It’s been a couple of years now that I’ve been part of the professional workforce but I continue to get the “Wait, how old are you?” question regularly. If you’re under the age of 30 (heck, maybe even 35), you’re probably accustomed to answering this question, too. But instead of letting it knock my confidence – like it would have a year or two ago – it’s become a tool, a mile marker if you will, to showcase my accomplishments thus far. Because seriously: if you’re holding your own in the workplace in your early twenties there’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, you should be nothing but motivated.
With that being said, there’s always room for additional advice and input from those who’ve been there before you. Everyone started somewhere and, assuming you’re going to knock every project out of the park with no help from your senior staff, it will do nothing for your career but show your age. Mistakes are going to happen (early and often) and you’ll iron them out as you move along. To truly hold your own and be taken seriously you need to understand that – and ask for help when you need it.
When it comes to the workforce, we’re still on the newbie side of things and we’ll continue to be remindeded of that fun fact. There’s often nothing behind the question other than innocent curiosity, so there’s little point to getting offended or reading into it more than need be. Because soon enough, years will pass, more “youngins” will come in to the workplace, our youth will fade away, and we’ll have new talent to compete with – starting the process all over again.
No matter your age it shouldn’t be considered a a knock against you if you’ve got the right mentality and motivation. You’ll be able to hold your own in your market – at the very least, you’ll be competitive.