It used to be uncommon to find employers younger than their staff. This was probably because individuals learned a trade, got a job and remained on the same career path. They may have moved up the career ladder within a company. Nevertheless, they rarely altered their profession or became redundant. Now things have changed and you stand a good chance of working for someone younger than you. If you do, you may feel your boss should be lower in pecking order due to your level of knowledge and experience.
The result of working for a boss far younger than you can be that you feel slighted, overlooked, humiliated and upset. However, the way to deal with your feelings is to assess your beliefs and check whether they are based on false ideals or not.
The way people operate when it comes to studying, gaining new qualifications and job hopping have evolved. The wealth of experience to be gained via working beneath the wings of a mature employer in order to learn a trade is virtually lost. However, young people are learning in other ways that provide them with new qualifications. If you are of a certain generation, you probably were not privy to such advantages. This may not make you feel better, but it could help explain why someone younger than you has landed in the position of being your boss.
The next step to coping with having a younger boss is to decide whether the decision of higher management to make him or her your superior at such a young age was really a mistake. Not only may your boss be qualified, but he or she may even be better for the position. Try not to disregard your boss’s good points just because you have issues about age.
If you are feeling low your self-esteem and confidence has probably taken a beating. Now is the time to polish your skills and feel better about yourself. Look back at achievements and successes and be proud of what you have accomplished. Your boss may have trials and tribulations to come. It may even be that he or she feels insecure and awkward because you are older and is wary about offending you.
You may not feel like mentoring or befriending your boss, even if it is required, but accept that your employer’s age need not bother you unless you let it. What really counts is whether you have a good employer, not how many birthdays he or she has had.