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Ways young woman workers can overcome ageism
July 25, 2017, 4:40 pm

Work success can come at any age, yet may business cultures that still associate age with experience and an enhanced sense of responsibility tend to discriminate against or even disparage young woman workers. Women seem to often fall victim to ageism, as they are considered unpredictable, lazy, unreliable, unprofessional and unable to hold down a job.

In whatever form, ageism can significantly affect a professional's well-being, as well as their overall affective commitment to the organization. It can, in turn, impact focus and productivity at work. So how can a young woman overcome age discrimination and be taken seriously by their peers, business partners and employees? Below, here are some tips.

Prove your worth through work: Instead of calling these people out who misjudge you, let your work and results do the proving for you. Working quietly and with determination has gotten women noticed and provided the basis for being taken seriously. Don't let the comments get to you, instead take that energy and turn it into success.

Speak up: Many times your efforts in the workplace may have been overshadowed because you simply didn't proactively market or promote yourself within the organization. Instead, you expected your boss to automatically notice you in the crowd, every time you did something above-and-beyond. You have to speak up at annual reviews, or email weekly updates on achievements.

Admit what you don't know: Make it clear that you are capable of achieving far more than anyone thinks and work ten times harder to prove that, but also always admit when you don’t know. Many young women are intimidated by the feeling that they don't know enough yet, but pretending you know things that you don't is a recipe for disaster. It's far better to be honest and ask for help than to pretend you have it all figured out then fail because of it.

Know your history:  One way to prevent your elder colleagues from overlooking you, due to your youth and perceived lack of experience, is to know more than these individuals, especially about topics of mutual interest or the job. Let your co-workers know that you understand how things are run and how you intend to fit with the workplace rapport.

Highlight the advantages of youth: As a young worker, often you are made to feel that you are not taken seriously at times because of your age. Instead of dwelling on the disadvantages, focus on the advantages of your youth, such as the energy you have compared to any of your older peers or customers. Moreover, your capability to work long hours and weekends can be in your favor. Turn your young age into an asset.

Remain confident and focused:  Ignore the negativity, remain confident, and focus all your energy on making your company a success. 

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