The Value of Youth

As a job seeker, you have a lot less experience than your more seasoned counterparts.  You may begin to wonder how you can possibly compete.  The fact is you are probably in a stronger position than you realize.  Many employers intentionally select younger candidates over those with more work experience.  Here’s why:

Willingness to learn.  As a young person, you’re used to playing the student role.  You are still in school (or have recently graduated) and everywhere you look, someone is trying to teach you something.  Many employers find that young people are easier to train and more willing to accept the employer’s way of doing things.

Fresh perspective.  Your lack of experience can actually be considered an asset.  You don’t have preconceived notions of what can and can’t be done.  Young employees with fresh eyes are sometimes able to see problems and opportunities that are invisible to more experience employees.

High energy.  It’s a fact of nature that young people tend to have more energy than older people.  This energy can translate into enthusiasm and increased productivity.  Managers love these employees because their enthusiasm is contagious.

Technologically savvy.  You have been looking at computer screens since you were a baby.  Unlike older candidates, you grew up with this technology and are able to manipulate it in ways that they couldn’t even conceive.  As our world becomes increasingly connected, the demand for these skills will grow.

Not afraid of change.  Younger employees are often more willing to try something new.  Youth are generally less risk averse and are not as invested in the status quo.  This perspective can be attractive to an employer who is trying to make a change to their business.  Younger employees also tend to be more comfortable in a multicultural workplace because they grew up with this diversity.

Breaking into the job market is tough.  There are not a lot of jobs and the competition is fierce but don’t give up.  Just by being young you bring certain assets that are attractive to employers.  The key is to figure out what they want and to show them that you’ve got it!

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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