Working for an employer who is younger than you, can be a demanding task and if not executed professionally it can leave a bad taste in your mouth the moment you step into your workplace. It does not mean it is an impossible task and no good can come out of it. Having a younger boss brings new professional challenges that require you to step up and upgrade to the needs of the changing times. Here are 11 ways to help you work with a younger boss:
How to Deal With a Younger Boss?
1. Forget your ego:
As we age, we expect to be treated better and with more respect compared to people younger than us. This rule applies well in social circles. In professional circles, these expectations only pose greater challenges and make your work life difficult. These days, many companies are set up by young entrepreneurs. It is thus quite possible that you have a boss who is much younger than you are. In such situations, do not let your ego take over.
Your ego may help you prioritize what is important to you, but as far as the workplace is concerned, pride only hurts it never helps. Forget your ego, so that when your boss has some insights to offer and suggestions to share, it should not affect your drive to work. Keep an open mind and be willing to appreciate anything new and effective even when it is coming from a younger boss. If he is at a higher position than you are, there sure is a reason for that and you need to accept it in the right sense.
Maintaining a good rapport is equally important even in professional circles. Especially if you have a younger boss, you need to be cautious how you communicate with him so that there remains no gap in communication. You need to upgrade yourself with the times and make sure that your boss gets what you try to convey. You may have to catchup with the modern lingo with a fair share of abbreviated words and shortcuts. To understand what your boss wishes to convey, you need to be well versed in usages like ‘brb’, ‘asap’, ‘pfa’ and ‘ttyl’.
Mail back and forth between your colleagues and superiors and that is the best way to interact formally. But if your new boss is partial to instant messaging for seamless conversation where everything can be discussed with a press of a few buttons, do not be annoyed by it. A tete a tete might be what you are used to but the younger generation is more about getting work done than about the lip service so do not be offended if your boss prefers conveying information remotely than in person. It is what is normal for his generation.
3. Learn on the job:
Many times, senior executive get offended when they are corrected by their young bosses. If you are one such person, try and upgrade your skills to match the present times. Even experts in their field need to learn the current trends and upgrade with the times. People who hesitate to change with the times are the ones who lag behind.
Sure you may be a veteran in your field but who says an old dog should not learn new tricks. The way you tackle an issue might not be the same way your boss who is younger than you deal with it. The newer generation has a more condensed work model that can actually save you time, so inculcate their ways into yours.
It is a great idea to blend the positives of the old and new work methods and come up with some way that increases productivity many times over. This way, your boss will appreciate your efforts.
4. Do not use age as an argument:
There was a time when greater age meant greater intelligence and knowledge of worldly ways. Today, the world has changed greatly and it is time you change your perspective too. Today, more and more young people are entering business and attaining success.
Using your age as a trump card to win an argument with your boss is something one should not try even as a last effort. There can be any number of good details using which you can put your point forth, but your age does not count as one of them. It is a cheap trick and it would be wise if you avoid such tricks.
5. Earn respect through work:
Your age alone will never get you respect. There are many people who survive in a profession for long but gain nothing worthwhile. On the contrary, there are youngsters who stay in the profession for just a few months but gain immense knowledge.
Your colleagues may know how many years you spent in that cubicle or office, maturing with the name of your company, but that does not mean anything to your young new boss if you do not have the goods to back it up. Work that extra mile, to earn their respect.
6. Be Accountable:
Be it a younger boss or an elder one, both kinds are never averse to an employee who can be counted upon to deliver their work in time. So be accountable so that the boss can trust you in all situations and rely upon you like a strong pillar in the organization.
Dishonesty is a wrong means to make profits. Try to gain profits through the right means. You must work extra to gain a good reputation in your field. Don’t be under the impression that spending too many years in a field will get you respect. The only way to gain respect is by being trustworthy.
7. Offer constructive ideas:
If your age is a guarantee of anything then it should be of farsightedness. Your years as a veteran should help you predict flaws in the plan and see loopholes from miles away. Ensure your boss, who happens to be younger than you, can see what your experience brings to the table.
You need to present your ideas carefully so that you do not create a negative impact or impression. Young people are known to be warm blooded and angry so you need to tackle young bosses patiently. Your constructive ideas maybe rebuked if you do not present it effectively. Keep an unbiased tone while presenting the pros and cons of the project plan.
If you think you can skate by your work without fulfilling your due diligence because it worked with your former employer, you maybe wrong. Younger employers are smart in identifying the lazybones and just because you worked with the firm for several years, it does not mean it should save your hide with a younger boss. The new generation believes in being proactive so skipping your work, absenteeism and lack of competency is not going to win you any favors with your new boss. Leave no excuse for the younger boss to complain and you will have no troubles at work with any boss.
9. Offer counsel:
If your new boss is doing his bit to get the hang of the new workplace, try and help him out. You may offer your young boss with constructive pieces of advice rather than being critical and blunt. Every employee takes sometime to adjust to the new work environment and employers too are no exception to this rule.
Help them with some tips and suggestions. Bosses shoulder a huge responsibility and your advice may just help your employer win the battle sooner.
Just because your boss is younger does not mean they are slower, so going over your boss’s head to do something or deciding not to keep them in the loop is not going to help you earn their trust. Your boss definitely deserves to know about every transaction and professional interaction. You must always keep him in the loop while making professional transactions. Do not conceal or hide things. Even when you think it is a trivial matter, it is best to keep the boss informed in order to avoid issues in the future.
11. The age barrier:
The principle of “age is just a number” applies here too, so if there is a good long age gap between your employer and yourself then do not make it so obvious. Ignore the gap and continue to approach your boss like you normally should. Nothing has changed in technical terms.
Age barrier may also create communication barrier if you take it all too seriously. It is thus vital that you treat everyone in your professional circles based on their designation and post rather than their age. This is one key to help you succeed in professional environment.
A younger boss may mean an employer with greater knowledge of technology, latest innovations and science but poor knowledge of the way offices perform. You can assist your employer to furnish his knowledge regarding office work culture and general norms to be followed. This will not just add to his knowledge but also help the company prosper.