I am the youngest person in every room I walk into. Business luncheons, networking events, committee meetings; I’m the youngest person on my sales team by 10 years.
I’ve been in sales for four years. I have a career, not just a job, yet most people assume because I’m under the age of 30 I don’t know what I’m doing. They will let the doctor, just out of medical school, look at the weird thing on their foot, yet won’t trust me, with the same number of years of experience, to help with their business needs.
An article was published a few weeks back about baby boomers retiring with no one to fill their CEO shoes. Perhaps it’s not that there isn’t anyone available to take the job, but that these boomers aren’t ready to relinquish their reign to the younger generation.
Change is hard — I get that — but as part of a generation who has experienced constant change in our lifetime, don’t you think we’re prepared? We grew up alongside technology. It wasn’t handed to us. I used to save documents to a floppy disc, page (beep) my parents when I needed them, and call my friends on their house phones. But we’ve adapted and will continue to do so with the next latest and greatest addition to our ever changing world.
As part of the705, a young professionals networking group, I find it very hard to believe that companies can’t find their next CEOs because we’re here.
We’re making waves, brainstorming ideas, and collaborating as a generation on how to make our world better. Just take a look around Lafayette. The president of the One Acadiana chamber, the CEO of Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission, the Director of Vermilion Economic Development Authority, and the Director of Marketing for Downtown Lafayette are all under the age of 40, and they’re making big moves for our community. We’re cleaning up, cracking down and putting little ol’ Lafayette on the map.
But “we’re too young.” We can’t possibly be trusted to handle your business needs. We’re “not old enough” to understand. Well, I challenge you to try me. You might just be surprised.
Ashley Fournet is a graduate of Lafayette High School and LSU. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications. After graduation she began her career in sales and has been doing business-to-business sales since. She is currently an account executive with WorldPay and lives in Youngsville with her yellow lab, Reggie. After being in Baton Rouge for seven years, she says it’s good to be home. She missed the food.
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