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Blog written by Koreena Geisler-Wagner.

When you’re young and just starting a new career, being the “low-man-on-the-totem-pole” is suddenly coupled with the stereotype of being inexperienced and likely to make mistakes. It can be difficult to make traction and prove that you bring more to the table than just a youthful face. In her article “How to be a powerful young person at work,” Jane Burnett suggests how best to use one’s youth to further their position at work and gain respect and, eventually, power. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Speak up. Your colleagues and superiors won’t know your great ideas if you don’t share them! That being said, pick the right time and place to do so– no good will come from this tip if you are over-confident and over-sharing.
  • Be a Leader, without the title. Power is not intrinsically linked to one’s title; as Burnett points out, “power comes instead from your confidence and your manner.” Be a self-starter, be a willing and eager participant– be a leader, and a leadership title will follow.
  • Find a mentor. Studying and learning from someone who has more experience, more qualifications, and a better grasp on a particular working environment will propel you further in a new career path than simply going at it alone. It also demonstrates a certain humbleness and desire to engage that most employers find attractive and noteworthy.

Photo: “Success!” by go digital, available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

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