Especially since the recession, workplaces have restructured. Now, it is much less common for an individual to work their way up at a single company; instead, many have multiple jobs and multiple roles at different companies in their lifetime. In addition, more and more Baby Boomers are delaying retirement and working into their 50s, 60s, and even 70s. Either way, it is much more likely now than ever that you will work for a boss who is younger than you. Here are a few tips for making the most of the experience.
Recognize their experience.
One of the largest issues in working for someone younger is that your experience and their experience may not line up. Remember that they earned the position for a reason, and try to see how their experience, however different to your own, has value. This helps you to respect them more and view them as a supervisor.
Speak their lingo.
This doesn’t necessarily mean adopting slang or keeping up with new trends, but simply make sure you are following their preferred method of communication. For example, many younger managers prefer conference calls to face-to-face meetings, or may prefer small interactions be done by email or instant message. Figure out how your boss likes to communicate and follow that.
Focus on your current strengths.
Avoid listing off accomplishments from 20 years ago. Instead, stay relevant by remaining useful to the company. What have you done lately to improve the bottom line? This will help your new supervisor learn your strengths and value.
Most importantly of all, be adaptable. Be open to changes in processes, technologies, and management techniques. With a fresher perspective in the office, old practices may fall out of favor. Rather than wish for the way things used to be, try to adapt quickly and without complaint for a smoother transition.
Overall, working for a younger boss is not much different than working for any new supervisor. Be open to their way of communicating and their methods and you will find much more success.