Maybe you just got your first job out of college, or you graduated sooner than you expected and are in the workforce. But being the youngest person in an office doesn't always mean that you are in your late teens; it could easily be that you are in your mid to late twenties and still find that you're the youngest person in your office.
While this may feel frustrating at times, there are some perks to being the youngest person in the office. Here are 5 things you've probably noticed if you are the youngest person in an office space.
1. The age gap doesn't need to affect your relationships with coworkers.
This may not be noticeable all the time, especially if you work for a great company. At other companies, you can feel the age gap everyday, especially if you work for people who are a lot older than you. An age gap doesn't automatically mean that you cannot get along or work together; it is just something that should be acknowledged and not shoved away and ignored. You do not have to be best friends with your coworkers, you just have to work with them and understand that they are part of your team.
2. Your "addiction" to social media, and tech more widely, can pay off.
Millennials and Gen Z'ers get a bad rep for being addicted to checking their phones, not to mention the endorphin hits that come from strangers on social media "liking" the way one has curated their life online. But social media is here to stay, and tech is only becoming a more and more integrated part of our work days. So, as the youngest person in the office, you can sit back and laugh to yourself when a coworker complains about millennials being on their phones all of the time. You understand that using online resources can help improve your company and streamline its workflow, and you're probably seen as a resource for helping implement those changes.
3. Even "cool" employees want more than ping pong tables and free food.
You know that free food and an awesome game room does not make up for great management or good company policies. It may seem great if you get free snacks and are allowed to have 10-minute breaks throughout the day, but it does not make up for the fact that you are not allowed sufficient time off to go on a weekend vacation. The one thing that employees want more than anything in the workspace is to be trusted. This means that micromanaging does not happen and there is not a manager looking over your shoulder every few minutes throughout the workday.
4. Being on the outside can help you pick up on office happenings.
Being on the outside of more traditional office relationships as the result of your age, you may notice and pick up on workplace situations faster than other people. This could be something as little as noticing the workplace culture or seeing the dynamic relationship between different managers. You know what is good and what is bad within the company, so you know who and what to stay away from and who you can turn to when you need help.
5. Young people are smarter than they look.
Some people, especially coworkers and managers, will question your intelligence and ability to do your job if you look young. This makes it even more impressive when you do something great. However, if age bias becomes a serious problem, you should reach out to your human resources representative and see if there is anything that can be done. You should not put up with working in where you are not respected or if it is a hostile work environment.
You will not be young forever, so enjoy the moment of being young in an office setting. You can be a great asset to your company if you know how to communicate your ideas effectively.