A lot of the young people I know feel intimidated by their own success. And considering myself “successful”, I am surprised at this fact. See, studies show that female fresh graduates earn at least 20% less than their male counterparts for the first 2 years after college. What’s more, this trend is even more exemplified in male-dominated industries.
Why is this so? In most developing nations, women are more encouraged to take on the “family life”, to make themselves “marriageable”. If that has changed, then she’s suffocated with leading a “perfect life”, one that hits stellar ratings when it comes to her personal and professional life. Due to this, she’s extra burdened and finds little time to really focus on what she wants, thereby deterring success. But don’t worry, this article isn’t about women only. I kind of just wanted to get that off my chest. (See related post about women having it all, HERE.)
At a young age, a lot of us are trained to think that we MUST look at entry-level jobs as stepping stones. What’s worse, a lot of us actually stay at these jobs even if there might be better opportunities for us. See, being young actually gives us the license to make bolder decisions. That is why if intuition tells you there might be a better opportunity outside what you have now, act on it! When you’re young, being able to thicken your skin and not be intimidated by the more seasoned ones can be a huge problem but once you get over it, you will see how quickly your life might turn around.
As good and that sounds, I know how it’s not that easy, really. That is why if you are really geared towards succeeding at an early age, you must also start investing on your success early. In college, look for trainings and activities that will help mold you into a better professional in the future. Look for workshops, events and even youth groups that can contribute to having a stellar resume even when you just graduated college. Internships and joining contests also work. By graduation, these things give you an edge over the others and might even regard you as an “expert” in your chosen field.
As you leave college, don’t forget to keep attending these “extra curriculars” because these will help you sharpen the skills that you developed at work. For me, the best trainings include leadership trainings, public administration/ people management and effective communications.
If you’re extra good at what you do, mostly, you will have coworkers who will be jealous of you. They will try to put you down and belittle your efforts. Do not get disheartened, instead, just keep doing your best and make sure that you get proper credit for the things that you do.
Also, remember that since your age is part of your personal branding, take care of your reputation well. Usually, that’s where the young ones fail. Edit your Facebook profile and be wary of everything you post online. When at work, observe professional language. Dress appropriately, dress for success.
Lastly, make your youth work for you. Instead of being easily daunted by experience or age, capitalize on it as your competitive advantage and own it! Remember, now that you might be regarded as “the new one” or “the young one”, that is absolutely the best time for you to impress your bosses and prove that your age or lack of experience isn’t a hindrance to helping the company achieve its goals.
See, it’s not that difficult right? You, my dear, are never too young to succeed. Take that from someone who left office jobs for better business opportunities…at 21. 🙂