My job is amazing. I think I’ve described it in bits and pieces before but basically I’m an event planner for a corporate wellness company. That means I plan health fairs, employee wellness challenges, and biometric screenings for local companies that want to make their employees healthy and happy. I do a lot of hiring of local screeners and plan events with the hope that the screeners are happy, the client is happy, and my boss is happy. Sometimes this is easy and sometimes things get a little nuts.
One issue I’ve encountered over the past month of employment has been the utter lack of respect I get from people who are older than I am. My job isn’t exactly what the average person waltzes into right out of college. It’s actually in pretty high demand and many of the biometric screeners, nurses, and dietitians I work with have been vying for jobs exactly like mine. I have an enormous amount of responsibility and I manage many individuals at a time. It’s exhausting, time-consuming, and at the end of the day, extremely gratifying.
However, I’m 22. The average age of my screeners (health professionals who I hire and fire at my discretion) is probably about 40. Some of them are youngish college students with flexible schedules but the majority of them are moms or even grandmothers with decades of nursing experience and strong backgrounds in the wellness field. Whenever I take control at health fairs, some snide screener always feels the need to comment on my age, or my “cuteness”, or my “tiny waist”, or something equally irrelevant and inappropriate.
The point is – I do my job and I do it well and I do NOT appreciate people making me feel inferior simply because I have chubby cheeks and an enthusiastic, cheerful disposition. Some days, I even find myself wishing for a few more wrinkles or a some wisps of gray hair just so I might command a little respect (but, of course, those are fleeting thoughts!)
I know I shouldn’t be complaining and I’m incredibly lucky to have such a fabulous job in a field I love right out of school, but how can I make people realize I know what I’m talking about? Hopefully, as I gain experience, I’ll become more confident, and in time, perhaps that confidence will garner its own respect from those around me.