What You Can Learn as the Youngest Employee at Work

If you’ve just landed an internship or started a new career, chances are you may just be the youngest person in your office, and sometimes by a lot. This may mean that the chances of making similar-aged office friends and finding someone to join you at an après-work happy hour are unfortunately slim to none. However, being the youngest in your office actually provides you with a host of benefits and lots of learning opportunities. If you haven’t quite found the silver lining yet, read on to discover the advantages of being the youngest person in the office.

You will learn how to act like a professional.
As a young professional, the learning curve is steep. Embrace it. Part of that includes honing a professional approach. More often than not to prove your worthiness for a raise or promotion, you need to be constantly professional. While this undoubtedly means acting way more mature than you actually are and suppressing your Netflix-loving, Snapchatting and Chipotle-bingeing twenty-something urges, you’re in the best environment to help you do just that. By observing and emulating your older co-worker’s work habits, attire and overall maturity, you will learn to become a more professional employee.

You can see the future.
Being surrounded by co-workers who are parents — and some who are even old enough to be your parents — can make you feel like a child. However, observing your older co-workers will actually give you a great perspective for your future. You’ll gain insight into how employees in your company climb the corporate ladder and an estimate of how long it could take you to reach your goals. Getting to know your older, successful co-workers who had a similar college major or career goal can also help to provide insight into your potential career path. However, if you’re noticing unhappiness and dissatisfaction among your older office-mates, it may be a sign for you to start sending out resumes.

You’re not too old to move on.
If you’re the youngest employee in your office, chances are you’re one of the youngest employees in the entire workforce. This means that if you don’t like your current job or even your current career path, you have all the time in the world to change that, by switching jobs or even going back to school. Also, keep in mind that as a member of Gen Y it’s perfectly normal to have several career changes — as almost everyone in this generation will have 15 to 20 jobs over the course of their career.

You’re doing just fine.
As the youngest employee in your office, feeling insecure is completely normal. You may feel as though your lack of experience and years as a professional can cause your superiors not to take you seriously. However, remember you were hired because of your impressive skills, talent, and personality, and even if it doesn’t feel like it, you and your job are important. As a young professional already climbing the career ladder, it’s safe to say you’re doing just fine.

If your office is filled with co-workers much older than you, office-life may feel daunting. However, being the youngest means you have the most potential career growth ahead. It also gives you the opportunities to learn about professionalism and even your own career path from your co-workers. Turn your age into your biggest asset on the way to career success.

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