An increasingly common factor in business
The modern workplace can be a brutal environment, no matter how seasoned and experienced you are. One increasingly common factor is working for someone significantly younger than you. It can be brutal to work for someone the age of your child or even grandchild. However, because your workplace is undoubtedly one of professionalism – at least it should be – here are some tips to help you work with your younger boss without a problem.
Tip one – understand the reason
The truth is, your boss was made your boss for a reason. Even if he or she is young, there must be something there that caught the eye of someone higher up. That could be education, his or her modern professional outlook, or knowledge of new methods.
Whatever the reason, understanding that reason can help you feel more at ease and trust your much-younger boss. Perhaps your boss was brought in from the outside or maybe moved up the ranks quickly. Either way, remember there is something upper management saw in your boss, something valuable. If your young boss is the entrepreneur, then the reason is more clear, and respect should be given for someone willing to build a business at such a young age.
Tip two – learn what you can
Because your boss was given that position for a reason, chances are there is a lot you can learn from him or her. Perhaps it’s a new marketing method or how to talk to employees with respect and encouragement. Finding things you can learn from your boss will lead to greater appreciation and respect for that person. And professionalism should be about mutual respect.
Tip three – accentuate your own skills
If you feel uncomfortable or upset by having a younger boss, remember that you have valuable skills, too. Even if you’re not up on modern tactics, you undoubtedly have ample experience and knowledge that could be helpful in your work environment. So, work together with your younger boss to merge skillsets, education, and experience to make one killer professional team.
Tip four – continue toward your goals
Sometimes having a young boss can make you feel as though you’re behind in life, behind in reaching your goals. But that probably isn’t true. So, continue toward your goals, and don’t compare yourself to your boss. That will only be hurtful. If you feel you must, use it as inspiration rather than self-deprecation.
Working for a younger-than-you boss can become a hurdle in your way to professional fulfillment, but it doesn’t have to be. It may take a conscious effort to feel comfortable in your work environment, but it’s important that you feel your importance among your peers, no matter their ages. Remember that you’re an integral part of your professional team. Focus on your strengths and the strengths of those around you, including your young boss. If you can do that, you’ll find fulfillment and joy in your work.