Consulting

Just received an offer where I’m almost positive the hiring manager and the whole interview team was skeptical about my age 90% of the time. I’m 25 and was hired on as a Director. (Continued...)

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works at

Age is just a number - R Kelly

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*ain’t nothing but We get your point though 😂. Well played

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I’m afraid that when my age actually comes out, because I don’t plan on hiding it, they will start scrutinizing my work more and being harder on me etc. Don’t want to take the offer and be set up for failure because of this nonsense. I would have 3 direct reports, all older than me. This is a job for a small SaaS company (500 employees) Part of me wants to talk to the hiring manager and clear the air about my age and ask if he has any hesitations etc before I accept the offer. Advice?

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The hope is that they hired you based on the skillset needed. If they had concerns about your age they would have framed it as lack of experience. But if they made an offer it is what it is. I don't think you need to bring it up until you have proven your output. Your work should speak for itself

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Why bring it up or care if you’re qualified for the job? Just act like you belong there.

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Also, consider that “Director” means different things at different companies. The description you provided sounds more like a Manager at my company, for instance. I’m sure you’re qualified; don’t question yourself.

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This is an incredibly important distinction

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I wouldn’t. If they had any concern about your age, they would would have discussed internally or brought it up with you. I have had experiences myself during interviews where the interviewer asked if I will be comfortable managing team members double my age.

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That’s only if you’re in a protected class (over 40), but they apply it so people don’t screw it up and ask someone who is in a protected class.

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Unless your resume is squirrelly, I assume they can do basic math and know exactly how old you are. Own the role, and figure out how to work with the personalities - that will be the biggest hurdle. I currently manage individuals who are older than my parents. It’s awkward, but once they 1) understand you know what you are talking about, and 2) know you have their back, the dynamic becomes much better.

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I got staffed on a client as a manager in a consulting company (not ACN) when I was 22. You're in an extremely small group of people but its fine. I used facial hair back then to help sell the fact that I was older. If you're not a guy, cant do that, possibly changing the way you dress works too. Just roll with it, and dress older.

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This will be an experience you can learn from, and will ideally add to your emotional iq and business intelligence, when it comes to dealing with scenarios like this and people in general. Take it on and learn from it. I’m 29 but am often mistaken for 21-22 because I’m Asian and I look very young. The solution I’ve found that works is; 1.to know your stuff like the back of your hand, as well as learn and know about other aspects of the business. Be so informed that you can hold your ground and be seen as someone who can be relied on to have the facts and critical thinking skills. 2. Be personable, humble, but never afraid to speak up and do it in a non-condescending way. “My understanding is XYZ. Can you elaborate on abc”? If something contradicts your knowledge. Or “what are your thoughts on 123. “ 3. Regardless of your age, being a leader means navigating the potential discomfort of people who don’t like you or who may judge you until they see your work. Always be of service to others, and show that you are there to support them, rely on their knowledge, and drive direction. People will remember you for how they make them feel, so be a good person and it’ll all fall into place

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Isnt it illegal to base anything on age for a hiring decision?

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Interesting. Seems EY 2 is correct at a federal level. I still think HR departments will have trained interviewers to avoid the question. Much easier to disqualify on experience/skills for younger employees.

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Past experiences will lead us to expecting things like this. Has this happened before? It is not uncommon in consulting. If you are really concerned bring it up that this has been an issue for you in the past. Press that you have a desire to learn and are passionate about emerging technology and that has set you beyond your peers.

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M1, my resume is not squirrelly - but I worked full time during college (all 4 years) and that experience is 100% verifiable. I’m assuming because of that they think I’m 4 years older

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Can relate. Had clients ask me about my age both before and after rolling on a project. When I worked in my non-consulting job (mid-20’s) also has 2 direct fulltime reports (older than me) and managed 3 consultants. People did doubt me based upon my age in the beginning, but silence the haters with your quality work. They hired you for a reason, and if age is something they lurks on your mind - double down on killing it

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