Today I want to try something a bit different and look at how age can affect our development.
Until recently I had always assumed that being ‘younger’ counted against people who were ambitious as they aren’t perceived as having enough experience or knowledge. I had never thought about the flip side to this until I got chatting to lady nearing her 50’s. She said that she felt her age limited her development as no one thought she would be ambitious or that she would want to develop further.
That got me thinking about how can we all break down the barriers that our age can put in front of us, and actually use it to our advantage.
Its important to remember that development is for EVERYONE. Our executives are, or should be, always looking for ways to develop their performance and drive the business forward, and so should we, regardless of our age!
Being younger or new to the world of PA/EA work doesn’t mean you haven’t got a lot to offer. Often a fresh pair of eyes can see things differently so don’t be afraid to share your ideas. An article I recently read on Forbes suggested that younger people need to stop thinking that they ‘aren’t old enough’ or ‘not smart enough’ and act like they are the best at what they do to become recognised as a leader. (You can read this article in full by clicking here). The theory is that if you believe you are the best then it is a self fulfilling prophecy.
Being younger might mean you have different skills which you can use to support your executive and the wider business you work for. Social media is a great example of something that you would likely have more experience with and there may be a way you could be involved in the implementation of this for your Company.
If, on the other hand, you feel that you aren’t given the same opportunities as your younger counter parts you should also be speaking up about your ideas. You will have learnt a lot from past experiences that can help both yourself, and your executive. You should make sure that you keep your skills up to date and make the most of your strengths.
One really great way to use your experience is to offer to mentor any less experienced members of your team. You will undoubtedly had challenges to overcome throughout your own career journey and if you can pass on your learning’s to others this can be invaluable.
The same rules apply to everyone;
- Share your ideas
- Own your development
- Keep your skills up to date
- Use your strengths
Have you experienced age barriers in your work place? What do you do to overcome these obstacles? How do you use your age to your advantage?
Want to further your own development? Click here