If you grew up listening to ‘90s and ‘00s R&B, forget everything you learned because Aaliyah and Pretty Ricky lied to you. Age is so much more than just a number. Especially for you, and especially now.
On the first day of my big girl job, all that ran through my mind was “Girl. How the hell did you get these people to hire you? You talked a good game, but how are you actually going to deliver? Do you even know what you’re talking about?”
Petrified was an understatement. As I went through the day, I couldn't help but think, “Holy shit. I’m only 22. What in the world can I tell these people that they don’t already know and have known for years?”
First and foremost, be careful of those thoughts. They’ll paralyze you and keep you in the same unproductive place forever – afraid to branch out, speak up or take risks. Whether you’re an intern or the CEO, you have something to bring to the table. And you have to genuinely believe that.
Secondly, your age, being young, is way more than a number; it's a gold mine. Why? Because you tweet, you snap and you sleep with your phone by your pillow at night. Researchers and marketers are fascinated by these behaviors. You hold the golden ticket because you live and breathe the millennial lifestyle, which is something companies are desperately trying to tap into. We, millennials, are one of he most talked about generations of all time. Use that to your advantage.
Disclaimer: Keep in mind though, that you are only 1 of nearly 80 million millennials. Be careful not to make generalizations based on your personal biases and preferences. Use your God given millennial-ality to fuel insights, but be objective and consider everyone else as well.
A few other things to keep in mind:
1. Nobody really knows how old you are. Unless you walk around with a big ol’ sign that says, “Look at me! I’m 22,” your coworkers probably don’t know how old you are. If you carry yourself in a professional manner and do your job to the best of your ability, no one will have reason to question your age or maturity.
2. Nobody nobody nobody knows everything. When you’re the youngest (and least experienced) person in the room, it’s easy to put yourself down and glorify the people that seem to have all the answers. Always remember that nobody knows everything. If they did, they wouldn’t need you.
I leave you with this: there are millions of people your age that are taking the world by storm, why can’t you be one of them?