Your New Boss Is Younger Than You – Now What?


If you’re a baby boomer, it’s very likely you are currently working for a boss in Generation X or even a millennial. The same may now be true for some GenX employees, as the oldest millennials reaching their late 30s. But if you’re working for someone younger than you, what are some survival skills that will help you stay successful on the job. If you’re already having problems relating or you want to avoid a problem in the future, here are some tips to help you work with your millennial boss.

They’re brand driven.

Beyond any of the generations that came before, millennials have a keen sense of personal brand. They know the big names, of course, but they also know that their own personal image is an important part of the way people interact with them. They brand themselves every day and will expect that every one of their employees has this sense of self as well.

They need work/life balance.

There was a time, especially for baby boomers, when work/life balance was simply not an expectation. But millennials need it and once they’re in a management position they’ll make sure it’s a company value. You can use this to your advantage and work with them to create a flexible schedule and results-oriented workplace.

They appreciate flexibility.

Keep in mind that flexibility is not seen as a weakness. This isn’t about flip-flopping or not staying true to core values. A millennial boss is willing to look at all sides of an issue and come to a mutual conclusion. They are hard workers, but they also value life outside of work. If you contribute to their success, they will grant you more freedom not less.

They like a collaborative environment.

A stereotype about millennials is that they are selfish and unable to accept a loss. They were raised with the mentality that everyone is a winner, no matter what. But this isn’t a fair assessment of their upbringing nor their personality as a boss. But what this does mean is they are good at, and expect, collaboration in the workplace. They do want to succeed, but they are happy when they do it as part of a team.

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