In this day and age, it’s not uncommon for older workers to have a boss that is younger than them. This is a trend that isn’t going away, so it’s important to learn the art of working well with a younger boss. Here are a few tips for working well with a boss that is younger than you.
Don’t Expect Respect
You cannot expect that you automatically have respect just because you’re older. You still must earn the respect of those that are younger than you. You must choose to give respect to your boss while walking through the process of earning it.
Don’t Try to Be a Mentor
It’s seems logical that since you’re older, your wisdom and experience should be gleaned from. That may be true, however, you cannot assert yourself into that role without accruing the relationship equity to do so. Prove that you have a lot to offer and then maybe they will ask for you to step into a more significant role. Remember, your younger boss will naturally want to prove that they have what it takes to be your boss so it may take quite a bit of time before they are willing to let their guard down and trust you to guide them.
You Have Something to Learn
Just because you’re older doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything else to learn. Your boss have his or her job at a young age for a reason. That means that there IS something that you can learn from them. Accept that fact.
The different generations vary in preferred ways communication as well as style of communication. It’s your responsibility to learn how to fit into your bosses preferences and styles. Find out how they prefer to keep in touch and run with that method even if you don’t like it very much.
It’s also important to notes that millennials are accustomed to fast paced communication and rapid responses. Take that into consideration and be prompt about returning missed calls and text messages. Understand the etiquette and decide to let go of what you feel is most comfortable.
Additionally, it’s best to release yourself from the need for or expectation of face to face meetings. In the digital world we live in, it’s often easier and more effective to send a quick message or MAYBE make a quick phone call. Face to Face meetings are a thing of the past in most cases. Though they are still necessary sometimes, they are not necessary ALL of the time.