Post # 1
At work, I overheard a customer comment (in passing) to out store manager that she is too young to run a store (she’s early 30s).
Today, a customer asked to speak to the person I report to (I am Manager of my deptartment) and that they couldn’t believe they’d have someone my age be in charge of such an important department (I’ll be 26 end of Nov).
I bit my tongue and called over my supervisor. The lady audibly scoffed when she saw my manager who is only 6 months older than me.
I’m just wondering how you deal with comments about your age. It kind of hurt that the customer didn’t think I was capable of helping them/much less running my department that I’ve been in charge of since since July (I’ve been in this area for over 4 years).
Post # 3
Is it retail? Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything you can do about them when it’s a customer. The best thing to do is just show them amazing service and let them realize how good of a manager a younger person can be. It sounds like this lady was a little wacko – retail managers often are quite young!!
NOW – if it was a coworker or something saying you were too young to be a manager, my answer would be a little different (although still saying the best way to overcome stereotypes is to do an amazing job).
I’m 27 and manage a team of 5. I am the youngest, although I have been with the company the longest – but I’m not manager because of my longevity. I’m manager because I know how to get stuff done and how to coach others to be more effective. My age honestly never really comes up.
Just be an awesome manager and don’t worry about snarky comments from customers. Let them roll off your back and worry about what your team thinks of you as a manager.
Post # 4
Some people have bad days and take it out on others. It’s hard not to let it bother you. It could also be she is misjudging your age too. My sister is in her 30s and frequently mistaken for a teenager, LOL.
Just do the best job you can, that’s all you can do! Good luck and don’t let them grind you down.
Post # 5
Well what was going on that they had to go above your head?
I was a manager and then District Manager in Retail for 15 years and I didn’t ever notice anyone say anything about my age….. because my job was to make them happy. And, fortunately, the stores I worked for allowed me the ability to provide good customer service so only the most unreasonable of customer had to go above my head to my supervisor.
Making the customer happy and not sounding snarky or like you “have the power to put them in their place” is more irritating than your age. So, I think for the most part no one should care how old you are if you are handling them with maturity.
Post # 6
FH became a manager at 22 and a few people had that reaction. Whatever, he’s in charge of millions of dollars worth of equipment and has been out-performing the older managers. Anyone who think age alone predicts work ethic and responsibility is ignorant. Just be proud you’ve already reached a big miletone in your career and the fact that you’ve done it at such a young age is great.
Post # 7
I am not a manager, but I am a Team Lead, and I’m basically the “boss” of my team. We don’t have “managers”. I report to my supervisor, and she to her’s. I am without a doubt the youngest member on my team, and will be 25 next month. However, I often get mistaken for a high school student. I’ve had people comment on my age, but most of my co-workers don’t see my age, they see my skill. Even though I am only on my 2nd year doing my job, I am a hard worker and a good leader. People respect that. At the end of the day you’re all adults doing your job.
As for costumers, well, it doesn’t really matter what the customer’s issue is with you, there will always be customers that have a problem. Just smile and move on. As a PP said, the best way to prove them wrong is to show WHY you’re in a leadership position.
Post # 8
I’m not a manager but have had many similar experiences since I’ve been in my position since I was 22 and am now 26. I’ve had women more than twice my age refuse to talk to me and talk to my colleage who is older, but lower than me on our chain of command. It still happens to me but I just nod and get through it. If someone is blatantly questioning my ability to do my job I am always prepared and confident in my answers back to them; if I show them how adequate my skills are they often are left leaving with their tail between their legs.
Own it girl, be proud that you are a manager and successful now and remember you were given that job for a reason. Be confident in your abilities and just try not to let it bother you even though I know sometimes it still bothers me too.
Post # 9
I am a manager (of a bank) and only 22. They are just jealous. Brush it off 🙂
Post # 10
My husband was assistant store manager at 18 and Manager at 19. If he stayed at the job he’d be a co- owner practically with the way the buisness went. However he had a career change.
Post # 11
When I was 25 I started managing a bank, and I certainly got some comments about my age as well. I found that my best defense was dressing up and always looking the part of a professional. That meant tailored pants, nice blouses, and no blue jeans even on days when the branch was allowed to dress down. I don’t know if you have the option to choose your own clothing or if you have to wear a uniform, but I found clothing was my best friend.
Post # 12
Thanks for the support ladies. I do work in retail, my options are whether I wear a green logo-wear polo, or white collared shirt (and apron), with blue, black, or khaki pants. I’ve been wearing the green polo as I feel it looks more mature than having towear an apron. I also try to wear my hair more styled than in a pony-tail (although sometimes I can’t avoid this).
I really don’t like the fact I’m so limited on what I can wear. I would love to dress up every day, but unfortunately that is not allowed. I always try to present my self in a professional manner, as well. I guess with some people it’s never enough. *shrugs*
Post # 13
My friend is a manager at mcdonalds at 19. I would’ve been a manager at 20 if i didn’t quit.
Post # 14
No it isn’t too young! I get this as well. I am only 24 and I am the Director of Community Programs and Admission/Marketing at a charter school. I am in the 4th highest position for my 60 person organization, but I am about 8 years younger than the two other Directors at the same level as me.
I get the “too young” comments when I give tours or work with families/parents of middle school children. Some of the parents could be my parents actually or they say “you are too young and do not have children, so you don’t understand.”
I usually respond, in a very professional manner, “I will do my best to help you with this situation.” The fact is, I have a college degree and I have been working in my career field for 3 years, I know what I am doing. Sure, sometimes I have to defer to my boss (the Executive Director), but he is only 32. At 27 he started the entire school and is continuing to run it. So sometimes they are not very happy to have to “go above me” to someone who is still younger than them.
It’s life, people will always be that way. I just try not to take it personally.
Post # 15
I was a department manager in a JCPenney for like 5 years and a supervisor for 2. Some customers were very crappy about it, because I’m now 26. So I was like 20-25 when I managed a department of 10-15 people. I was much more meek then, and I could get shaken up a bit by an angry customer… but that faded, and when it did, I dealt with less crap about my age (it’s about presence, really).
Most customers suck and are horrible and we expected anything from them. That’s how we dealt with it. Low expectations = little disappointment. haha. They like to treat you like a lesser being, and think they know best, and assume you’re there to kiss their feet. They’re often stupid, don’t know what they’re talking about, are selfish, ignorant and COMPLETELY OVERREACT. Seriously, we learned to basically think of customers as cattle.
When customers were nice and understanding, I’d give them the world and bend over backwards. But what most of them did when they didn’t get their way was act like spoiled little brats, and figured if they made enough fuss, I’d give in. That made me do the opposite; I’m not rewarding bad behavior! I’m wasn’t their personal slave that they could slap around.
It’s pretty jaded, but I am no longer surprised by the actions of anyone, and I tend to have the lowest opinion of people at first. They have to prove to me they don’t suck. Don’t stay in retail for 10 years. lol
I was promoted from supervisor to manager over several people in their 40s and 50s (it didn’t go over well. I had rumors spread against me -_- see how petty and childish people are? haha)
Again… it’s often about presence, though. They can smell fear. lol
Post # 16
I work in tax at a large public accounting firm, and most people are up for mangager 5-6 years out of school. So, there are a lot of managers who are 27-28. A lot of the senior managers are in their early 30s.