Alicia Karwat Alicia has over 15 years of corporate experience and has been helping professionals, managers and executives identify and develop extraordinary powers they didn’t even know they had, for over 5 years. To find out more view Alicia's full bio or visit Alicia's website

Much Younger Boss

By Dr Alicia Karwat, KeySteps Pty. Ltd. October 2010

This is about you and your boss. But I am talking about a big age gap here. Have you ever been managed by a much younger boss or managed a much older person?

I have just received an email from my past client. He wanted to tell me that he got a new boss, the news that perhaps would not be so eventful if not for the big difference in age between him and his new boss. He wrote in his email:

“There are significant changes in my organisation. Since Friday, we have a new Head of the Department that means my new boss. He is very young, close to my son’s age. We will see how it will go and how our working together will look like”.

It was quite a short email, nothing more than that. Perhaps he hoped that I could give him some advice how to handle the situation. Perhaps he wrote to me, as to his past career coach, because he did not have anybody to raise his concerns, discuss his emotions and fears that the situation of having such a young boss presented for him. The difference in age is almost 30 years in this case.

I think most people would agree that the situation may be challenging both for my past client and for his new young boss. Some might want to say optimistically “it does not matter, business as usual, you should act as there is no difference in the age”. Perhaps it could be so if we could ignore emotions. How the relationship would look like if they both were emotionally intelligent people? What if one or both are not?

Have you ever managed a person who could be your parent? Have you ever been managed by a boss who could be your child? How was it for you? Did it work? What did you do to make this work? Maybe you would like to share your thoughts with others. As more and more baby boomers declare their willingness to work as long as they are capable of working, the cases of much younger bosses will grow. We would love to hear from you and hope to stimulate some discussion that would provide some tips on “Dos” and Don’ts” in such circumstances. We would love to hear from the both sides.

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One Comment

  1. Between us speaking, in my opinion, it is obvious. I would not wish to develop this thems.

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