new hire, new job, career
WORKPLACE SUCCESS / 27 December 2016
How to Handle Being the Youngest One in the Office
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Marvin Ho

After a few weeks of the interviewing process, you are finally hired for an entry level position for a company that you love. But beyond the hours and hard work that you are about to put in, getting to know co-workers is also a workplace courtesy. Though you might be the youngest one in the office, making friends with people at all ages excites you (especially if you get the opportunity to be friends with someone with years more experience than you - maybe they can become your mentor?). But you stop and realize... You've had to make friends all throughout your years of schooling but have never needed to befriend a coworker. Stop worrying! Here are a few tips that will help you.  

Handling mistakes in a professional setting (like a pro).

We all make mistakes, often times it goes like....

Although mistakes were made, the damage could always be minimized (or somehow reversed). Seek out other co-workers for help and guidance because more often than not, they have made the same mistakes in the past! Do not avoid responsibility by scapegoating others. If you have a project that you have no idea where to start, work around it first.  If you are stuck, then seek out to co-workers for help. Remember to show that you've actually tried to tackle the problem on your own before seeking others for assistance.

Time management was never an issue when you are still at school but is now.

At school, it may have been easy putting off tasks that didn't seem important now or procrastinating until the last minute to finish that ten-page essay. But in an office setting, balancing work and sleep is the key to success. The key word here is balancing.  Thus, making time for sleep is essential to a productive workday. The national Sleep Foundation recommends about 8 hours of sleep a night. Any less (or even too much) will cause fatigue and drowsiness during work hours! So make sure you're getting all the work done at work. Make use of the time you have then so that you won't have to bring work home when you clock out.

Dress to impress.  

If you are working in an office, chances are, you have to communicate with potential clients and usually, what you wear translates into how serious you are with the job and the work that comes along with it (in other words, the relationship they will potentially have with you). Though different industries demand different dress codes, take your first couple of days at work to scope out what others are wearing. Aim to dress for the position you are looking to have. Meaning if you want to be a manager one day, look at what your manager wears on a daily basis and stick to that type of dress code. If they're wearing blazers and seem to dress smart while you've been coming in with a t-shirt and flip flops, it may be time to update your wardrobe just a bit for work!

The Generation Gap is real.

Yup, the generation gap is real and it's widening. Usually these differences come off more subtly and with upper management, which may make it more difficult to address. Take the first step and check your own age-bias at the door. Then try to see things from their perspective - are they reacting a certain way to what you just said because they're actually judging you? At the end of the day, don't treat this as a "gap." Treat it as a way for you (and the other person) to learn more about one another.

Seek guidance (but not too much).

Regardless of what department you work in, you can learn a lot from your co-workers. Be genuine and keep asking. If there's something you really don't understand how to do, ask. But be aware of when someone may be too busy to help or need to finish their work before getting to your question. 

Stay away from office gossip.

This is a great tip regardless of whether or not you're the youngest person in the office. Instead, discuss new ideas that would change the way the business works! Talk about some of the ideas you had with your previous experiences or an idea that you would love see come to life in the near future! People love to hear new ideas, and usually, it will lead to great conversations (yes, arguably better conversation than gossip about which colleague got into trouble last week).

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