How to get along with a younger boss

In this day and age, seniors may find themselves working with or for younger bosses. With seniors working later in life, more may find themselves feeling a little put off by this. According to a recent Gallup poll, American retirees reported that they stopped working at an average age of 62 in 2014. At the same time, non-retirees said they planned to retire at 66, a figure that has largely stayed the same since Gallup first started polling retirement age in 1991. By comparison, however, non-retirees said they planned to retire at 62 in 2002.

With retirees leaving the workforce later in life, seniors are working with employees and bosses who are much younger than they are. This generation gap has left some seniors in a foreign place at their job. Here are some tips to help seniors get along with a younger boss:

Be social
One of the easiest ways to deal with a younger boss to is to confront the issue right away. Some younger bosses may have concerns that senior employees are set in their ways and unwilling to learn new skills or approach situations in a different manner with new workplace technologies and strategies. A generation gap can feel like the elephant in the room, but seniors should tell – or show – their younger boss that they are capable and willing to do the job how the manager wants. 

Focus on skills
Seniors have a lot to offer in the workforce and with years of knowledge behind them, it's essential to focus on their best skills. Experience and maturity can go a long way toward problem solving, which is a great asset on the job. Instead of being so mindful of a generation gap between employee and boss, keeping the focus on how a senior's experience can add to a job can help ease tension. It's also important to center on doing the job, rather than competing with younger employees or managers.

Update skills
While there are some skills that only experience can bring, there are new innovations in the workplace that seniors may need to learn to stay competitive. Seniors should make a conscious effort to learn new skills, such as implementing electronic communication and learning new software. Especially when a new system is introduced, younger bosses may be worried that senior employees won't be able to adapt to new technologies, which is why seniors need to stay up to date.

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