What started as a little conversation between Lauren Fernandez and I, ended up being used as our first #u30pro topic…and both sides provided some great reasons why you should or shouldn’t hide your age.
So Here Are Some Reasons to Hide:
- Responsibility: You will be given less responsibility if you’re young and relatively inexperienced
- Opportunity: You may miss out on job opportunities because of your age, when in reality, you’re very qualified.
- Respect: Your ideas and contributions will not be respected as highly as that of older, experienced peers.
Notice, all of the reasons for hiding your age are a direct result of stereotypes. The fear of showing your age isn’t because you probably lack experience and haven’t earned others’ respect yet, but rather because you are automatically assumed to lack the skills because of these possible misplaced assumptions.
Reasons to show your age:
- Ambition: Show that you’re better than others that are the same age. You can differentiate yourself from others in your age group. If you can face a stereotype, and overcome, you’ll gain that much more respect.
- Pride: If someone wants to discriminate against you because you’re young, they can go screw themselves. You don’t need to hide who you are to succeed.
- Advantages: Being younger sometimes has positive stereotypes. You’re a fresh mind, with tech savvy and lots of energy. Use it to your advantage.
So should you hide your age? Chances are, people will find it out eventually. Still, you may gain access to more opportunities if people don’t realize how young you are right away.
I’d love to hear from more experienced professionals as well as I’m sure you’ll have some great advice. What do you think?
Come join Lauren and me at the next #u30pro chat tonight (and every Thursday) at 7:00pm est where we drive the discussion to bridge the generational gap, demolish stereotypes and break down differences in the professional workplace.