Owning Your Age & Inexperience
Joining a very senior marketing firm as the youngest and least experienced team member was an extremely intimidating concept when I accepted my offer. SalientMG is a known name throughout our industry and every employee has a FANTASTIC resume full of startups, agencies, and big name brands. I was different, although I brought sales experience from the professional sports industry (Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia 76ers, etc.), I had absolutely no marketing or public relations experience.
Soon after I began working for SalientMG, I began to realize just how common this overwhelming feeling of inexperience was for my generation. I have friends and peers in their early to mid-20s accepting larger roles in the hopes they’ll succeed. This also became evident when I saw an article from Adweek being written by Kimeko McCoy asking for input from Twitter about the struggles of navigating a new work environment as the youngest employee.
My advice for those of you starting in a new place as the youngest employee, is to look for a company that fits your personality and encourages growth to help you reach your full potential. I’m confident in my company, because they’re confident in me. Look for a company that fits your personality and helps you in whatever aspect you want to work on, whether that’s visibility, public speaking, enhancing your craft, or learning new talents.
Other advice from her article that I agree with, especially after finishing my first 6 months at SalientMG, is to trust yourself and know when to ask for help. I was worried to come off as unintelligent, but struggling through difficult conversations because of pride won’t help you grow. Also, building relationships and bringing a fresh perspective has really helped me feel more comfortable and confident in my role. I know who I can go to for extra help when I need it. I am learning so much, on a daily basis, about how to apply all those years of college classes about marketing and communications. And I am beginning to put the combined studies and application to work, with my perspective added to it. And my voice matters at SalientMG. With that, I now know one of the main reasons companies hire employees with less experience is because they can bring in new thoughts and ideas to help change the typical way of thinking.
For those of you out there struggling during your first job, struggling because you’re the youngest one there, struggling with your inexperience, heck maybe even struggling because you’re the only one on your team of your gender or ethnicity – find a company truly sees the value in your youth, your inexperience, your diversity and hold on. Show your differences and how you can help shape their future.