Age is just a number, but that number sometimes carries assumptions. A mix of youth and experience is the balance that most companies aim for and how new and existing ideas evolve. For example, in the sports world youth is key to performance and development, whilst longevity is treated with knowledge and experience. Before I started my placement at SilverDoor I had preconceptions of what it was going to be like. I’d heard the old stories of young apprentices in the engineering/construction trades being sent to find things like a ‘long wait’ and a glass hammer. I assumed that all placements would be tea-makers, expert shredders and filing cabinets without any responsibility or real work. I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
I’m treated as an employee and not a student. The work and projects that I’m a part of are important to the team’s goals, with the responsibility and development strengthening my skillset. When I look around the office I don’t see any divides, which can be quite different to other working environments. Last week I met up with a friend who’s also on placement and he told me how he’s struggling to work with a member of his team who’s twice his age. She provides daily reminders to him of how he’s ‘just a student who’s only here to learn,’ which is discouraging his enthusiasm for the company.
Investing in potential is one of the key components to our success. The placement scheme that SilverDoor runs has recruited many successful graduates from the universities they originated from – with many occupying senior management roles. Finding the best young talent is part of our philosophy and we make sure all placement students are given a competitive salary, including a bonus scheme. With the average age of our office being 25 years old, and over half of the senior management team in their 20’s, we’re a company that invests in youth and potential, and will continue to do so.