5 Tips that Make Reporting to A Younger Boss Easier

| 4 min read

Everyone starts out a job at the entry-level before moving up the career ladder to a higher level. In all, we expect life to be a smooth sailing, where our bosses are older than we are, and we are older than our direct reports. We feel entitled to promotions as we climb the ladder, but sometimes, things don’t always happen the way we want it. 

Today, your boss could be younger than you. You may even pass as your boss’ parent or grandparent because you are older and have more experience on the job. The question is when you’re an older, how do you handle working for someone who is not only much younger but may have a lot less experience than you? Let’s find out how you can handle such a situation and still thrive;

1. Keep it Professional

Be mindful of your place as a professional no matter the person you have to report to. If accepting the new change where a millennial is your boss is difficult for you, then work towards a change of mind. Remember, he still remains your boss and there is nothing you can do about it. Stay professional and do your work as expected of you.

Perhaps in your case, your new boss is already a close buddy. You probably have always been like a mother or a father to him or her. Now, you’ll have to close curtains on that relationship. A boss-subordinate relationship is not the same as a parent-child relationship and you can’t be both. You are both professionals and you need to act as such.

2. Respect Your Boss as the Right Person for the Job

You may have more work and life experience than your new boss but that doesn’t mean your millennial manager isn’t the right person for the position. He or she may well have the knowledge and experience that management needed and wanted to hire.

Respect her authority and learn to go with the flow. This doesn’t mean you can’t give your own opinions on matters. Disagree with him or her when you have to, but you need to act professionally and with decorum when doing so. When she wants to make changes, don’t resist the change unless you have really solid reasons to do so. Relate with her like you would if she was older than you. 

3. Keep Your Words and Body Language in Check

It is usually hard to remain composed when you don’t support having a younger boss. He or she is likely to make some suggestions that you’re not sure would work, which can trigger a negative reaction from you. Watch your words and your body language carefully.

Resist the urge to roll your eyes or pass derogatory comments. Giving the mantle of a leader is no joke and requires the support of the entire team including you. Even when you have the strongest suggestion on the floor, how you pass it on can is very important. 

4. Don’t be Your Boss’s Boss

Most people feel on top of matters when they have stayed long-term in a company. For some, it is their ticket to report to work late and leave the office earlier than everyone else. But remember, a new boss comes new rules and new ways of doing things.

If you don’t want to find yourself in the bad books of your new boss then you need to oblige to the rules of the organization. You never know, your boss could be planning flexible work hours for the older folks, that is great news. Bottom line is you should remain in your space and oblige to the rules.

5. Feel No Pressure to Be Young Again

Are you naturally cool and young at heart? If you just said no, then there is no need to stress. Don’t try to fit into your boss’s age group. We live in a world in which people are expected to mature as they get older.

That is why it is important you remain true to yourself.Every boss has a different style and expectation of his or her employees. You can do as please to make your new boss grow fond of you, as long as it doesn’t affect your performance.

Remember, whoever becomes your new boss has got nothing to do with age. Be the kind of employee that is able to accept and adapt to change at anytime in your career. Don’t panic if your new boss is a lot younger than you are. Just do your best at your job and things will go well.

Do you have any experiences in working for a younger boss you would like to share? Let us know in the comment section below


Nelly Sadongo-Bawa
Social Media and Community Marketer at Jobberman Ghana || Blogger || Motivator || Radio host || "Knowledge is like a garden. If it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested."