It is fair to say that youth work is being courted. The question is by whom and is it an appropriate suitor? The author begins with a brief sociological analysis of profession in order to more closely examine the narratives upon which professional identities rest. These understandings of "professional" are examined alongside accompanying assumptions and implications for professional education. Specifically, the privileging of science and epistemic culture as the foundation for profession is questioned as the best suitor for a practice of working with young people that values meaning over truth, dialogue over evidence, and reflexivity over certainty. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.