Being just 22 years old and a budding retail marketing consultant in Baltimore, I constantly meet “senior” consultants and clients who equate my age to my talent. My generation is highly motivated and educated. We may not know all the answers, but we do know what avenues give us those answers. “Generation X” is once again news for today’s headlines, but this time for a very different reason. There are four major misconceptions associated with young consultants. But instead of feeling defeated, remain polite and shut them down with the following four truths:
#1 “I know that you want to be lazy and cut corners on this project, but please don’t.”
Young consultants are hardworking professionals and do not have any different work ethic than seasoned professionals. In fact, younger professionals are typically more inclined to dedicate long hours to a project.
#2: “I know you want to build a relationship with our company fast, but that takes time. Your generation wants immediate gratification. You don’t want to pay your dues like I had to.”
Our generation has more college graduates than any other generation. We know what it means to put in long hours, receive constant criticism, and work in teams. In fact, many young consultants once worked as interns- unpaid interns-in the hopes of not moving up the corporate ladder at warp speed, but to pay their dues.
#3: “Now remember, don’t go gossiping about this to your friends.”
Business 101: Practice client confidentiality. There is no age requirement for professionalism. For professional and legal reasons, every businessman knows what information is shared between a client and consultant. And that, it should not be shared with friends, family, or other clients.
#4: “I don’t work with young people because they promise you the world but always under-deliver. They’re just inexperienced.”
Young consultants actually underpromise and over deliver but they do tend to overdo it. Often, we’re so excited to have acquired a client, we’ll do anything to keep them.
Our talents and technical skills are so advanced from that of seasoned professionals. We tend to dabble in varied fields, so we can offer insight into a myriad of problems our clients may face.
If you’re a young consultant reading this article, remember to stay positive and when faced with difficult prospects, keep your mind focused on your long-term goals. The prospect may lead to bigger and better opportunities. Don’t ever be ashamed of the fact that you don’t have all the answers.