Advice for the ‘Baby’ in the Office: How to Deal with Being the Youngest in the Workplace
Many graduates face being the youngest and least experienced individuals in the office. They go from being the seniors in university to being the “babies” in the office. This can be either a challenging or smooth transition, largely depending on how the graduate looks at it. It is advised to approach being the baby of the office as a learning period in which you are allowed room for mistakes, while at the same time proving yourself to be a professional.
Here are some ways to deal with being the baby of the office:
Think before You Speak
As a newcomer in the office, it is always better to listen carefully before you express your opinion. While it is tempting to speak your mind at every given opportunity, it is important to carefully contemplate the consequences. Having a huge disagreement with your colleagues within your first week is hardly going to help with future teamwork.
Younger people are generally inclined to be outspoken and a bit tactless, which can often be a disadvantage in the workplace. Communicate diplomatically and refrain from being condescending or patronizing toward your new coworkers.
Always Look the Part
While hoodies, sneakers, and jeans are staples of the university student uniform, it goes without saying that they are not appropriate for the office. Graduates are advised to stay away from casual clothing, especially those working in sales, marketing, PR, or corporate jobs. As a professional working in an office environment, you will be expected to comply with the outlined dress code.
Women can opt for a smart look with shirts, blouses, and smart trousers, adding blazers and cardigans for the winter. Men have a much smaller menu of choices, with ties, shirts, and suits being the common dress code in most workplaces.
Take It Easy
A number of fresh graduates find that they are not taken as seriously as they wish. The fact is that you are the youngest — and probably the most inexperienced — individual in the office; therefore, your opinion is likely to carry less weight. This may be the case when you are new in the office, but, as time passes, you should make an effort to progress within your role.
While is it imperative that you succeed and experience career development, you should remember to take it easy in the office. As a graduate, you are expected to make mistakes and learn along the way, so try not to stress. Use your experiences as a honing tool to make you a more valuable employee.