How to Work with a Younger Manager as an Older Employee

Younger and older employees working together
“Working for a younger boss tends to go against the norms we are used to.”

Although some older employees may feel odd reporting to a younger boss, it does not have to be an awkward situation–in fact, there can be benefits to this type of work relationship.

Here are tips you can follow if you report to a manager who is younger than you:

1) Be respectful.
Even though you are older, express that you’re willing to work with your manager. Don’t push aside their feedback or recommendations simply because of age.

“Always show respect to your boss. Respect and sincerity go a long way. Especially, if you may need a letter of recommendation someday.”

2) Consider managing up in your role as the older worker to a younger manager.
Offer your “life experience” and advice to your boss, who may willingly accept it.

“The young boss may often feel awkward too…the good emerging leaders that have been put in management roles will willingly accept advice from you.”

3) Don’t skirt around the issue of having a younger boss, tackle it head on.
Be confident in the fact that you bring value, regardless of your age.

“If you feel there is an elephant in the room and tension based on age gap…get it out there. Make a joke out of it.”

By putting both parties at ease from the start, you’ll find age is not an issue.

So yes, an older employee and a young boss can work together effectively if they follow these steps and start their relationship on the right note.


How to Work with a Younger Manager as an Older Employee1

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