Working for a Younger Boss

If you work long enough, and experts say we won’t be retiring anytime soon, at some point you’ll probably report to a younger boss. In fact 69 percent of workers age 55 or older already report to someone who’s younger than they are. It’s a big change from the years when your boss was that older guy in the corner office, with years of experience.

Dealing with a Younger BossBut don’t be quick to dismiss the knowledge of a younger boss, advises Emily Brandon in U.S. News and World Report. You can learn from their fresh perspective. Here’s her tips for building a successful working relationship.

  • Acknowledge their expertise: Be open to the fresh ideas and new approaches that a younger manager may bring to the job.
  • Use electronic communication: Make sure you log on to instant messenger every day and keep your cellphone, BlackBerry, or smart phone on to stay in the loop.
  • Point out your results: Instead of chatting about your decades of experience, talk about expectations you have exceeded over the past month or six months.
  • Act your age: Avoid comparing a younger manager to your adult children or talking about what you were doing at their age.
  • Update your skills: Think of it as a way to get paid while you learn new software programs and keep your skills up to date.
  • Don’t compete: It’s best not to openly compete with a younger supervisor or belittle him or her because of age.

Do you report to a younger boss? Share your tips for building a successful relationship.

Leslie Stevens-Huffman

Comments

2 Responses to “Working for a Younger Boss”

March 23, 2010 at 10:34 am, Mike said:

I believe this is relevant to the discussion: http://www.bkconnection.com/static/managersnotmbasPR.pdf

The question to ask about the younger manager is do they know their strengths and weaknesses? Do they have any experience in the arena they are managing, or are they a “90 day wonder” with a degree?

I worked for a younger manager, a woman, genius level IQ, for a few years. No problems. I interviewed a man (yes, it’s relevant) for a position. When he learned the MIS Director was a younger-than-us-woman he admitted he could not work for someone younger, smarter, and a woman.

Reply

March 23, 2010 at 10:34 am, Mike said:

I believe this is relevant to the discussion: http://www.bkconnection.com/static/managersnotmbasPR.pdf

The question to ask about the younger manager is do they know their strengths and weaknesses? Do they have any experience in the arena they are managing, or are they a “90 day wonder” with a degree?

I worked for a younger manager, a woman, genius level IQ, for a few years. No problems. I interviewed a man (yes, it’s relevant) for a position. When he learned the MIS Director was a younger-than-us-woman he admitted he could not work for someone younger, smarter, and a woman.

Reply

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