Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When You're the Baby of the Office (Problogger Challenge #2)

Five things I've learned as the youngest employee in the workplace:

1. It takes some time to earn respect.  When I first started working at my current job, I was fresh out of college, ready to dazzle everyone with my mad skillz, and I wanted them to know just how smart I was.  These things, my young working friends, take time to establish.  At first, my experienced co-workers were a little skeptical about my ability to do - well - everything.  I dropped the "hot college graduate" stuff and slowly but steadily displayed my responsibility and work ethic by jumping in to projects, offering to help others when help was needed, and completing my job tasks efficiently - and correctly.  I made sure to ask intelligent questions when I felt stuck or unsure of something I was working on.  These things, paired with perfect attendance and being nice to others, helped me to earn my co-workers' trust.  There truthfully is no better feeling!

2. The youngest tend to learn quicker.  With technology rapidly fueling changes around offices everywhere, the youngin's come in handy.  Experienced employees are getting tired of learning new stuff, and the newbies are eager beavers.  Soak up all the new info you can - it will benefit you down the road (when you're older, lazy, and tired of learning.)

3. It's next to impossible to change anything.  Positive change, negative change, even a change that would make little or no difference in anything at all really shakes up folks in the workplace.  When you're the youngest in the bunch, you need to be understanding of the fact that not everyone will be as enthusiastic as you hope about your brilliant ideas.  People tend to be set in their ways.  Be careful - and mindful - when making suggestions about work related matters to the older and wiser.   

4. It's normal to feel under-appreciated.  You think you're fabulous.  You think they think you're not fabulous.  Office babies are often asked to do what seems like every little thing, and may feel taken for granted.  Trust me on this - you're valuable in the workplace, and will be missed on the days you're out of the office.  Your co-workers will realize how much they appreciate their go-to resource, and will let you know about it upon your return.

5. Have patience.  You're young, you have a lot time to earn valuable work experience, and you'll gain tons of helpful insight from your supervisors that will help you in the future.  Be patient with those who are resistant to change, be patient when trying to establish yourself as a hard working, trustworthy employee, and be patient when your new ideas or suggestions are shot down at the meeting table. With time and patience, you'll gain a voice within your workplace and become that hot shot you so desired to be in the very beginning.  Or maybe you won't.  Either way, enjoy being the baby of the workplace because one day, you'll be the one some other kid is waiting on hand and foot.

*This was completed as part of the SITS/Problogger 31 Days to Building a Better Blog challenge!  
The second task in the challenge was to write a list post that breaks down the complicated and is easy to read.  I've used list posts in the past, because they are very easy to understand, and a nice way to organize thoughts.  I like reading lists posts because they are easy to follow and seem to hold my attention better than a longer post with several paragraphs.  Really, it depends on the topic.  I like writing list posts for the same reasons - easy organization, good to use when you can't seem to churn out an essay-type post that flows well, and quicker to develop.

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Brittany said...

Very well written, with great advice! GOOD JOB! :) You're hitting this challange hard!!!

Jami Balmet said...

Oh great post!!! I'm also the youngest in my office and feel the same way! Great post!! :)