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German Chancellor listens to manager Ijad Madisch (C) during her visit of the company Research Gate on in Berlin.
Gone are the days of management being a bunch of silver-haired men in pinstripes marching steadily toward retirement. The evolution of the modern workplace is picking up pace at an exponential rate, and among the new trends in the post-Great Recession economy is the increasing likelihood that your next boss will be younger than you.
In an economic climate in which quitting a job is an unrealistic career option, older workers will need to adapt to a new generation of bosses who they may feel superior to in age despite their rank reflecting the opposite. Some of the biggest challenges can be in communicating with your new leader. Younger people by their very nature are more tech savvy, and for tech-phobic older employees, this could present an obstacle at work.
How should an older employee handle the transition to a younger boss? Do younger bosses want to be nurtured and taught, or is it better to adapt to their personalities and ideas, even if they aren’t the way we’re used to things being done? Do you work for someone younger than you? What hurdles have you had to clear in building a good working relationship? Does this new twist in management have benefits?
Robin Throckmorton, President of Strategic HR, inc., a human resources management consulting firm located in Cincinnati, OH; co-author of “Bridging the Generation Gap: How to Get Radio Babies, Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Yers to Work Together and Achieve More”