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Handling a Younger Boss


People often do not like taking directions and orders from others who are much younger. It seems to go against the natural order of things for younger people to be in charge of older people. However, that is exactly what is frequently happening in the American workplace today.

As The New York Times reports in "When the Boss Is Half Your Age," 38% of Americans have a younger boss. One of the reasons for this trend is that many employers want to hire managers who grew up with the technology used in today's workplaces, such as cell phones and email.

There is a belief that being a native to the technology, makes younger people better at understanding it and using it to their advantage.

Another reason for this phenomenon is that Americans are working longer than before and many people who have chosen retirement go back to work for one reason or another. As a result, many senior citizens have immediate superiors at work who are much younger than they are which can lead to problems.

Elders do not always like being told what to do by younger people, and younger bosses are often on guard against older employees who think that the old way of doing things is best.

Seniors who do have a much younger boss need to be aware that the law does protect them against discrimination due to age. However, they should also be open to new things and be willing to do their work, as directed by their younger boss.

Reference: New York Times (March 17, 2017) "When the Boss Is Half Your Age."

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