How To Thrive When You're The Youngest Professional In The Office
“I graduated from high school in 1989.”
Hearing that in the office caused me to gasp and lower my head because I was born in 1989. Once again, I found myself the youngest professional in the office, second to the interns, most of which I know because I went to college with them. Being a young woman in an office of people twice and thrice your age can be intimidating, but you can use your youth to your advantage.
Establish Your Place
Being in your early, mid or late twenties in an office full of people who are well into their 30s, 40s and 50s can put you in a tight spot. You run the risk of being treated as the “child.” Before things even get there, nip it in the bud. No, I don’t mean stand on your cubicle and demand you be treated like the adult you are. I mean stand up for yourself and act in a way that shows that, yes, you are young, but you’re also responsible, mature and obviously capable of doing the job you’re getting paid to do.
Use Your Youth
One advantage to being the youngest: you know more, in a current sense. You learned things differently in high school and college, or took courses that weren’t even established when your co-workers were in college. You were around when social media began to emerge, and you’re basically the beta group for its success. Push those modern skills forward. You never know; that may be the thing that gets you the promotion.
In case you don’t know already, as you grow up, you automatically become a personal IT girl. It will be annoying helping someone with something as simple as how to sync an iPhone to a computer. Don’t let it frustrate you – just lend a helping hand. Older people will come to you for help because they know you how to fix it, and can actually fix it without messing it all up. So, when that coworker who keeps jamming the printer comes to your desk for assistance, just fix it with a smile.