Post # 1
I recently got a fantastic well-paying government job. I have absolutely no background in it (no experience), but I made it through the 3 month testing/hiring process and passed all of my tests with flying colours. Now that I have actually started my 6 month training period, it’s been revealed that I am the youngest person they’ve ever hired (I am 21). They apparently never consider anyone under 25… and usually prefer over 30. Today word got out about my age and I heard whispers and got weird looks. One woman even called me a baby. I felt a little disadvantaged at the fact that I have no experience, but now that people know how old I am I’m afraid that I’m just going to be looked down on or dismissed because they think I can’t handle the job. I had no clue my age would be an issue for people but now I’m start to feel a little nervous due to the reaction today. Any tips on how to deal with being the youngest?
Post # 2
I was a Navy Nurse Corps officer out of college. I got assigned to a mairne base. I was the youngest officer not only at the hospital, but on the entire base for the first year I was there. You overcome prejudice by being good at what you do.
Post # 3
Roxytiki: Just do a good job and be a good colleague. That will silence the doubters.
Post # 4
Roxytiki: You’re going to be fine! Keep it professional, be respectful, after all, you were hired for a reason!
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2014 - Blue Horse Farm
Agreed. I have always been the youngest in my department and at most of the companies I have worked at. I am at a senior position and have been since I was 21. I got some of the same issues when I first started because most people that report to me are men and are twice my age.
The way to overcome it is not make a big deal out of it at all and just be good at what you do. You are hired for a reason and if you just go out there and do your job well people won’t even care about your age.
Post # 6
Roxytiki: I’ve almost always been the young one either in my organization or within the management group. Don’t sweat it. Just do a good job and people will be impressed with you. I do try to keep my age quiet though, so I’d suggest downplaying it when possible.
Good for you, sounds like you are on a great track!
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
ITA with PPs. Be amazing at what you do, treat your co-workers with respect, and everything should work out just fine.
I started with my group as a fresh from college young 20-something, and I was the baby by at least 15 years. I used that as motivation to knock their socks off, and was promoted every single year for the first 5 years of my career. I now lead the very same staff who trained me in those early days.
Post # 8
How well you do your job is WAY more important than your age, at least to the people who matter at your workplace! I hired someone reeeeally young, way younger than I ever would have considered initially (aged 18). It’s because he impressed me more than other people I was interviewing that were 10 years older than him. He’s more genuine, professional, and gives a shit about his job and overall welfare of the company (that last one is key and something your bosses will notice!).
Just be sure to always conduct yourself professionally, try to go above and beyond as often as possible, and don’t do things that people (wrongly) associate with young people such as coming to work hungover, having problems with authority, getting involved in office drama, etc. Doing a great job and making yourself indispensable will change their minds quickly.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA
Don’t make a big deal about it with your colleagues, just prove your competence to them daily and they’ll have to respect you eventually. In my job, sometimes we get summer hires/interns/low-level people who JUST finished college and think they know everything there ever was to know about the field. It’s obnoxious at best, destructive (when their knowledge is only theoretical without real-world applicability) at worst. Not saying this is you at all, but “old timers” often have reason to be skeptical of the youngin’. Behave as professionally as possible, roll with the punches, and don’t take any age-related teasing too seriously. You’ll be fine.
Post # 10
Echoing PPs. Have confidence and knock their socks. You’ll prove yourself to them over time, and age will no longer be relevant. When I started in the first position I held in my field, not only was I younger than the average candidate…. I also had longe, blonde hair and a pretty prominent bust. I didn’t realize how much age and appearance can work against you until I held that job. I knew I was capable, because like you, I passed tests/several interviews/hands on tests/worked grueling hours/etc. to have even made it that far.
However, trying to prove to everyone that I was not the bimbo they thought I was? That got to be pretty rough for the first year or two. I had to overcompensate BIG time in my work to overcome the setbacks of my age and appearance. I even colored my hair brunette, hoping that would help people take me more serious. Eventually, everyone came around once they saw my work ethic and that I could produce good results. It def took some time, though. And, like PP’s, I am now overseeing those that helped train me (and were twice my age).
Don’t get discouraged, stay confident, always figure out how to go above and beyond and bust your butt.
Post # 11
I’m just going to reiterate what everyone else said and just work hard and show them that you were hired for your skill regardless of your age.
I was hired right out of school at 23 to work at a very well-established company where every full-time employee in the office was no less than 10-15 years older than me. I was very intimidated at first, but once I started to get comfortable and produced some good work people really saw that my age didn’t matter. Not once has anyone commented on my age, except for on my birthday when people asked ‘how old are you now? 18? 19?’ but I knew it was just good natured ribbing.