Younger Bosses Managing Older Workers: Increasingly Common, And Rife With Conflict

bosses younger than employees
bosses younger than employees

By Susan Ricker

The corner office may now belong to someone younger than you, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. Thirty-four percent of U.S. workers say they are older than their bosses, and 15 percent say they work for someone who is at least 10 years younger, noting a shift in the correlation between seniority and leadership.

"Age disparities in the office are perhaps more diverse now than they've ever been," says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "It's not uncommon to see 30-year-olds managing 50-year-olds or 65-year-olds mentoring 22-year-olds. While the tenets of successful management are consistent across generations, there are subtle differences in work habits and views that all workers must empathize with when working with or managing someone who's much different in age."