How to be taken seriously as a young professional

Having your voice heard in an office full of middle-aged professionals when you’re young and inexperienced can seem impossible, especially when you have no idea what the ‘adults’ are talking about.

Obviously dressing casually, looking scruffy and unpolished, coming in late, smelling of cigarettes and using bad language isn’t going to help you to heighten your status in the company, but there are a few things you can do to be taken seriously.

1. Avoid being a cliche

Being an office cliche is one of the worst things you can do as a young professional, particularly when you want to be respected and have your ideas heard by your colleagues and employers.

Don’t excessively drink at office parties or after work drinks, don’t disclose personal information with colleagues and definitely don’t date them. You should also avoid having a messy desk, updating social media at work, texting or personal calls on the clock and most importantly, avoid crying at all costs.

2. Keep the banter to a minimum

Whilst having a laugh with your colleagues will help you to bond with the team, it won’t gain you respect in the eyes of your employers. Though colleagues may try to engage you in gossip and workplace humour, try to avoid joining in as this make you look as though you are there to make friends, not to advance your career. 

3. Be your own PR agent

Don’t assume everyone knows about your success. When you exceed targets, don’t be afraid to communicate your success to clients or employers. Send a quick email or drop by to your boss’s office to let them know how well you’ve done on a particular project.

4. Don’t always just say yes

Before you agree to tasks or projects, ask relevant and appropriate questions where necessary as this will show you’re inquisitive and want to ensure you have everything you need in order to do the job properly.

5. Acquire knowledge

Don’t just keep up-to-date with current affairs but also with various business publications and a variety of information sources so that you can always have something extra to contribute to conversations.