As you leave your undergraduate studies behind and enter into your first post-college job, it’s very likely that you’ll be the “baby” of the office. Being one of the youngest and least experienced of your colleagues can be really intimidating (as the youngest staff member in the CCD, I know how it feels). However, there are certainly a few advantages to being young that you can capitalize on both in your job search and in the beginning of your career.
You offer a fresh perspective. You identify with a different generation than many of your colleagues, and you likely think a bit differently because of it. Oftentimes, organizations tend to do things a certain way because “that’s the way it’s always been done.” By being young and being new to the organization, you’re able to offer up some new and fresh ideas to create positive changes.
You grew up with technology. Technology isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s becoming more and more prevalent in the workplace. It can sometimes be difficult for older employees to learn and adapt to new technologies, simply because they aren’t used to them. But as a younger employee, you’ve been exposed to technology for most of your life, and you know how to use it to your advantage. You’re also very likely an active social media user. More and more companies are using social media as a marketing and recruiting tool; your understanding of what works on social media and what doesn’t is valuable knowledge in the modern workplace.
You’re a blank slate. As a young professional, you’ll require some thorough training as you begin your career. While this can be time-intensive for employers, your lack of experience can also be a benefit. You are essentially a blank slate, with no preconceived notions or bad habits from years and years of working elsewhere. Your employer will have the opportunity to train you to be their ideal employee.
I know how daunting it can be being one of the youngest people in your office, but you shouldn’t let it intimidate you! You have a lot to offer to the workplace, and your youth comes with plenty of benefits.