I had a bit of an epiphany recently.
I’m the grown up in the room now.
I know, sounds stupid, right? After all, I’m 46 years old and have been working in this business now for 20+ years.
But, a few instances lately really made this realization pop.
For example, I’m going to be teaching a class at the University of St. Thomas this fall. I’ll definitely be the grown up in that room–to the tune of 25 years older than all the students in the class!
I also run two mastermind groups. One is made up of people in the early to mid-stages of their careers. Many of those people are getting married and having their first kid. Those are things that I experienced now 15-20 years ago! That’s a long time! Again, grown up in the room.
I have another client who’s probably in the 28-32-age range. She’s really smart. Good instincts. She is going to be a good comms leader some day soon! Every time I chat with her, I realize I’m the grown up in the room.
This kinda snuck up on me. And, it’s no surprise, really. I haven’t been in the workplace in 10 years now. And, the last time I was in the workplace, I had positions in middle management (Beehive), or even on the junior side of things (Fairview). I was 34-36 years old then.
Fast forward 10 years and I’m 46 with 10 years consulting with a wide range and number of Fortune 500 companies. If I weren’t doing this, I’d most likely be a manager or director with one of these companies–same as many of my friends.
We’re the grown-ups in the room now.
Don’t get me wrong–this isn’t a bad thing. It’s just an odd situation for me. First, I don’t feel 46 at all. I feel more like 36. Second, I have a lot of imposter syndrome to me. I still have a hard time understanding why anyone would listen to my advice on issues relating to PR, comms and social media marketing. Why would anyone read this blog? Why would people listen to our podcast? It’s all insecurity, but it washes over me from time to time.
So, to be the grown-up in the room feels weird to me. I’m still getting used to it. I kinda liked being the learner, or the person always asking questions, or the colleague who’s looking for new opportunities. I’m not sure that will ever leave me.
But, I guess I’m a grown-up now. Time to start accepting that.