Congrats! You did it. You finally have a job. It took some work to get here and way more stress and worrying that you would like to admit. But you’re officially, 100 percent employed, and it would all be completely fantastic if not for one small problem: you’re the youngest person at your office. By far. This would be all well and good and business as usual, except it’s become painfully obvious to both you and your coworkers that your youth has become a major factor in the office culture. Read on to find out the seven signs that you’re the youngest person at the office. But you don’t have to get depressed and wish you could be as old and wise as the people that work with you. Just remember this: your face is still perfect and wrinkle-free. You have to take the small victories when they come.
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1. You Blow Your Paycheck in One Go
You’re just so, so, so excited. You’re finally making money. That definitely makes up for all the Ramen you used to have to eat for dinner every night when you were desperately unemployed. So you take your paycheck the second you get it and spend it. Maybe you go on a shopping spree at your favorite hipster boutique and buy a bunch of plaid shirts that you don’t really need (come on, you know you have 50 of them already in your closet). Maybe you blow it on booze and throw your BFFs a party (and hopefully don’t bring the alcohol to work). Whatever you spend the money on, the fact that the concept of saving isn’t even on your radar proves your youth. And it’s a little immature. Sorry, we don’t make the rules, we just report them. You’ve probably gotten a lecture or two from your mother, anyway. But she’s right – maybe don’t spend it all in one place next month. You do have to pay your rent and buy yourself some food, after all. You’ll probably have to be boring and start saving or you’ll be struggling to get by until your next pay day.
2. You're on Dating Apps... That Your Coworkers Have Never Heard of
By now everyone is on Tinder or if they’re not (for some crazy reason like being in a committed relationship) their best friends are on it. There are several other dating apps beyond Tinder and the one you choose to use depends on where you live and what apps are super popular and all the age in your area. You know you’re super young when you bring up the latest and greatest dating app and your older coworkers look at you in total confusion with their eyebrows raised. Some of them are married and have even been happily cohabiting for years and years, so they don’t exactly understand the weird and wonderful world of online dating. This is one battle that you just aren’t going to win, so it’s probably best to keep your love life to yourself. Save it for friends your own age.
3. You Get Zero of Your Coworkers' Pop Culture References
And they don’t get any of yours, either. This is a pretty sure sign that you’re in a totally different generation than the people you work with. You’re talking about Justin Bieber’s crazy scandals and exploits, they’re wondering who that is. They’re referencing actors and films that were way before your time, you’re scratching your head and trying not to look like you have no idea what they’re talking about. It’s a lot of work. Your job is hard enough. Who needs this kind of stress? Just stick to safe (and boring) topics like the weather and where you wish you could go on vacation. You know, with all the money that you don’t have, since you always spend your hard-earned cash immediately.
4. Your Coworkers Keep Saying "Oh, You're so Young"
The people you work with mean well. Probably. Hopefully. But they won’t stop saying how young you are. It’s like they have nothing else to say to you and how many birthday candles you blew out this past year is the most interesting thing about you. You’re kind of offended, when you think about it that way, because you know you have so many other awesome qualities. Your slightly older and maybe wiser coworkers love to whine and complain about their husbands and their kids and their messy house, and then smile at you and say, “oh, you’re so young, you don’t have to worry about all that stuff yet.” Well, what if you want to worry about that? What if you’re dreaming of a family and babies and a white picket fence and baking cookies every evening (if only from a box – hey, you do have a job). Ugh. It’s enough to drive you crazy. It’s not like you can say “oh, you’re so old” in response – not exactly the best impression that you want to give.
5. Your Diet is Always on Trend
You always follow the latest trends in the food world. You said goodbye to gluten and forgot all about the yummy goodness of bread when going gluten-free rose in popularity thanks to celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow. You were vegan for a month when you heard that going meatless is pretty good for you. You’ve debated going Paleo and try it off and on. So if your afternoon snacks are always gluten-free, then congrats, you’re officially the youngest person in your office. Chances are your older colleagues are just eating whatever they feel like or following a normal healthy diet – hey, we’re not here to judge. They can go for that pizza if they want. But being trendy is very important to you.
6. You Live for Office Gossip
Are you the office gossip? You just might be, especially if you’re 25 or even younger and everyone else is in their late 30s and 40s. Drama is basically your middle name and you get pretty excited when you hear the latest news about the busy personal lives of your coworkers. Sarah is getting married? Jesse’s fiancé cheated on him? You’re all ears. Since gossip is pretty much a totally immature pastime, it’s not awesome to be so obsessed with it. But you’re still young. You have time to grow up.
7. Your Usual Reply: "That's so Unfair!"
I’m sorry, are you in kindergarden? No? Well you might as well be since you keep responding to everyone with the phrase “that’s unfair.” Maybe you’re being given extra work or have been ordered by your (mean) boss to work every weekend this month. But buck up. You’re probably right, it’s probably not fair, but that’s life and business. You’ll learn eventually that not much about business is fair. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
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Wondering why it’s become super obvious at work that you’re basically still a baby? If you can relate to any of these signs that prove you’re the youngest employee at your office, then you have your answer. We have to break it to you but you’re part of the working world now. You have an office and a regular, steady pay check and bills to pay and responsibilities. In other words, you’re an adult. So you might want to start acting like one.