Use youth to your advantage in job search

By Elisabeth Tharp | LTVN Sports Director

I am 21 years old and about to graduate this May. My dream job is to become a sports reporter for a network like Fox Sports, SEC or ESPN, but there is just one “problem.” The problem is, most people in the television industry are just a “bit” older than me and have been working for 10+ years. So, how can I compete with them in the job market? By using my age as a leg up.

Regardless of what profession my fellow future graduates are applying for, they too have to go through what I am about to endure: proving to our future employers that we are just going to get better and better, while the people they have working for them now will just stay the same. We need to use our age as an advantage.

As we prepare to apply for jobs and write our cover letters, we should be thinking mainly of how we don’t want our future employers to see us just as recent, young college graduates.

We grew up in a time period when there was a new piece of technology that we needed to learn and adapt to each year. We grew up in the era where social media started to become popular. We are the experts on social media and technology, which both are huge aspects of a lot of jobs we want to get into.

Since we are young, we are quick. Since we are still learning, we have new ideas. We have a plethora of advantages that come with our age that the people who have our jobs now may not have anymore. We have grown up watching adults and learning from them, but also noticing their mistakes. Now, we get to show those adults that we can do the same things they can, but better.

I truly believe we are the ones who will change the world. We have grown up watching people who have been in a position for over 30 years without changing. They think their ways are best solely because “things work” their way, but I believe when we start our careers, things will get better. Things will get better because we are the ones with new ideas, stronger bodies, stronger minds and stronger hearts.

As we apply for jobs, we should keep in mind that we aren’t able to reach for the stars because we haven’t professionally been in an industry for years, rather, we can reach for the stars because we can do things people who have professionally been in an industry for years can’t. Don’t get stressed out when you walk into an office full of 30 year old people, because they are probably stressed about you. I think older people are scared of our age group because they too know we will be better than them.

Remember, we have the advantage!