At some point in your life, you will be tagged as the bongsu in the office. Your colleagues might baby you, talk down to you and make condescending remarks. Granted, they probably won’t do it with any intended malice, but how are you supposed to carve out a professional career when you’re constantly being treated like the little brother or sister?
All anyone wants is to be treated as an equal, but instead of getting upset about your unfair treatment, here’s how to encourage colleagues to view you as an equal:
Be vocal You may be young blood and less of an expert than your office stalwarts, but don’t let this stop you from speaking up. You are part of the team, so it’s important you contribute towards your combined goals. However, it’s important to identify the thin line between being assertive and aggressive - even if you think your point of view is correct. By displaying humility alongside well-thought out opinions and ideas, you will be seen as a mature, collaborating asset to the team.
Prove your worth Actions speak louder than words! Show your team why you deserve to be there and treated like a professional who knows what they are doing. Get your head down, work hard, achieve your goals, meet your deadlines, put your hand up for extra work and complete all tasks - no matter how small - to the best of your ability. Being a stellar employee is the best way to gain respect and admiration.
Build meaningful relationshipsAs well as building skills, it’s just as important to build relationships in the office. You’re there most of the week, so you’ve got to be able to create friendships and alliances for mutual support. Take a mature approach to this - don’t create cliques, don’t encourage any toxic behaviour, and handle any differences with other colleagues with maturity. Take the time to speak to people you don’t usually fraternise with, and in a short space of time people will begin to view you as a respected, happy, encouraging colleague and peer.
Know how to take a jokeYeah, so people might joke that you weren’t even born when a certain song plays on the radio across the office. So what! Enjoy some light-hearted humour and embrace the fact that you’re the youngest one there. Young doesn’t mean dumb, and all you need to do is follow the above points to show that.
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