Why Being The Youngest In The Office Isn’t So Bad
The following is a guest post by Ayah Granada. Her bio follows.
On your first day of work as a fresh graduate, or a millennial on his/her umpteenth job switch, it’s almost impossible to think good thoughts. You haven’t even gotten past your first hour, yet you’re already wondering whether or not you can last the rest of the year. Starting a new job is like being the new kid at school at over again – minus the parents dropping you off. Prior to your office grand entrance, you’ve practically come up with everything that could wrong. Yes, you’ll constantly have to ask questions. Making mistakes is inevitable. Things will get messy. You will feel small.
We can’t exactly throw a tantrum either.
“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”
― Alain de Botton
Don’t succumb to the fear of being the least experienced in your group. Being the youngest doesn’t automatically make you naïve. Everyone in your workplace has gone through the newbie stage too, and it actually isn’t so bad for so many reasons:
You’re a sure source of fresh ideas
In a group of 20 to 30 year olds and above, you’ll most likely be the one who’s most up-to-date with the latest gossip, memes and trends. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the attention you get, use it to your advantage. Trending topics are perfect, no-fail, conversation starters. You’ll be making office BFFs in no time.
What worked yesterday doesn’t always work today.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert
You’ll have many mentors
Making a good first impression is often the first item on our office bucket list. Rather than charging forward, choose to take baby steps. Everyone will feel like your boss and you’ll feel obligated to do more work than you can handle. Keep in mind that it is not your duty to keep volunteering for every opportunity that arises. Refrain from being overeager. One of the best things about being a newbie is that you can hesitate and say “no” when you feel you can no longer handle the workload. Being new is pretty much equivalent to a temporary “get out of jail” card. Don’t abuse it.
Getting your first paycheck. Enough said.
Consider yourself a liar if you never felt like you won the lotto jackpot on your first pay day.
You’re more enthusiastic about your tasks & everything will feel exciting
Even your first evaluation will feel like an achievement. The feedback should inspire you to bring out your best potential, not demotivate you. You’re bursting with energy. You’ve got a long way to go before your conversations revolve around aging – lucky you.
“Inspiration usually comes during work rather than before it.”
― Madeleine L’Engle
Prove to them that you’re open to being trained. You can be the youngest yet still be able to deliver the same, if not better, results as everyone else. Just because we work in a different manner and have a different attitude, it doesn’t mean we don’t work as hard. While others are most productive first thing in the morning, we’re probably still warming up to face the day’s challenges.
One harsh reality about our first jobs is that if there’s anyone that must adjust, it’s you. You can’t continue wearing what you did in college, hoping you’ll fit right in. An inch or two when it comes to skirt hems makes a huge difference on your appearance and professionalism. Put yourself in the shoes of your clients or your boss and assess your corporal clothing choices.
The workplace will have a variety of personalities and co-workers five, then or even double your age. Sometimes there’s just nothing you can do to bridge the gap between employee generations, especially when it comes to jokes and pop culture. Drawbacks and benefits will always be there, even for the most experienced workers. We can’t have it all.
Transitioning from being a fulltime student to an employee takes a bit of getting used to. Slowly adapt to the company culture, who knows, it’ll be just what you need to officially kick start your adult life.
“Work without love is slavery.”
― Mother Teresa
The best thing about being young and a millennial? We know how to have a life outside of work. At the end of the day, no matter whom you work for or what your profession is, it should never feel like a burden. Love your work and it will love you right back.
Ayah is a content writer and editor for Scoopfed.com. Formerly a student journalist. Full time writer, part time bibliophile and a TV series hoarder-slash-enthusiast. She’s currently focused on helping healthcare workers and millennials find better career opportunities through Locum Tenens. You can also find her on Twitter @ayahgranada.