To be successful, young workers need to be seen as credible before they have had the opportunity to build expertise from the ground up. It’s an incredibly difficult obstacle for younger workers in their first job to overcome. But there are five activities that young professionals can do to jumpstart their career trajectories: leverage your research skills; identify your specific contribution; volunteer for unenviable assignments; manage your workload and communicate proactively; and build a network of close relationships. Your coworkers won’t see you as a crucial part of the organization until you prove yourself to be one. But by using the tools, assets, and capabilities that you already have as a young worker, you can overcome the credibility paradox and jump start your career in the process.
There’s a meme on the internet, which speaks truth about a dilemma for young people entering the hypercompetitive workforce of 2017. The photo is of two seasoned, older interviewers glaring critically across the table at a young interview candidate with the following words: “We’re looking for someone age 22-26… with 30 years of experience.”
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