said, I encourage young professionals to surround themselves in an environment that fosters learning. At Penn, I was able to sit in a classroom with incredible faculty and colleagues, allowing me the opportunity to learn from others about their purpose-driven work. Merging the classroom environment with my time on the Young Professionals Council, I have been able to learn from fellow board members and other young professionals in the city. This continuous path of learning will widen your perspective and allow you to find a meaningful career.

Scott Harkey is a Member of the YPC Advisory Board and Co-Chair of the YPC Professional Development Committee.