Thursday, February 18, 2010

Age Is Just a Number, Not a Title, Right?

How would you handle the fact that your boss is younger than you?

The question is one to ponder considering that 43 percent of workers ages 35 and older reported that they currently work for someone younger than them, according to a CareerBuilder survey.

Similar circumstances abound with different age groups. Fifty-three percent of workers ages 45 and older and 69 percent of workers ages 55 and older say their boss is younger than them.

Occasionally, this situation can create some friction between older and younger workers. Sixteen percent of workers ages 25 to 34 reported that they find it difficult to take direction from a boss younger than them.

However, the percentages go down as the ages go up. Only 13 percent of workers ages 35 to 44, 7 percent of workers 45 to 54, and a mere 5 percent of workers ages 55 and up agreed with the same statement.

Some of the reasons that were cited as creating tension between an older worker and a younger boss included micromanagement; playing favorites with younger workers; having a sense of entitlement; giving a lack of direction; and acting like they know more than the employee when, in fact, they don’t.