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Need advice: Managers at my new job are younger than me!

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Need advice: Managers at my new job are younger than me!

Post by 08pacollegegrad on Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:44 am

OK, so I started my new part time job yesterday. Let me be clear. This is a holdover job, especially considering it only pays minimum wage, so I have no hesitations about leaving when I get something better. But since I don't know when that will come along, I have to stay for as long as it takes. However, there is an issue that I need to accept for things to go smoothly while I'm an employee.

First of all, I am younger than the majority of employees. I can count on one hand the number that are older than me, and that is not including the owner of the store. This is pretty awkward, especially since they talk openly about things like sex. I could never imagine discussing such a thing at somewhere I worked (so I guess I am old-fashioned for my 25 years of age).

The second part is that since there are so many young employees, that three of the shift managers are younger than me. Two are seniors in high school (the third is 21, which isn't as weird). So basically, I have to wrap my head around the fact that I have to take orders from two 18 year olds who don't have half the work experience I do and haven't even begun college. This makes me really uncomfortable. There is also a shift manager trainee who is younger than me...albeit I don't know if he's in HS, college, or what.

I applied for a shift manager job since the advertisement I answered said the store was looking for both staff and shift managers, but was never considered for the position. The one shift manager, who will be 18 next month, was complaining about how she hasn't gotten her raise yet, and I felt like I couldn't relate at all since I have been looking for a full time job for so long without success.

I was feeling uncomfortable with some of the conversation at work today, which pretty much revolved around sex and relationships and was getting pretty out there in nature. However, I don't want to alienate myself from my co-workers and because I am determined to stay until something else comes along, I need to make this a somewhat bearable experience.

It's not that the people I work with are mean to me or anything or disrespectful, because they don't seem it. But I just feel uncomfortable being older than virtually everybody, and I especially cringe about the fact that an 18 year old has the power to order me around. I feel like I should be teaching them something! LOL.

Anyone have any advice about how to get through this? I don't need to be best friends with my co-workers, but I just want to get along with everyone and not feel like I'm sticking out like a sore thumb.

I had an interview at a restaurant today where I would no doubt have older co-workers (you have to be 18 to even wait tables b/c they serve alcohol), so it is not likely I'd have a 17 year old manager. But they brought me in for the interview and then admitted they're not hiring till August. That's another thread though.

So since I can't change the situation, how can I at least deal?

08pacollegegrad
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Re: Need advice: Managers at my new job are younger than me!

Post by lendmeflight2 on Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:59 am

The best I can tell you is to just accept it. I have worked at many places where my supervisors were older than me. Usually they rely on me for my experience. As far as the "out there" sex conversations, of course that is unprofessional but at retail places it's pretty normal. I just wouldn't take part in them. If I was asked a specific question about my sex life I would just not answer it. I don't really know what you consider out there and I am not really offended by much. As far as people younger than you ordering you around goes, ordering is off limits no matter the age as far as I am concerned. I don't care if they ask me to do something. Work is work and I just do it. In this capitalist society the only thing we have to sell is our time. When I sell my time to them they can use for pretty much whatever they want. It isn't my responsibility if they make a wise use of my time. That is their job.

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Re: Need advice: Managers at my new job are younger than me!

Post by gettheminNOVEMBER on Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:08 am

Bottom line is you are working and your resume will be up to date when you do move on. Just go with the flow and more than likely you will move up faster than the other people. I am glad to hear you are doing better. flower

I bet you feel better just getting out of the house. When you get a paycheck with your name on it remember the millions of 99ers that would like to be in your place.

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Re: Need advice: Managers at my new job are younger than me!

Post by Jobless_in_Ma on Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:11 am

You deal by realizing that being older doesn't mean having more power or seniority in a company.

Honestly the sooner you realize this the better off you will be.

No joke at all. Age does not necessarily translate into wisdom in a work environment.

IN this economy you need to be thankful for what you have, Degree or no degree it doesn't matter. The rules have changed. Now I know you are young so you probably don't have much experience in the "real world" but what ever you were taught before about it DOES NOT APPLY anymore.

Just trying to offer some advice. Also the whole "interviewing a company" that doesn't fly anymore either. Reason being, there are 300 applicant right behind you with same qualifications.
I hate to be so harsh, but Im saying this to you for a reason. It is the HARSH truth right now.

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Re: Need advice: Managers at my new job are younger than me!

Post by troycomic on Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:14 am

I did read your post, just the title. But I say...
Don't try to act young
Don't try to mentor
don't act like your grandfather
don't talk too much
don't pretend to understand them
don't proclaim the old days

do show your old school work ethic
do your job
do show them respect
do get a better job

This is a sign of the times, get used to it or be miserable. You were young once how would you have handled an older person. They just might surprise you.

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Re: Need advice: Managers at my new job are younger than me!

Post by Jobless_in_Ma on Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:16 am

Maybe you should of read More Troy. just sayin Wink

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Re: Need advice: Managers at my new job are younger than me!

Post by troycomic on Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:25 am

Jobless_in_Ma wrote:Maybe you should of read More Troy. just sayin Wink

Yeah I didn't read thebook just the title. Then my advise is....

Your not there to make friends as they, so do your job and get a better one.

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Re: Need advice: Managers at my new job are younger than me!

Post by Guest on Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:37 am

troycomic wrote:
Jobless_in_Ma wrote:Maybe you should of read More Troy. just sayin Wink

Yeah I didn't read thebook just the title. Then my advise is....

Your not there to make friends as they, so do your job and get a better one.

True. Also, in a retail environment, a college education isn't the most important requirement of the job. It is the knowledge of the job and the interaction with customers that matters the most.

I know for sure that if/when I ever find another job, my supervisors will be younger than me and I will respect that.

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Re: Need advice: Managers at my new job are younger than me!

Post by 08pacollegegrad on Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:01 am

Thanks for the advice, guys.

I don't work at all this weekend, since I am just an extra person for right now...or so I was told. A lot of new employees have been hired, so it's a matter of getting everyone adjusted and getting schedules sorted out.

I hope that as I'm on the job longer, the awkwardness starts to go away a little. This is a new situation for me, as my managers in past jobs have all been older than me, even if just by a little bit. I am so anxious to move up somewhere and get a supervisory position, even if it's not something major like overseeing a huge department. I'd be happy with just a team lead or shift manager type position for now.

I guess this is more common than I realized though. I was talking to a friend of mine today who said that when she was 19 and working at a drugstore, someone who was hired after her was promoted after three months...and the person was 17, so she was taken aback too.

I kind of worry about not being able to get some sort of supervisor position at the age I'm at. Obviously, the 17 and 18 year olds who are getting these promotions will have the edge later, and I want to have a successful career too. Is being promoted really the only way to do it?

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Re: Need advice: Managers at my new job are younger than me!

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