by Angel McNeil, Staff Writer
They say that age ain’t nothing but a number. However, in some work settings it can seem that no matter how innovative your ideas are or how much knowledge you bring to the table, your age can serve as a hindrance for getting ahead. I’m sure many of us can relate as millennials in our early to mid careers. Being one of few employees under 33 can be uncomfortable sometimes: realizing you’re the only one being addressed in a certain way or tone, overlooked during decision time, being called ‘the kid’ or simply feeling like you can’t quite relate to folks in your office.
Forbes recently took this idea and shared 10 tips for how you can become a leader in your work place no matter how young you are. I read them and fell in love! I took the first five and created a slide show below. Just click on an image to start the slide show.
Check out Forbes’ slide show for all of the practical tips to see which ones you currently implement or which ones you can start doing to move you up the ladder in your office.
2. Do your homework – While most of what you’ll need to be a good leader you’ll learn through practical experience and observation, you can’t go wrong reading books or taking professional development courses on organizational leadership, Coleman says. “There are numerous resources out there for free or low cost that will help you to gain the tools and skills to begin practicing effective leadership in the workplace.”
3. Take time to assess the culture of the organization- Listen and observe how staff treats new workers—and learn what their expectations are, Brooks says. “If you’re not sure, ask. It’s appropriate to ask your new supervisor what his or her expectations are about your work.” Note your supervisor’s style. Is she more casual or formal? Does he want details and daily reports? Is she only interested in periodic feedback? Learn and adapt, Brooks adds. Ryan Kohnen, author of Young Professional’s Guide to Success, agrees. “Soak it up!” he says. “Learn about your teammates; learn their responsibilities, roles, professional goals, and business philosophies. Be a sponge.”
4. Keep a learner’s mind- Always be curious and eager to absorb new information. “Try not to judge situations too quickly or make quick assumptions that may not be accurate,” Brooks says. “It’s okay to be a little overwhelmed at first. Just do the best you can and ask for help when you need it.”
5. Identify areas where you can provide new insight or help.- A young new worker might be savvier with social media than the older staff, Brooks says. “If so, that would be a place to offer suggestions or ideas.” Alexandra Levit, author of Blind Spots: The 10 Business Myths You Can’t Afford to Believe on Your New Path to Success says you should act as a change agent, “aiming to fix something that’s broken with your unique perspective and skills.” Meanwhile, Kohnen suggests challenging the norm. “Look at problem areas on your team or company. Sometimes there are ‘norms’ in organizations or teams that haven’t been challenged or where people haven’t looked for a better way of doing things for a long time. Usually there’s something that people complain about. That is a great opportunity to come up with a new solution or idea for a new way to do things.”
Share with us your thoughts on this article as well as any other tips you think should be on this list.