Throwing (Age) Shade: 4 Power Plays for Young Professionals

Don't let insecurities about your age lead to loss of confidence

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For many young professionals, the tables have turned. In college, you were the big fish, having paid your dues and made it to graduation and beyond. Now, as a Gen Y employee at your company, you probably feel like Nemo lost in the great Pacific. And don’t let it be a gig where you’re managing professionals who are older than you. That’s a whole other challenge within itself.

Whether it’s a raised hand that goes ignored at a meeting or a snide remark from an older colleague, many young professionals experience major office shade thrown from older counterparts at the workplace.

Although you may only be a few years above the legal drinking age, don’t let a couple of side eyes from coworkers lead to lack of confidence. Here are four ways that you can earn respect and influence as a young professional:

Act and speak like a real boss: As the office youngin’, it’s important to command respect by dressing and acting professionally. Use a firm handshake and maintain eye contact when conversing. Use time management wisely and stay away from office gossip. Whatever the top bosses are doing when it comes so business etiquette, mimic it.

Keep the attitude at a minimum: You may experience some speed bumps in your budding career. This isn’t the time to go sulk in a corner, get defensive or become bitter. Keeping a positive and enthusiastic attitude shows that you’re a team player and committed to your job. (Insert *raise here!)

Acknowledge your strengths — and those not-so-great traits. Remember, there’s a reason you were hired or put in to a position in the first place. You deserve to be there! Be confident knowing that. Keep tabs on those power moves and moments. Also, don’t forget to assess the areas that you aren’t so strong in, find mentorship or advisement on how to improve them and keep it moving.

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