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Credibility

I work for a tech company, and in this industry it can be easy to feel over-the-hill once you’ve crossed 30. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that in many industries, youth can evoke skepticism rather than confidence. Consider this: Would you rather be operated on by a 28-year-old resident fresh out of med school, or a surgeon with a couple of decades and thousands of surgeries under her belt?

Franchising is another industry where having a baby boomer on your team can up the credibility quotient. “In franchising, there has to be trust,” says Marty Welch, chief development officer of Legacy Franchise Group. “There aren’t a lot of people in their 20s and 30s in the industry. Investors want to see a track record of business success.”

Real estate, he says, is the same way. “You don’t see a lot of high-performing real estate professionals who are in their 20s. If an agent is 23, 24 years old, clients are likely to think, ‘What do they know about the business? They don’t even have a mortgage!’”

Interpersonal Skills

Sometimes it seems like no one ever picks up the phone, let alone takes the time for an in-person conversation. Millennials have been texting, emailing and messaging since their formative years, so text-based communication is frequently their default. While this is fine with friends and family, it can present a serious disadvantage in the workplace.

“The younger generation is very quick with their thumbs, but not as quick with their tongue,” says Welch. “It can be awkward from an interpersonal standpoint once they arrive in the business world. The older generation would rather shake hands with someone than email. When you meet face-to-face or talk over the phone, tough conversations can be easier to have.”

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