A Guide To Being A Great Leader Even When You’re Young

Age may just be a number, but it’s hard to ignore the impact of being a young leader in the workplace. A lot of people equate age with wisdom, which can make it hard for young leaders to make an impact when they first start out. But fear not! Career Girl Daily’s got you covered with our guide to being a great young leader:

Drink the Kool-Aid.

Whether you’re starting your own business, or being promoted within another company, you need to believe with total loyalty in what you’re working for. It’s easier to believe in someone who has faith in themselves, and faith in what they work for. You’ve got to completely immerse yourself in the work that you’re in to show people you’re worth the trust they have to put into you.

Be sensitive to the fact that others might be uncomfortable with this new shift…

Some people have trouble with change, and this includes employees getting new managers. People might be uncomfortable with getting a younger manager, and that’s OK. Give them time to get used to you the same way you would give anyone a chance to get used to a new manager, understanding that there’s always an adjustment period.

…but don’t let that affect your job performance.

Making yourself smaller doesn’t make people feel bigger, and it’s no different at work—you can’t make people feel important by acting like you’re less so. If you’ve been promoted into a position of power, it’s because you’ve earned it, and there’s no point in changing your behaviour to pretend that’s not true. If you act as anything but a competent leader, people will start to doubt your ability!

Take your time.

When you’re the youngest, the stereotype might be that you’re impulsive, or that you lack experience. That’s an unfair assumption, of course, but listening and learning are critical to any new manager’s success, even if you want to dive in and make a big impact right away. Make it clear that you’re interested about learning about your colleagues, that you weigh the options carefully and look before you leap.

Be aware of how it impacts your contributions to the workplace.

Women often struggle with institutional sexism, ideas not being taken seriously until they’re suggested by men, being talked over in meetings, and salary disparities. A lot of these things stem from women not being taken seriously in the workplace, and this is sometimes amplified when you’re a young worker. It’s important to combat these stereotypes when you see them whatever your age, but it’s especially important when you might be seen as less competent simply because you’re a young worker.

Charlotte Bailey


Charlotte Bailey is an freelance writer living in London. Originally from Canada, she's a word nerd, compulsive list-maker, and lover of novels & film.

  • Camille Beygui

    Such a great post



  • Farah

    Interesting post.
    Very inspiring! – Keep it up :)

  • Jessica C

    What a great topic. I think I’d be interested to hear more about what lingo to avoid, how to position yourself with authority perhaps in the way you walk, or making eye contact, what to wear and what not to wear…etc. Keep up the good work though CGD!!

    Jessica || http://www.mycubiclechic.com

  • Pingback: How She Did It: Glamour's Designer Of The Year Anya Hindmarch - Career Girl Daily()

  • Bonds John

    Well nice said age doesn’t matter when you have motivation and skills.

  • Peter Cabrera

    Really motivating post.I agreed young girls are not considered equally may be because of age or sex discrimination.Our society should focus on the talent and the skills rather then considering girls just nothing.

  • RoyBaker

    This is great post and i am happy to find this informative topic shared here. dupatta collection looking forward for more information..

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