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"Working for a boss a lot younger than you"

  • TheBestLife
    Posted: Mar 06, 2009 05:27 AM
    Richmond, VA
    Phil writes a blog for the U.S. News & World Report called The Best Life.

    I never thought I’d be working for someone younger than my children. Any tips on how to deal with young bosses when you can’t send them to their rooms?


  • #1
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 01:44 AM
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    Albuquerque, NM
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    it's very difficult being an employee of a much younger boss. They don't listen when you speak with experience because they feel whatever you have to say is old-fashioned.

    I'm not working in the fashion industry anymore because I was looked down upon when I wasn't able to use a computer to do my illustrations.

    Even now in my role as an events co-ordinate I am often dealing with much younger people who believe they are always right. I find that listening to what they say and combining it with my experience often produces a solution which satisfies both of our objectives.

    Another thing I find helpful in being involved in the latest technologies such as Facebook and Twitter and seeing what these tools have to offer... I only find by mentioning my familiarity with these mediums, my younger co-workers appreciate my point of views as more "valid".

  • #2
    Posted: Mar 13, 2009 04:53 AM
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    Scottsdale, AZ
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    After twenty-five years of experience as an elementary school teacher of all grades, and 19 years of experience as children's editor of my present weekly newspaper, I was told by the newly hired, much younger than I executive editor that he'd prefer a young image to edit the children's supplement.

    I immediately contacted the pricnipal, also my age, of a nearby elementary school, who has been encouraging her pupils to contribute to the paper each week. I told her the situation and that I'd like to visit in a few days to speak to her students about what they would like to read and see in their children's section, and how would they rate this supplement. I told her I'll ask them if age mattered in their editor. She said "Leave it to me".

    When I visited three days later, the principal was prepared with a camera and recorder and was able to film the standing ovation I received. When asked about their newspaper, they said that they were so pleased and excited when their articles and/or drawings appeared and that they were free to air all the problems they faced: bullying, too much homework, some unfair teachers, children who cheated getting top marks, even home problems. When asked if age mattered in their teachers and editor, all said they'd prefer an experienced mature person since she/he was more understanding and more patient and listened more. The principal had done a great job for me.

    When I returned to the newspaper, I presented the editor with film, recording and dozens of written contributions extolling the content of the present supplement and its editor.

    The result: I'm still children's editor.

    My advice: Prove actively that "maturity" is an asset, not a hindrance.

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