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I just graduated and had entry interviews at a company.

I noticed (not so surprisingly but still new to me) that most employees there are around 30-50 years old. As I am 26, I think I cannot relate well on a personal or friendship level with much older employees and that I would not feel well there for this reason also.

Did someone had a similar experience and how to deal with the situation?

closed as off-topic by gnat, Thomas Owens, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Chris E, Jim G. Mar 15 '15 at 21:32

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    You better learn to relate to these ancient people, fast, because the workplace is full of them. Usually in a position where they can help or harm you, depending on your attitude to them. – Owe Jessen Mar 9 '15 at 20:57
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    Your perception of your work environment has to do with your expectations and goals. If you expected to be, and only see yourself thriving and enjoying work around people your age, there are two options: to adjust expectations or to move to a company with younger workforce. IT consulting is one, where attrition is high and average age is low. So if you are seeking camaraderie, happy hours in the middle of the week, going out to shoot pool and pick up girls (or guys, depending) at bars with coworkers on Friday nights, I say go to consulting for a couple years, get your fill, then come back :) – A.S Mar 9 '15 at 22:19
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    But if you can live with the idea of not being buddies with your coworkers, and see longer-term value in spending some time in the trenches at the bottom of the seniority pile, learning how to treat colleagues with respect and learn from them, to be humble and work diligently for genuine respect, and acquire deep knowledge of stable technologies and organizational practices, then this place could probably give you that experience. So again, it depends on where you are in your life and career, what you want to do now, as well as what professional experiences and qualities you seek. Good luck! – A.S Mar 9 '15 at 22:25
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    I will also point out that in no more than 4 years adn more likely 2, you are going to be one of those people that younger employees view as geezers. – HLGEM Mar 10 '15 at 18:35
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I am currently working with people in their 50s, which for technology is almost ancient (I'm 26). I find it enjoyable to work with them. They have a lot of experience and are really good programmers. At this point they know what works and what doesn't and I feel that I am gaining much better experience than every other programmer my age who is just going after the new shiny technology that will be replaced in 3 years.

Like HLGEM said above, just be polite and show a willingness to learn. You don't have to be friends with the people you work with, and in fact I would advise against it. You have to separate business with pleasure. It's just healthy.

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You have to be able to work with co-workers of any age, sex, sexual orientation, religion, race, etc. You don't have to be friends with co-workers, just be polite and friendly. You should never expect that only people your own age are in a workplace.

  • Sry but I think your advice is not realistic – emcor Mar 10 '15 at 9:24
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    @emcor, why would you say that? That is one thing you must do at work to be successful, learn to work with anyone even people you don't like or who are different than you are. It is counterproductive to do otherwise. – HLGEM Mar 10 '15 at 13:32
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    "be able to work with co-workers of any" is like "just solve any problem" which seems not a good answer to me. – emcor Mar 10 '15 at 13:45
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    Your statement is incredibly offensive. "Solving any problem" is not a useful request because it is incredibly hard to solve many problems. Yet, working with almost any person, is incredibly easy to begin with: Just be friendly and polite. Seems like you have a problem, because you generally dislike older people. Btw, would you like to be treated with such an attitude in 20 years? – dirkk Mar 10 '15 at 14:17
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    I have worked with people twice my age and half my age. I have worked with people who replaced co-workers I was friends with. I have worked with Muslims, Jews, Athiests, Christians, Buddhists and Hindus. I have worked with Liberals and Conservatives. I have worked with people who were friends and those I intensely disliked. None of those things matter at work.You work with whoever you have to in order to get the job done. You are paid to get along with everyone. If you dislike people enough you can move on, but every single job will have people that you have to learn to get along with. – HLGEM Mar 10 '15 at 17:25
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You prior experiences with people in this age range may have been parents, older relatives, teachers and professions. The dynamic is very different when you work with people. Although you'll be in a position to receive some training and mentorship, they're not your parents. You're going to be expected to grow-up and act professional. They're not as rigid as you think.

Most people when they started out probably worked with at least some people in this age range if not most. You expand your view of things. I think it's better than being around too many people who are just like me.

Give it a chance. Soon, there will probably be more people your age. In a few years, you'll turn 30. Are you going to be able to work with someone who is 26? I hope so.

  • +1 In the workplace, we're all adults - whether 20 years old, 50, or whatever. – EleventhDoctor Mar 11 '15 at 18:20
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I'm early in my thirties now and remember having to fight for acceptance as a young and successful person in my area of expertise. (I was teaching college courses at the age 19)

Now actually developing a connection with your peers is a totally different thing. Even in an office of people your same age this can prove difficult. (Think of highschool, you probably had a handful of real friends, the others may have been nice enough but there just was never that connection there.)

Now consider how many students were in your highschool and that you spent years growing up together. Now compare that to your new office. Likely there are less than 10% as many people you interact with daily now, in addition you have not grown up together. So real friendships here take a little more time. (but do happen)

You should just be friendly and relate as able. We all have our hobbies and interests and you'll probably find tons that overlap between you and your older coworkers that you'll discover over time. Short term though just try and be a friendly coworker, eventually you'll catch ques of common interest. (If you want to up the odds of finding these ques try to invite them to lunch or tag along when they go. Outside the office itself it tends to be easier to get to know people better.)

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As I am 26, I think I cannot relate well on a personal or friendship level with much older employees and that I would not feel well there for this reason also.

You do not have to relate well or even like your colleagues on a Personal level to perform well at your job location. At work, I interact with my colleagues on a purely professional level, focusing strictly on the the tasks as they pertain to the job at hand. It is entirely possible to enjoy what you do without having a good personal or friendship connection to your coworkers. At my current place of work, there are colleagues within my department for whom I am not personally fond of, but as a professional, I have the self - discipline to put aside my personal ill - will and interact in a respectful manner.

To summarize, I would advise you focus on professional interactions over personal relationships and not let anxiety of being out of place interfere with doing quality work.

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    I think if you are working in a team, your attitude describes the bare minimum - be at least professional in your relationship with your collueges. But over the time of being a member of the team, building personal bonds will help improve the work of the team especially in adverse situations. – Owe Jessen Mar 10 '15 at 7:58

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