I have this consuming obsession to write. Mind you, I have a paper for one of my classes that I need to write but that doesn’t seem as important. Lately it seems that all I can think about is writing for Gen Y Girl. I’m amazed at how many people are reading what I have to say and I absolutely love it. I really thought that I’d start writing and NO ONE would read. Except for my group partner in my HR class that sits next to me while we make fun of everyone else in class for having zero real-life experience and thinking that they’re going to be ridiculously successful in the workforce. So yes, let me just say I’m pleasantly surprised that some people actually take what I have to say seriously. Because usually, people see that I’m 21 years old and they dismiss me. Ughhh nothing is more annoying. Except for my group partner in my HR class (hey, you wanted me to write about you).
When I started my new job, I scanned the office and quickly realized I was the youngest person there—by at least 25 years. Wonderful. These thoughts ran through my mind instantly:
a) Who the heck am I going to talk to?
b) What did I get myself into?
c) I’m going to be forever alone at this job.
9 months later, I can say that yea, I’m still forever alone. It’s been a struggle being the youngest person. People usually think I’m a volunteer.
Annoying person: “Oh how cute, your volunteering for the department. What are you studying?”
Annoyed me: “I’m an employee, thank you very much. And I already graduated college. Oh, and I’m working on my Master’s Degree.”
It’s as if they still see me like this: In Pre-K, in my car seat, dressed up as an Indian for some weird Thanksgiving song I had to sing.
But I’m not in Pre-K anymore.
My favorite thing has to be when I go to department meetings. We do this thing where we sit in a circle and go around the room sharing things about our personal lives. So I sit there and listen as these ladies (because there are no men in my department) talk about how their kids got into college and how one of them is going to be a grandma and then it’s my turn…awkward silence…I think about telling them about how I went to a club last week and met an Australian guy with a beautiful accent and was a wonderful kisser and got home at 4am…but instead I say I’ve been swamped with school work.
Being the youngest one sucks. I can’t sit here and straight up lie to you. But here are some ways that you can make the most out of this really terrible time in your career:
- Understand that being the youngest allows you lots of time to gain experience. Take this time to learn ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING.
- Understand that there will be plenty of room for you to grow. Old people retiring = job security for you if you’re smart and position yourself well.
- Understand that the people that dismiss you for being young won’t be around much longer. And it’s okay to be happy about this.
- Utilize EVERY SINGLE OPPORTUNITY to prove them wrong. Nothing feels better than showing everyone that you DO bring something to the table. That you DO have skills and knowledge and that you ARE awesome.
How about you? What kind of crap have you had to deal with being one of the youngest people in your office? Let me know