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When did I become the old guy in the office?


Categories: Recruitment

When did I become the old guy in the office? Be warned twentysomethings, it sneaks up on you and it doesn’t matter how much you plug yourself into the latest social media channel or listen to obscure indie bands, one day you will walk into work and realise that everyone else is younger than you. Holding the old guy badge comes with some privileges; it conveys a certain gravitas and people are more ready to listen to an experienced voice, people carry stuff for you to save your back, that kind of thing. Age also brings its challenges, the world is changing, faster than ever and impacting on the day to day work of anyone who works in marketing. As an account executive, my first job in PR was drafting press releases and faxing them out to a long list of newsdesks that I compiled from a book that looked like Harry Potter’s spellbook. It took forever. In the 90s social media didn’t exist, Netscape was the most popular browser and a good survey was a sure bet for coverage. To state the obvious, things have changed, communications models are evolving, the media landscape is in constant flux and influential media brands can be created in weeks. Twentysomethings have grown up in this world and many say that as digital natives they are well placed to capitalise on the global, connected world. This may well be the case but I would encourage every twenty something to remember that things are changing all the time and if you want to stay at the front of marketing know-how, you will have to work at it. Working at your art means taking time out to read blogs, trade magazines, attend industry events and generally have an insatiable appetite for information. It also requires you to be brave. Someone has to be the person that sticks their neck out to suggest the new idea, big or small. When that idea works the accolades will come to you, probably with John Terry photo shopped in the background. I used to help Andy Green, someone even older than me, with his excellent creativity training courses. I observed hundreds of brainstorms and learnt that the loudest ideas come from the confident but the best ones come from the inquisitive. So, as you go about your work today, pulling up trees and taking over the world, remember you don’t get better through simply turning up. Here is the obligatory Steve Jobs quote: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” I will leave you with the far more incisive Ricky Bobby. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tna3B5zqHdk Nathan ‘one grey hair’ Lane. Nathan Lane is the Earned Media Director at BloomAgency in Leeds


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