How to Handle Being the Youngest in the Office

how to handle being the youngest in the office | post-grad job tips | new grad job tips | first job tips | professionalism tips | s'more happiness
It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
— Leonardo da Vinci

Going from being around people the exact same age as you (or close to it) for 19 years to being the youngest in the office can be quite the wake-up call. Often times if you work in a larger corporation, you’ll be confused for an intern by well-meaning people in different departments. I know how disheartening it can feel to be the youngest person on the team, but it just means you have to prove your value a bit more, which can be fun!

Stay organized.

Working in an entry-level position can actually be pretty exciting because you get to help out with numerous projects. Doing so means that it is absolutely critical that you stay organized. Remember that you need to prove your value to the team, and to do so you want to make sure that you are completing assignments on time. Check out this post to find out how to stay organized when managing multiple projects and this one to read about how I learned that organization is key in the workplace.

Listen first, then share your ideas.

As a newbie, it can be easy to start sharing your ideas on how to make processes and projects better as soon as you land the job. I would advise you to hold off on that for a while because I learned that you really need to understand the ebbs and flows of an organization before you can thoughtfully make suggestions. That said, please do not feel shy to share your ideas because you are the youngest on the team. You should feel confident in your abilities because your manager wouldn’t have hired you if they didn’t think you could do the job and bring new ideas to the table.

Figure out solutions.

In the workplace, you will be faced with numerous problems that can be as small as how to work the printer to as big as figuring out where a bus driver is to take 50 executive leaders to your boss’s boss’s house (true story). Before you ask for help, spend a good chunk of time trying to figure out the solution to the problem through creative thinking and research. If you are having trouble, ask a coworker if they have five minutes to walk through the problem with you. If you still are having difficulties, bring the problem to your manager, however when you have that discussion you should explain the methods you have used to try to figure out the solution and share what you brainstormed to solve it. Doing so will show that you took the initiative to figure out a solution before running to your boss for help.

I hope these tips help you! Please let me know how you handle being the youngest in the office in the comments below.