Not only is your boss younger than you…everyone in the real estate brokerage you just joined is younger than you.
Being the oldest can be intimidating regardless of how accomplished and successful you are and have been in current and prior professions. And, if real estate is a new career to you, it can be REALLY intimidating.
Perhaps the way you see it is that everyone younger than you appears to be fluent in technology and that translates into being able to accomplish more in shorter periods of time with less or no anxiety. You wonder if you’ll ever be anxiety-free when you switch on your computer, let alone have to learn a new program or app. Everyone younger appears to see challenges as exciting problem solving scenarios rather than as overwhelming obstacles that render you anxious and uncomfortable. And everyone younger appears to have inexhaustible energy and stamina whereas your endurance is feeling more and more finite.
But wait a moment. Your boss and perhaps everyone else in your new firm hired you. And they hired you for a reason.
Here are some things to keep in mind if/when you are older than your boss and/or your new colleagues.
- Forget it…let it go…fast. Age is obviously not an issue to anyone but you. If it were, you wouldn’t be there. Use your age to your boss’s advantage, the firm’s advantage, your colleagues’ advantage and to your clients’ advantage. You know things that many others around you don’t. And your clients want you…a person who speaks their language, shares their stories, understands their life experiences, etc. You are who you are. Use everything about you, including your age, to your advantage.
- Be respectful of your boss and your colleagues in order to earn their respect. Everyone around you knows things you don’t, has life experiences you haven’t, has perspectives that are different than yours. Being respectful of everyone around you is basic common courtesy. You will learn a good deal from all of them by being respectful. And, they will welcome your “eyes,” your experiences and your perspectives so they can learn from you.
- Seek common ground. Ask questions to find common interests, experiences, hobbies, viewpoints. You’ll be amazed.
- Demonstrate your skills. According to Liz Bentley, a leadership development expert, “Older generations bring maturity that helps with people issues, emotional intelligence and calm. They provide much needed wisdom, balance and diversity.”
- Be who you are. By being comfortable with who you are, you enable others to be who they are and to grow into their best selves.