Are You Being Taken Seriously As a Young Professional?
By, Dawn Yerger
Have you ever had the feeling that you weren’t being taken seriously as a young business professional? If so, it may not be all in your head. Whether it is a snide remark or an undermining of a suggestion that is made in a meeting, many young professionals experience feelings of inadequacy, whether from older colleagues or senior managers. These feelings may lead to a lack of confidence or a feeling of struggling uphill just to get a little bit of recognition from more seasoned colleagues.
Or, it may be possible that there is something within your behavior and work habits that say “naive worker.” You are probably not aware of it, and no one has had the heart to tell you. Who can blame them? In today’s competitive job market, professionals, both new and seasoned, are expected to know the fundamental rules of business etiquette and workplace protocol.
Don’t go to HR with complaints of hazing! All joking aside, there are some adjustments that you can make in your professional behavior that will display to your boss, upper management, and all of your colleagues that you are a true professional, despite your level of experience or date of birth.
•Know Your Strengths and Challenges – There is a reason why you were hired in the first place. Assess your professional strengths and assess the areas where you may not be as strong. Chances are, you can use your strengths to play up the other areas that need a bit of attention.
•Be Confident in Your Strengths and Skills – There is nothing wrong with being confident and using your skills to your advantage. Volunteer for projects that will display your strengths and talents.
•Know Your Professional Brand – Does your professional brand elicit a positive or negative association? Be aware of how your actions in the workplace affect how others see you and respond to you (see my previous article titled “I Have A Brand? – Creating a Positive Emotional Association with Your Professional Brand”).
•Carry Yourself In A Professional Manner – Proper eye contact and a firm handshake go a long way when communicating to others that you are a business professional. Keep a tidy workspace. Respond to voicemails and emails in a professional and timely manner. Keep business cards handy when outside of the workplace. Stay out of office gossip and politics.
•Be Willing to Learn and Accept That You Don’t Know It All – Many times as a young professional, it is easy to be on the defensive and act as if you know everything there is to know about your job or field. It is a great idea to pair up with your boss, a mentor or a senior colleague that can act as an advisor to give you tips and pointers. There is nothing wrong with asking for a little help.
•DiamondMind Coaching & Consulting’s “Presenting a P.O.L.I.S.H.ed Professional Brand” Teleseminar Series – This FREE teleseminar series is specifically about presenting an authentic and polished professional brand, and creating a brand that creates a positive emotional association in your niche market. The line up for this series presents four women entrepreneurs and business professionals who have extensive knowledge in professional branding and they are going to share their tips and secrets with us! This is a great way to get a “sample” of how beneficial business coaching can be for you! To learn more and register for this free resource, CLICK HERE!
•Article: 5 Tips To Being Taken Seriously As A Young Entrepreneur by Buhle Dlamini. Although this article was written for young entrepreneurs, young business professions can glean some helpful tips and information from this article as well.