3 Tips for Working with a Younger Boss

Tips_For_Working_With_Younger_Boss_Dec2013As more baby boomers are delaying their retirement and working later in life, it’s likely they’ll eventually find themselves working for someone that is younger than them. Working in an environment full of people of different age groups can make it difficult to connect and relate. Here are three tips to keep in mind when working for a younger boss.

Having confidence in yourself will not only help you advance in your company and career, but it can also make work more enjoyable and fulfilling. Walk with caution, as there is a difference between confidence and arrogance. Confidence is important when working for a boss that is younger than you, so believe in your abilities.

Communication is a key to getting to know your boss no matter their age. Ask how he or she likes to stay in touch, whether by text, phone calls, email, or face-to-face meetings. As you learn how to communicate with each other, you’ll figure out how to get along with them as well.

Although you may have more experience in the company than your young boss, understand that what he or she brings to the business is new and that they have unique insight to offer. Change is needed to grow and further businesses, even if it means you may be learning new areas you’ve never thought about.

Keep in mind the relationship between you and your boss is probably the most influential and important relationship at your workplace. Do you work for someone younger than you? If so, share with us in the comments section what you’ve done to bridge a positive relationship across generations.


  1. joe tassinari

    One of the best bosses I ever had was much younger than me. Brian was my boss for 3 years while he was 20-23 and I was 40-43. http://www.bizwrks.us/

    He kept things simple and asked for advice if he needed it. I truly appreciated his diligent efforts and commitment to the art of managing. His greatest attribute was making decisions based on what was best for the “whole”. We had a lot of fun together!

  2. Randall

    I once went from one job to another, where I went from a male boss that was significantly older than me to a female boss that was younger than me. I was concerned about the change, since I had not, up to that time, worked for a younger boss.

    I did notice that the older boss was at least somewhat set in his ways and not particularly open to opinions different from his own. My younger boss, while not always agreeing to differing opinions and thoughts, at least considered the opinions for their merit, not as a personal affront to her position or intelligence. I also noticed that, in spite of her age, she seemed to have her finger far more on the pulse of what was happening within the department as opposed to the older male, who often played favorites. She was definitely a breath of fresh air at a time when I desperately needed it!

  3. Dennis S

    Yes regardless of the age – your superior has a functional role, and so do you, but that means that both of you must be ethical and both must respect each other.

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