Professional, Knowledgeable, Young – You Can Only Choose 2.

BizBlog

I can’t be the only person with this problem. As an early college graduate, I had my first job at the ripe age of 21. Sure, age isn’t brought up much in the corporate world (I assume because most people are as bad of a judge of age as myself), however when you look like a high school senior, it doesn’t help. Lucky for me, my first two jobs out of college were at advertising agencies, which are quite a bit more laid back then corporate offices. That also can be damaging to someone who needs to dress “older”.

I’ll never forget my first client meeting – I had been working with the client for about a month, and brought them in to review ideas for upcoming promotions that had previously been OK’d. After printing booklets and preparing all morning, the client walked in and gave the worse stare down I’ve ever had. He immediately disliked our ideas, and made us redo them four times (to the point that it ended up being the original promotion we suggested!) The entire time I worked on his account, regardless of the success we had, he questioned my judgement because I was “just a kid.”

Some things you can’t change – and in 15 years, I’ll be yearning for the days of being “just a kid,” but for now, it’s important to me to rise above the “young” stereotype. I make it a point to shake hands with a strong grip, look people in the eye, and avoid the filler phrases (at work at least, at home, I am stuck on “like.”) I’ve graduated from ill-fitting black pants and J.Crew sweaters to well-fit blazers and lady-like dresses, but I do not own a suit set. I make sure my actions speak louder than words – I get results, regardless of my age. And at the end of the day, I know I have some growing to do, but I won’t let that interfere with my success.

Have you had any #PostGradProblems yourself? 

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