How young professionals can gain respect at the office

Baby Boom co-workers are stuck in a job on a level for years and a millennial counterpart arrives and gets promoted to a managerial position within a year of his/her employment. Can you understand why there is some resentment and combined feelings of fear and disappointment from the Baby Boomers? If you are a young professional struggling to get the respect you think you deserve at the office, put yourself in older colleagues’ shoes.

You will also feel insecure, unfairly treated and disappointed if a junior employee received recognition more often than yourself? Many Baby Boomers perceive their younger colleagues to be less capable and experienced. Think about it. Suddenly there is a much younger professional, who was not even born yet when you started working, who is now your manager. He/she now bring with them generational values and technological abilities that you have no clue of.

Without the experience and proven results to back young professional, respect is difficult to gain, but not impossible. Being respected as an employee of the company by the people who hired you, and being respected as a valuable member of your team, are two very different things.

Gain respect the following ways:

· Don’t apologize for your successes. You’ve earned your place in the organisation and team, otherwise, your employer would not have hired you. Don’t be scared of your success and newly gained promotion. Take the bull by the horns and do your best. Be confident and assertive, and work hard. Your team members will see this and automatically respect your enthusiasm, motivation and dedication.

· You are allowed to make mistakes, but take ownership of those mistakes you do make and NEVER blame someone or something else for making those mistakes. This will show that you are a mature individual with leadership abilities.

· Knowledge is the key to the respect door. Up-skill yourself constantly. Developing Leadership and Managerial skills will teach you all about gaining respect and how to deal with team members. Enhancing Emotional Intelligence skills will equip you with insights and empathy to assist in your journey to gain respect for your team members.

· Keep motivating and inspiring your team members. The success of a team lies in joint skills, expertise and the diverseness of its members. People who see their own value and feel like they truly contribute will feel less scared and undervalued. If you as the young professional keep boosting their strengths and focus on the competencies, they will feel motivated and inspired by you. Someone who can accomplish this, gains solid respect.

· Absolutely NO office politics, corridor talks or intimate office relationships. Stay clear of gossiping. Dress professionally. Keep your personal life separate from your professional one and don’t entertain nasty office politics. It is as simple as that. You will earn people’s respect this way instead of demanding it.

There was a quote once on social media that summed up gaining respect in a nutshell. It read ‘seek respect, not attention because it lasts longer.’

There are a lot of misconceptions about young professionals. They are seen as lazy, job-hoppers who lack loyalty and have too high career expectations. Young professionals have the opportunity to not fall into that millennial stereotype. When they step into a new managerial position, they should use the element of surprise to their advantage. Up-skilling yourself to be the best version of you is one place to start.

The Mindspa Institute offers in-house and public courses where we train young professionals in various soft skills. There is a huge gap between knowing and doing. We help bridge that gap by building your skills. Visit www.themindspa.co.za for more on our courses or follow our LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages. If you would like to speak to a consultant to get your HR department to invest in the young professional within your company, phone one of our consultants to assist with a quote and detail on 010 110 0227 or email enquiries@themindspa.co.za

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