Working for Someone Who is Younger than You

In today’s rapidly changing workplace, you may find yourself in an unexpected position – you may end up working for someone significantly younger than you. It can be an initial shock but you shouldn’t assume that a person’s age is the only indicator of his or her ability to lead. It’s hard to accept at first but you shouldn’t allow a difference in age or your own pride get in the way of your career opportunities. You also shouldn’t let it alienate you from your new manager.

The best strategy you can take is to find a way to support your new manager and your department goals. It can be tough to adjust at first and you may feel a bit humiliated. However, you shouldn’t feel this way because companies are changing rapidly and people move around quickly due to projects and office restructuring. Many people find themselves working for younger bosses in today’s workforce. If you focus issues other than your boss’ age, you’ll be more content and productive.

The first difficult you’re going to face is accepting the person’s authority. You’ll have thoughts like “I have 10 years more experience than her,” or “I’ve done the exact same work as this person.” Younger managers are common in many different fields already, like IT, accounting and emerging fields. You’ll never be able to move on if you focus on age. Don’t discuss your age or your manager’s age. Instead, focus on treating your supervisor with respect, no matter what his or her age is.

Focus on building a positive relationship with the person you’re working for. How does the person prefer to communicate? Does your new boss prefer email, phone calls, Skype, informal meetings, texts or other forms of communication? Find out and get on board. It make take some adjustment if it’s not your normal mode of communication, get some coaching so that you can work effectively with your supervisor. Don’t try to stick to old habits. Instead, adjust to your new boss’ style.

When you are working for someone from a younger generation, you should always stay up to date on your technology skills. They are likely to be familiar with many different types of technology. Familiarize yourself with different types of social media as well. It’s always a bad idea to neglect your technology skills. Ask around to find out what social media and other applications are popular in your company. There are many tutorials available on YouTube and often through the applications themselves to help you get up to speed. Ignoring new technology.

You’ll build the best possible relationship if you follow typical protocol like you would with any other manager. Concentrate on the purpose of your job. Your purpose is to accomplish your goals which help your manager accomplish his or her goals. That, in turn, will help support department and company goals. Focusing on your tasks and projects is the most important thing you can do with your time.

Never mistreat a younger boss or behave as if he or she is inferior. Some people treat younger managers disrespectfully. They cut their hours by leaving early or coming in late. They may take longer lunches or do little work on company time. Make sure you take your commitments seriously and turn projects in on time. You can hurt your professional reputation no matter who you work for.

It’s important to remember that your boss didn’t get where he or she is by chance. The person you are reporting to has special skills that will help you and your department. In turn, you will want to focus and show how you can contribute to the company. You should share your experience and background when relevant. Look for ways to help others be successful. Take the time to sit down with your boss and discuss his or her expectations and how you can contribute. You should also share your interests and skills so that your manager knows how to support you at work. This will go a long way towards building your relationship.