A younger boss or not, the workplace is driven by professional conduct and this should be the only acceptable standard. With several generational shifts in the workplace, it is more likely that you might find yourself working with a boss who is younger than you.
If you find yourself in such a situation, you will need to ensure that your human nature does not super-impose on what is obtainable for professional ethics in the workplace. Putting things in perspective, a younger boss could be younger in terms of age or by professional experience. Regardless of the reasons, if you find yourself working with a younger boss, the following are tips to guide you towards carrying out your tasks and conducting yourself professionally.
Drop Your Sense of Culture
We are Africans and our culture simply sits on the front burner. At the root of this culture is a popular respect for elders. If you find yourself working with a younger boss, you need to drop your attachment to the African culture of respect where the younger person is always expected to allowing older people have their way. The workplace is not a village meeting. It is a corporate environment.
Ensure you don’t have to base your judgement of their actions on how you need to be respected as the older one. Instead, you should see each other as professionals who have mutual respect for each other. Even in situations where you disagree with your younger boss, you still need to be respectful.
When managing people; either as a leader in the workplace or someone being led, the key to succeeding at it would depend on your ability to understand them. Seek to understand your younger boss first; their leadership style, goals, strategy and anything that would help you build a successful professional relationship with them. This would reduce reasons for conflict and reasons to misunderstand their actions.
Be Professional Always
Ensure you go about relating with your younger boss in a professional manner. Be your professional self always and as the saying goes, “respect is reciprocal.
Ensure your opinions, decisions and suggestions should always be guided by professional conduct. The respect and sincerity with which you do your job will go a long way in solidifying a meaningful relationship with him/her.
Final Thoughts on Working With a Younger Boss
As humans, emotions can get the best of you when you learn the person you report to is younger than you; especially when you have tons of work experience. The good news is that working with a younger boss is not a bad thing. Consider it a stepping stone to help you attain your career goals.
Don’t let your emotions cloud your sense of reasoning when working with a younger boss. Keep things professional and you never can tell; you might land a job where you are considered a younger boss.