“I have shoes older than you!”
Girl, if I had a nickel for every time I heard a coworker say this very statement to me I wouldn’t be rich but I’d be cruising around in a 2016 BMW fully loaded right now. At work, I’m constantly reminded that I’m a member of the millennial gang. I get it, I’m young; but myself, and other millennials are much more than a group of people defined by their age.
It can be particularly hard for millennials in a management position to be taken seriously. Older coworkers may think you haven’t been around the block long enough to know how to do your job let alone manage a team or project. We not only can perform well in our roles but we offer other things such as fresh ideas and new perspectives, which could ultimately help to grow the company. Truth is, we got this!
There is no way around being judged for your age because you can’t control the judgment of others but what you can do is change the perception your coworkers may have about you. No need to yell across the office, “Hey everyone, stop thinking I don’t know what I’m doing because I’m young!” Actions speak louder than words and I’ve found a couple tactics to help your coworkers see past your age.
- Be Confident
The worst thing you can do is hang out in the background and not speak up when it’s your turn. Take your seat in the boardroom with your young professional mug in hand and share those great ideas, give suggestions and say it like you mean it. You have to make sure you are not only seen but also heard.
- It’s Not About You
If you are in a position where you manage other employees remember that it is not about you. Employee management is not about the fame and glory of your position. Being a manager means doing everything in your power to make sure your team performs well. Remove their barriers, earn their trust and show you appreciate them. If you manage employees older than you they will respect the fact that you are on their side. A happy team that achieves their goals looks good for you and looks good for the growth of the company.
- Give 100%
Show everyone at the workplace that you are an excellent asset to the team by giving it your all. Cross your, ‘T’s,” and dot your, ‘I’s.’ When you give 100% success will follow. You’ll prove to others you’ve earned your spot on the team and deserve to be there with the rest of the best.
Once the office sees your quality of work, your awesome personality and the goals you continue to hit every month, your age will be one of your biggest assets. Soon you’ll hear, “I cannot believe she’s achieved so much at such a young age.” That right there ladies is the moment you’ve proved them wrong and literally made your place as a girl boss!
See you at the top,
Antointte Minor is the founder of The Young Professionalist. This blog is part of the #SheLead2016 virtual conference.