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Hi All!

It has been somewhat an interesting past few days. I recently had my APR meeting (little late I know), during which I was told to get my CV ready, get a 2 (1 Highest, 6 Lowest) in my next APR and start thinking about applying for a management position.

When talking to my line manager about this he voiced the same opinion, the staff around him however did not agree.

The view from the staff is that I am too young (19) to start applying for management positions. I understand that I may be inexperienced in management but likewise is 90% of everyone else (internal promotion).

What I am interested is how do I best shake this 'too young' feeling away?

Thank you for your time!

quenfis's picture

I am no authority on the matter, just giving some opinions here.

Is there currently a position available that your Line Manager thinks you could move into now? Or are they placing the idea that you have potential to move to management? I know 30 year olds who are not ready for management, so I am not sure if age is a definitive factor. I will say that in the U.S., a 19 year old young man is still maturing into his own thoughts and ideas. I'm not sure if I could trust a 19 year old here in the U.S. to lead and manage a team/group/etc. in the corporate world. Sometimes you need to handle those with the eagerness to move into supervision or management with kid gloves (no pun intended). Otherwise, you may push them too fast and watch them spiral down.

I see you have been here since September 2006, so I'm sure you have the tools at your disposal. Have you managed people before? Do you have a comfortable understanding of what is expected of your role as a manager? Sometimes the title and pay increase blinds the fact that you are going to be expected to perform at a much higher level. If you can move into this role, you will undoubtedly have others who will not respect you because of your age. You will have a lot to prove to some people. But, if you listen to the podcasts and put in place all of the things that M&M have given you, you can probably be successful in that role.

Gareth's picture

Thank you for your reply quenfis.

[quote]
Is there currently a position available that your Line Manager thinks you could move into now?
[/quote]

I wont be eligible for promotion or be able to apply for a different role until September 07. He doesn't have a job in mind but it would be a similar type role to what he has, bottom of the management ladder with 5-10 staff.

[quote] Or are they placing the idea that you have potential to move to management?[/quote]

During the APR meeting they mentioned that they had the impression I wanted to move into management at some point in my career. My plan, before this meeting, was to wait 3-4 more years and then start thinking about moving into management. What they stressed to me is that there is no reason for me to wait and I should start the second I can. One other point is that while I’m 19 now, I’ll be 20 when I start looking around (Year doesn’t make much difference I guess, but at least I wont be a teenager.)

[quote]Have you managed people before? [/quote]

Within my current job role, no. While I was working part-time I did end becoming an unofficial supervisor and was about to take training to become officially promoted, however I left to start my career.

[quote] Do you have a comfortable understanding of what is expected of your role as a manager?[/quote]

I’ve spent some 1 on 1 time with my line manager and been able to get a brief overview of his job. I have also attended some meetings with my manager so I can find out what it going on there. I had to really think before answering this question, if I were to replace my current manager I do feel I would have a comfortable understanding of what would be expected of me.

[quote] Sometimes the title and pay increase blinds the fact that you are going to be expected to perform at a much higher level.[/quote]

I always attempt to perform at the highest possible level I can. I don’t think the pay rise is for that ‘higher level of output’, more the new responsibilities I would have. I joke to friends that I would happily take on my managers job without a pay rise just so I could have the chance to prove myself.

I welcome any comments on this. Maybe I am too young?

arun's picture

I wouldn't let the age thing get in the way. If you feel you have the ability but more so the right mindset/attitude to have a stab at a management role, then go for it especially if you have a line manager who believes in your abilities and is willing to support you.

You say that you will be able to apply from Sep 07. That is still a few months away for you to start absorbing material on MT and maybe undertaking some training at your local college.

As an aside, my impression of you just from the way you have structured your reply to quenfis is v favourable. You seem to have a better mindset than the 25yr old who reports to me!

Just my 2p worth.

Good luck in making your decision

Cheers

Gareth's picture

[quote="arun"] That is still a few months away for you to start absorbing material on MT and maybe undertaking some training at your local college.[/quote]

Hi arun,

Thank you for your reply.

I do feel that being a member of manger-tools will and already has benefited me a great deal! With college, I started a HNC course in Business and Management last year at my own expenses. I go every Wednesday 2pm till 9pm which means, with my rota day, work gives me an afternoon off per week.

Cheers,

Gareth

aspiringceo's picture

Hi Gareth,
Remember that the UK has recently introduced new legislation (The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006) which came into force on 1 October 2006. This legislation now makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate on any job on the basis of you being too young or too old. Employers now need to review, and revise, their recruitment and retention policies, as they are no longer allowed to use age as a consideration in employment, promotion or retirement decisions. In effect what this means for you as a young pereson is that your employer will need to consider your experience and qualifications and use them as a basis for making a decision.

Edmund

quenfis's picture

[quote="arun"]As an aside, my impression of you just from the way you have structured your reply to quenfis is v favourable. You seem to have a better mindset than the 25yr old who reports to me!
[/quote]

I agree with Arun. Just the responses alone gave me the sense that you are a confident and articulate person. I don't want to put too much dependence on your being in the UK. But, I have made a few friends in my life from the UK who exuded a higher level of education at the age of 18 and 21. More than most of my friends here in the US. I'm not familiar with the educational system in the UK versus the US. It just seemed that their focus was higher than those I interacted with here. Or maybe it was just the accent. :)

I think you have the right mindset to push towards management. Take it slow and don't rush yourself. It's very easy to start believing that you can do your boss' job. Sometimes that can cloud your own performance. Overall, if they are making the mention for advancement, take it and enjoy the ride. There are lot's of people out there who have (or still are) waiting for a chance to advance. Like I said in my first post, I know 30 year olds who are not ready for management. So I wouldn't let age be a factor. Let your MT knowledge work for you, and spend as much time with your boss as possible.

Lastly, you may want to listen (or re-listen) to the podcast on mentoring. This is a great time to find a mentor and begin your path towards success.

Good luck to you. Keep us informed of your progress.

jamie_uk's picture

Hi Gareth,

Firstly - what a truly inspirational story, thank you for sharing it with us.

I'd also like to say you've displayed some excellent strengths and a great clear response to questions - a display of good listening and feedback.

I'm 23 and work for a large specialist Travel and Insurance Company in the UK. I've experienced similar feelings and doubt about age and can't count the number of times I’ve said "am I too young?".

Through confidence and a great mentor I’ve reached a place where age doesn't matter to me. I cannot emphasise the "[u]me[/u]" bit of that sentence - a big part for me was confidence and believing i could do something even when met with resistance.

One thing I’ve learned when met with resistance, is to be patient, listen and respect others experience and the rest will follow.

Take up the challenge when you're ready, work your hardest and you will achieve.

Jamie

jamie_uk's picture

Hi Gareth,

Just had another thought. I've found it useful to use some time outside work to develop leadership skills, voluntary organisations are a great start. I'm not sure what type of company you work for, but if they have a CSR (corporate social responsibility) programme that would be a great starting point - with the added bonus of internal recognition.

Let me know if you want some suggestions of organisations/types of organisations and how you would be able to approach them.

Hope this helps.

Jamie

Gareth's picture

[quote]I'm not sure what type of company you work for, but if they have a CSR (corporate social responsibility) programme that would be a great starting point - with the added bonus of internal recognition. [/quote]

Hi Jamie,

I work for a large telecoms company which does have a CRS programme. I don't know much about it so I will make a point of finding out at work.

[quote]Let me know if you want some suggestions of organisations/types of organisations and how you would be able to approach them. [/quote]

I am interest however with work and college it means my free time is very valuable to me. It is something I would look at during the summer when my time is not taken up with college work. Thank you for your kind offer and I would find it very helpful!

Gareth's picture

[quote="quenfis"]
Lastly, you may want to listen (or re-listen) to the podcast on mentoring. This is a great time to find a mentor and begin your path towards success.
[/quote]

Hi Quenfis,

Funny you should say this actually. At work we have membership to a professional group called the TCN (http://www.tcn-uk.org/) and they have a mentoring program. I sent an e-mail to the person involved and I have a training conference call on Friday, I'm not 100% sure what expect from a mentor but i do plan on re-listing to the podcast before Friday.

[quote]Keep us informed of your progress.[/quote]

I certainly will. Thank you to everyone who has taken to time to read / reply!

arun's picture

Hi Gareth,

You have just exhibited another quality which in my opinion sets you apart from a lot of 19 yr olds, that of self development i.e. taking responsibility for your own development and learning. I don’t know anything about your course but I am sure it will open up more opportunities for you to expand into other areas such as finance by doing CIMA/ACCA (professional accounting courses) etc and indeed into management. As a manager I would look favorably on and actively encourage anyone who recognizes that there is a gap in their skill base which restricts them from getting from A to B and personally does something about it. Unfortunately none of my five reports (age range of 25-60) have that :cry: .

I also worked for a major telco in the UK 17 years ago and at that time they had good programmes which encouraged staff to take on training by funding and giving time off. The training and experience gained from working for such a large org has been invaluable.

All the best.

Cheers

Mark's picture

Gareth-

My apologies for my delay.

Smart people wouldn't give a hoot about your age. I sure as hell wouldn't. It's IRRELEVANT.

Go for it.

Yes, others will murmur about it...and so will someone about anything you do. IF you get promoted, THAT decision is management's.

I suspect you're ready, and if you're not, you'll learn that.

Age does NOT matter.

Again, I regret my absence.

Mark

Gareth's picture

[quote="jamie_uk"]Just had another thought. I've found it useful to use some time outside work to develop leadership skills, voluntary organisations are a great start. I'm not sure what type of company you work for, but if they have a CSR (corporate social responsibility) programme that would be a great starting point - with the added bonus of internal recognition.
[/quote]

Hi Jamie,

Just a little update for you and the rest of the MT community.

I've applied for a voluntary position at Oxfam during the summer, already looking forward to it. :)

Mark, thank you for the advice.

Mark's picture

Gareth-

Nice work. As you begin your relationship, leave your "judging their management style and structure and effectiveness at home. Many young folks learn a lot with non-profits, but also find them slow and bureaucratic. Don't judge... just pitch in, and more eyes and ears open and mouth in a CLOSED smile.

Mark

erickas's picture

The too young question has been a question I've been challenged with a lot my life. Having started my own business at 15 (and within a year having about 15 people working for me) and going to college at 16 has given me work experiences far beyond my years (honestly people hiring my company and trying to "put one over" on the "kid" was a much bigger problem than people reporting to me, and a quick way to learned a ton about writing good contracts).

I've since had managers for which age has been no problem for and managers who it took a long time and a lot of proving myself to, and managers who would probably never consider me "old enough". And one, who didn't think most of the people 15 years older than myself were "old enough" but with hardwork, determiniation, and accidental luck I somehow won respect from. Like Mark said, the good ones usually don't have problems with age... Maybe it can work in your favor, it's like a quick insight into if they may be good or not, and some won't even see you coming.

Gareth's picture

Hi erickas,

Thank you for sharing your story.

DWElwell's picture

Although I am late to the thread (haven't been on the forum for a while - shame on me :-)) I would agree with some of the sentiment previously shared. Don't worry too much about age. It's not so much about your age as it is your maturity, and as others have suggested, there isn't a direct correlation.

Good luck!