6 Tips for Baby Boomers to Cope with a Younger Boss



If you’re a gainfully employed baby boomer, please accept my congratulations on your good fortune. However, many boomers are saddled with a boss who is a young, less-experienced Millennial. That can be hard to take but it doesn’t have to be.

Much has been written about the differences between Millennial Generation managers vis-à-vis older, more experienced workers.

You are certainly challenged in working for someone half your age, especially if you’re viewed as old and stodgy.

MH900422730 young business womanTo deal with your situation, here are six suggestions:

1. Accept the situation.

As in any stressful turmoil, there are three stages of emotions – Shock and denial (how can this be?); anger and depression; and understanding and acceptance.

Acceptance doesn’t mean being a milquetoast. It doesn’t mean being a slave to a situation.

It means analyzing your options and determining how to make the best of the situation. If your younger boss is new to you and you’re nervous, learn how to deal with it.

2. Inventory your boss’s strengths and weaknesses.

Chances are there good reasons why the person was selected to be your boss. Focus on those talents instead of the negatives. Respect the person’s strengths. Be seen as a “Jovial Joe or Jane,” not as a water-cooler gossip.

3. Treat your boss as a learning opportunity for growth.

Perhaps this supervisor has been promoted for an excellent performance elsewhere. Concentrate on areas in which you can grow by watching and listening to your boss.

The adage, “What goes around, comes around,” is apropos. If you treat your supervisor with the utmost respect and dignity, you’ll probably be treated the same way.

4. Be proud of your talents.

Keep in mind you have valuable education, experience and insights. Know what they are. Provide them to benefit the welfare of your organization. Both you and your boss will be gratified.

5. Don’t lose sight of your career objectives.

Don’t waste time comparing your situation to a rising Millenial. Let go of any sadness or regrets. Continue to fine-tune your workplace strengths and eliminate your weaknesses. Continue to pursue your goals.

6. Work on your physical and mental capacities.

Take vacations. Exercise regularly. Enjoy your hobbies. Read voraciously. Regularly participate in whatever recharges your emotional battery. And enjoy your family and friends.

P.S. Note to Millennial bosses: You have to do your part, too. You’ll increase your chances for success if you read this article: Slow Motion Gets You There Faster.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more suggested readings:

Do You Have A Toxic Relationship With Your Boss?— This may be the 21st century with a cornucopia of management textbooks for bosses, but a significant number of employees still complain about their supervisors lacking in professionalism.

How To Deal With An Oppressive Employer — Organizations achieve success when well-managed, and employees are treated well.  Here’s proven advice for abused employees.

8 Tips on How to Ask Your Boss for a Pay Raise — Your food, gas and other living costs have increased. But you need tips on how to ask your boss for a pay raise.  You’re mindful about the economy and that unemployment rates are high. With the exception of Wall Street, payroll budgets are constricted everywhere. So you haven’t had a raise recently.

Need a Career Change? 10 Steps for a Career Makeover — Professionals of all stripes have found they need to retool their careers or re-engineer themselves. There’s a myriad of reasons. It’s usually related to technology and a changing marketplace.

Dos and Don’ts: How to Advance Your Career via Your Boss’s Boss — You can improve your career prospects by maximizing your communications – with your boss’s boss — if you respect the process. Not only will such opportunities optimize your prospects, they will give you a broader perspective about upper management’s concerns and insights.

24 Tips to Reduce Stress, Work Happier for Top Performance — You have a 35 percent better chance of living longer if you feel happy. That’s the upshot from a 2011 British study that links feelings of happiness to longevity. So the emphasis is on feelings. Makes sense, right? The study acknowledges some people inherently feel happy.

“Show me a man who is a good loser and I’ll show you a man who is playing golf with his boss.” 

-Jim Murray


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.