While on my lunch break today, I overheard two woman
talking complaining about their jobs in plain earshot of everyone. The reason they were complaining? Because they were having a new Manager starting on Monday… who is 27 years old. The comments and assumptions they were making about a woman, who they haven’t even met yet, got me thinking.
The ability to be a manager is completely irrelevant to age. You have to be able to set expectations and hold employees accountable. While they may not always be the subject matter expert, a young manager should respect the employee’s expertise and help enable their success. They have to confront issues, and establish expectations; for themselves as well as their employees, while always listening and treating workers fairly so to maintain respect. Small, but obvious things like correcting their bad habits in private, and praising their good work in public; an employee thinks that a new manager is going to be instantly against them, you have to alleviate that fear early on and show them that you are on their side and that you care about them… your age doesn’t affect your ability to do this.
This new starter at “only 27 years old” is entering into a team where her co-workers will already be against her, for no fault of her own. Your work ethic is not dependent on your age. Your ability is not dependent on your age. I would bet my favorite pair of shoes that this woman has worked her butt off to get to where she is in her career and, this should be celebrated, not discriminated; and I am sure she wouldn’t have been leant against a wall, ignoring customers and complaining that having a manger younger than her is unfair when she was offered this senior role. (yes, I did just snap my fingers).