I have had to deal with a lot of stereotypes in my life, particularly since starting my own business. One that didn't expect or prepare for is ageism. Certainly this can work against those who are getting close to retirement age just as much as it can affect someone who is at the age where they are just starting their careers. And there is definitely something to be said for experience. But, does the lack of years spent with my nose to grindstone mean that there is some secret out there that I haven't discovered yet? Or do young people just have to deal with being subjected to the misconceptions that our society has.
Misconception #1 - They're Flighty.
Yes, I've been known to change my mind a time or twenty. Yes, I have had jobs that I chose not stay longer than a year. But when it comes to structurally forming a career or even a business, young people are all in. Millennials treat view jobs as stepping stones, not final destinations. You want your young protege to stick around? Create a challenging, learning atmosphere. The more you give, the more you'll get in return.
Misconception #2 - They Have No Experience.
This has been the frustration of every post-grad individual in existence, possibly since dawn of time. The company I applied to work for wants me to be experienced. But, no one ever tells you how to get the experience in X, Y, and Z. They just tell you need it. No I may not have the 10+ years under my belt that seems to be the magic number of years it takes to establish a career, though can't something be said for spunk? Hard work? Enthusiasm? I try (like many other young people) to have the attitude that I may not know how to do something, but I am always willing to learn.
Misconception #3 - They Want to Change Everything.
Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. Is change really such a bad thing? Young people are up to date on what's happening in the world right now. Whether it's the latest update on Kim Kardashian's relationship with Kanye or the newest technology that could help your business reach goals better and faster than ever before. Remember about ten years ago when everyone thought social media was just a trend? Now, for many companies, it's their first point of contact with their consumers. So maybe change isn't so bad after all.
Obviously, these are just a few of the misconceptions that young folks in today's business world face. But the newbies of today will be tomorrow's leaders. The trends they're setting now will become "rules" to follow in the future. I'm constantly inspired by those who are younger than me, people that are out there doing incredible things and shaking up the way that we all look at our world. Age is just a number. It's what I've been able to do in that time that really counts.
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