These last couple of years, I’ve had my fair share of work experience as a millennial in the workplace. I’ve had some experiences that were awesome and I had some that downright sucked. Being under thirty in the workplace is no walk in the park. You come into contact with a lot of different characters that treat you differently just because you’re younger.
I have definitely had my share of issues in the workplace. At each job I’ve worked at in the past four years, I’ve been the youngest employee there. I’m not sure if I would actually consider it age discrimination or just pure biased but it’s definitely something that we all have to deal with. Here’s a few reasons why we have it hard in the workplace.
People Underestimate You
One of the reasons that millennials have it have it hard in the workplace is because older coworkers and bosses underestimate you. They see someone in their twenties, who’s bright eyed and bushy tailed, and ready to work and automatically assume that you’re not capable of doing your job. Maybe you just graduated college or high school,and don’t have much work experience under your belt. For this reason alone more seasoned
Being underestimated by your coworkers is a tough thing to deal with. Sometimes you get left out of the decision making process. Coworkers are not really interested in your opinion of things. Sometimes bosses are reluctant to hand over major projects to you. Another reason why millennials have it hard in the workplace is because employees don’t give you a chance to prove yourself.
Coworkers Are Intimidated by You
Coworkers can be intimidated by you just because your young or even because you have a degree. Years back people can get a corporate job with just a highschool diploma and work their way up from the mailroom. Now and days more companies are valuing employees that have degrees. So as these employees begin to age out of the workplace, millennials are slowly replacing them.
For workers who are up in age, seeing a person in their twenties coming into the workplace can scare them. They fear that you’ll be the one to take their job. They know that you have the education, you’re tech savvy, and that it’s easy for you to train. To some of these employees, you may be the enemy.
I know that was the case for my last boss. She treated me like dirt because I had a degree. The reason why I knew she was intimidated by me because I was young and educated, because she always made it a point to tell me that my job didn’t require a degree. If only I had a dollar for every time she told me this. I would be rich.
She was some miserable old woman who had three children in Ivy league schools. Apparently she regretted not going to college and was trying to live the life she wanted through her kids. It was really weird.
Coworkers Treat You Like a Kid
Being treated like a kid is one of my pet peeves. I know that I am young but I am still an adult at the end of the day. One of the major problems that I have in the workplace is that my coworkers try to treat me like I’m one of their kids. Some times older coworkers can’t see past your age which can cause you to have it hard in the workplace.
When they look at you they see their son, daughter, or grandchildren. This can have an effect on your work environment because sometimes you can feel less respected by these coworkers.
I don’t know about you but every time someone calls me ” kid”, I feel a little disrespected. Here I am a twenty-three year old woman, working like everyone else and my coworkers still see me as a kid. It’s extremely annoying. I know its just an expression but it’s kind of demeaning.
What should you do?
The best thing for millennials to do is to work hard to prove everyone wrong. It’s important do your best at everything. Show your coworkers and bosses that your age has nothing to do with your work ethic. If coworkers want to treat you differently just because you’re younger, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.
Let them know how you feel but in a respectful manner. Take initiative and show them that you’re a leader. This will definitely help you gain your coworker’s respect. You may have it hard in the workplace now but that can change, just by making a few changes.
Did you ever have it hard in the workplace as a young adult? What did you do to make things better? Am I being ridiculous to think that being called a ‘ kid’ is a bit demeaning?