Perseverance in Reaching Your Career Goals

As the world begins to emerge from the COVID pandemic and we begin to see glimmers of normalcy around the bend, any student or recent graduate is thinking about their short- and long-term professional and career goals.  All of us have learned about resiliency during the long and dark days of COVID, and we have all gained new skills that we will keep with us forever.

The reality of life (both professionally and otherwise….) is that we will all face continuous challenges throughout our lives.  The key to resiliency is developing the skills to keep going and to keep your goals in mind.  Here are some inspiring stories from Penn’s campus of professional resiliency and perseverance in the face of adversity:

The Unlikely Pioneer Behind mRNA Vaccines (New York Times podcast)
Penn’s own Dr. Katalin Kariko faced many challenges in her career as an academic researcher – including a demotion and losing her research funding.  She kept her goal in mind and persevered.  Her work developed the science behind Pfizer’s COVID vaccine and all started as a result of a chance meeting at a copy machine at Penn.

Building Collective Resilience by Helping Others (YouTube lecture)
Wharton professor Adam Grant Adam Grant writes, researches and lectures about resilience.  Learn more about his approach to helping yourself by helping others.

Character Lab Tip of the Week (blog post)
Staff from Penn’s Angela Duckworth’s Character Lab share their stories of successes and failures (many career-related!)

As you navigate the world of work reopening, Career Services is here to help you with your career-related questions.  Please schedule an appointment on today!

By Dianne Hull
Dianne Hull Senior Associate Director, Graduate Students & Postdocs