Ageism at jobs can throw any young working professionals in trouble and this lady is sharing how it happens.
Many of us might have heard advice about not disclosing your age and wage everywhere unnecessarily. Shola West—who goes by @allthingsmediasis on TikTok—is bringing up how she experienced problems related to ageism at her workplace and how revealing one's age at their job creates a lot of misconception in the minds of fellow workers and bosses. She created a video to discuss the challenges of young professionals at work, which went viral, garnering over 436K views on the platform.
West starts by talking about her early days as a working professional, where she thought that revealing her age at her job would help her gain some guidance or sympathy from her older colleagues, but she was too naive to think like that. "I made the mistake of thinking it was cute to go around telling everybody my age at my first couple of jobs, knowing that I was going to be the youngest," she said.
Even though West received many people offering their support to her, the majority of her co-workers did not react the way she expected them to. She explains that the main issue with revealing one's age at work stems from a certain amount of jealousy from older colleagues as they see their juniors thrive at the workplace with a lucrative salary and climbing the promotion ladder much quicker. "When you have a side hustle and you're thriving in the workplace, a lot of people older than you will be jealous," West states.
She shared an incident at work where she bravely asked for a much-deserved promotion. West went prepared with all her documents, detailing her achievements and the positive feedback she had received, but her initiative was primarily dismissed by her boss due to ageism. "She used my age as a scapegoat for why I couldn't get a promotion," she vividly recalled. "My advice to people, for example Gen Z is, don't reveal your age to people at your job. Just don't do it. I can't think of any positives," West quipped.
She added that revealing age to colleagues may intimidate them and they might start being insecure around their younger co-workers. West advised others to be careful by reminding them people won't leave a single opportunity to trample over others to climb the ladder of success at jobs. Her experience at work is a clear reminder to young professionals that revealing one's age in professional settings can be used to undermine their merits and ambitions. Fellow TikTok users agreed with West and shared their individual experiences as well.
@santiitalksxoxo agreed to West's reasoning, "She is completely right!! As a manager at 24, jealousy is real, especially in the corporate world." @elsb1243 wrote, "I got promoted and it doubled my wage. I still get comments about my age and don't get taken seriously. It's a struggle." @gorgeous_butterfly7 commented, "I told someone my actual age at work (I was 27 then) and her face dropped because she thought I was 22. Their attitude immediately changed. Got told that I was too old to be a teacher, but the majority of staff were 35+ and people I went to school with also worked there."
@tarajuliette1 quipped, "This! Because everyone wants to chuck a lot of responsibility at me, but I'm not old enough to be earning the salary level of those responsibilities." @ash1e0 revealed, "I am 23 and the youngest at my job. I am a very silly girl who likes to joke around and I still feel like a teenager, but I set my boundaries straight." @supdude12 added, "My charge nurse thought I was 20 and would go out of her way to hunt me down and make sure I was doing tasks I'd already completed. I'm 28 with 2 kids and now I can go entire shifts with her, leaving me alone."