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Cute little Asian business man using smartphoneLooking young isn’t a crime but it can have an affect on you in the workplace. You might be self-conscious about it and worried that it will impact how others treat you at work and it might make you sit quietly in meetings, making you too afraid to pipe up.

So what is the “baby face perception”? It’s that feeling when you walk into a meeting and everyone is so much older than you. You suddenly feel very young and not very capable of your job. You start to doubt yourself because of your in-experience.

The baby face perception at work is just that – a perception. As Elsa put it so well (for all you Frozen fans), you need to:

Let it go!”

Otherwise it can take over your mental state. You are the only person who dictates how you act and behave at work – whether it’s internal or out at meetings. So you need to feel in control.

Email Signatures
Be wary about how you position yourself in your email signature. If you have the junior status tied to your name, you’re likely to be treated as a junior and it shows any clients you’re emailing your ranking in the company.

Conscious of your Junior Tittle
Try not to let the idea of being a ‘junior’ affect you too much. Work to the best of your ability and give everything your full dedication. Don’t worry about status or age.

Turn it into a Positive
Being young can give you a major advantage at work – it gives you the chance to exceed expectations. If you’re dealing with a client who knows how old you are, if you work really hard and achieve great things for them, regardless of your age you’ll earn their respect, which can go a long way.

Take on More Responsibility
Same as the point above, you can exceed expectations internally and the ability of your age. The ability to enhance yourself internally is stronger than it is externally. In your fist few years of working, you’ll have more internal exposure rather than client time and managing your own accounts. So take hold of this. From working hard you can excel ahead of your peers and take on more responsibility. Work your way up!

Back Yourself
You know what you’re talking about so you need to back yourself. Don’t be afraid to pipe up just because you’re younger. Have confidence in what you think and say.

Have Faith in your Colleagues
You also need to back others around you. If you’re in a meeting with a senior colleague or manager, a thought might pop into your head but if you’re unsure about it, you can make a note and ask your co-worker after the meeting. Five out of ten times you’ll probably find it was a valid point to make but equally, they probably have reasons behind all the decisions and have already thought that point through, which they can explain to you.

You Don’t Have to Prove a Point
You don’t have to prove a point at work all the time, instead focus on your core roles. If you excel at your job and work hard, you will in turn impress those around you.

Do you every feel really young at work? How did you handle it? Please share any thoughts in the comments below.

Laura is the Founder & Editor of The Workher. She is an award winning Public Relations professional, who loves blogging about surviving and thriving in the workplace as a young woman.

4 comments on “Baby Face Perception At Work”

  1. I’ve got quite a baby face! People think I am up to ten years younger then I am. Sometimes it can be quite challenging at the start to prove you are serious and capable for the job. I find I have to really prove myself to people initially but after a little while people really trust that I can do the job efficiently and go beyond what is expected of me. Good luck !

    • Nice! Thanks for sharing Emma. As a side note, looking that young will be such a positive and great thing in years to come – I’m sure others are envious of it.

  2. Ooh these are some great tips Laura! Whilst I don’t necessarily have a typical workplace, I do find I have similar issues from time to time. Especially when dealing with other parents and school teachers etc. I find I just have to tactfully hold my position and put myself out there to back myself and the end result usually falls in my favour. x

    • Oh I can imagine you encounter this one Hope! That would be hard as well as a Nanny – like any profession, you want to be taken seriously. Good on you for standing your ground! x

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