Working for someone younger than you - would it bother you?

  • Yes, but I wouldn’t let it affect my work or interactions
  • Yes, and it probably would affect my work and/or interactions
  • I’m fine with it if I get to mostly perform my work as I want to
  • I’m fine with it, including doing assignments differently if my boss requests such
  • It depends on the age

0 voters

We are all going to wind up working for someone younger than us eventually. Happened to me two years ago, my boss is a couple years younger than me. And HER boss, a VP, is only a few years older than me.

They’re smarter and more driven than I am, so why would it bother me?


Ive seen plenty of shitty bosses who were older than their team. Why would someone younger be offensive to me?


I don’t think either one is necessarily relevant. More experience doesn’t mean much, after a point. The CFO for one of our LOBs is an external hire from a different industry, with very little finance experience, but they are incredible at being a CFO and are an all around excellent leader.

Leaders don’t have to know what I do in great detail, they need to be able to help me develop in my role, and having more years of experience doesn’t make them better at that.


Listening to what I want for my career and connecting with resources to help me achieve it, such as networking with the people who work in an area I’ve expressed interest in, letting me sit in meetings for a topic I’m not familiar with, letting me lead presentations to our board or other important audiences, giving me feedback on my presentations or other areas they’ve observed that they know I want to improve in, asking me what I would like to do more of, or less of, going to bat for me in calibration reviews, proactively recommending roles I might be interested in internally, etc.

Earlier in my career, it meant consistent feedback, good and bad, giving me challenging work and letting me struggle, not reworking my work but rather providing comments and rationales for what I needed to go back and redo. Sounds like that’s what you’re doing with your direct report now?


What did they say when you told them directly that their work product was not sufficient?

It’s difficult to tell if this person doesn’t respect you based on the information you’ve provided. Perhaps they’re insecure about their age, sure. Are they pretty early in their career? They might be just finding their stride and having to deal with their ego for the first time in their professional life, who knows. Hard to say without more information.

But as long as you’re continuing to develop them with directness and professionalism, it doesn’t sound like this (the age comments, not the work product) has gotten to the point of calling it out.

Maybe stop passively mentioning your years of experience, you don’t need to defend why you are someone’s manager, you are and they need to find a way to come to terms with it. Is it possible this person is feeling defensive about those comments?

Have you asked this person for feedback on how you’re meeting their needs as a manager? A good manager serves their team, and finding out what this person needs from you could go a long way in finding out how to build that relationship.


There are some people who will never be happy with anyone in an authority position over them. I’ve worked with a few of them, and they can’t be placated. And some people will not have chemistry with you no matter what you do, maybe they need a different style than you can give.

Not sure if this person is one of those kinds of people, but you can only do so much.

Definitely continue to document the work issues and conversations, some of those sound like red flags. Also continue to be direct about what needs to be done better. But in situations where your requests are a personal style preference and not a need, give away a little bit of the control and let them have a say. They might be feeling micromanaged.

I do not give a fuck who I work for or with. Here’s the criteria.

  • Do they do their job?
  • Do they impede me from my job?

If I take the job, whether feeding the homeless or burying their bodies the above applies.




What the hell are you feeding them?!


I think this is how most experienced folks, and thus most of us here, can be managed, but managing an entry level hire or within their first few years is a special kind of skill set, imo.

I’ve met a lot of cocky recent hires (1-3 or so years) who think their manager is impeding them from doing their job. But they only know just enough to be dangerous, so their manager is constantly having to babysit them to make sure that deck with all the wrong numbers DOESN’T get emailed to the CFO before it’s been vetted.


I was a kick you off the dock to see if you swim kind of manager. I’d grab their hair if they looked like they were drowning (maybe). Worked for the high performers sucked for the rest. Yeah, I remember as a new hire organizing and compiling a set of data no one had even tried to look at before but crushing all my good brownie points by trying to explain the fancy new statistic (I think it was something as simple as average of the averages) I used to the chief actuary. If I was not self aware and able to read reactions it would have killed my career.

I can imagine cocky new hires are a problem…


Some people know how to kill, er, feed two birds with one stone, er serving.

1 Like

This. It will probably happen to all of us

I only had it happen once and had no problems with it. I also managed people older than me without issues.

You want a good boss. Their age is not an important consideration


I don’t think I’d be depressed about it, but i also don’t know anyone that would meet the stated criteria.

There are things that my current manager does that i would happily let someone else take over even if they were younger and less experienced. I would be pretty unhappy though if someone younger replaced him and then asked me to do those things.

1 Like

My first actuarial job, my manager was younger than me. He was also smarter than me, and a better manager than I’ll ever be. If I’d have stayed in actuarial, I’d have considered grabbing on to his coattails for the ride. Not surprisingly, he’s had a stellar career, up to president level.

As others have said, I care about management skills, age isn’t in my radar.

I did know a manager there where one of his staff was paid more than him. That was a problem for the manager, and I think a fair complaint.

1 Like

I started in this industry working for folks that were considerably younger than me.

In fact, it wasn’t until my 3rd boss that I had someone considerably older.

With my first boss, the biggest thing I needed was some explanations about why some of my ideas would not work very well; and I was aware that the most likely reasons were tied to some form of history–including the politics–that was likely well understood by others who have been at the company for 5+ years.

The one thing that irritated the hell out of me with the younger bosses was the idea of treating me like a fresh-out-of-college new hire (which was the case with my hiring class cohort) in that I needed some “experience” before understanding history/politics. The fact that I had significant exposure to about 3 other industries, I had a good sense of understanding “politics”, but needed details (and not just that the reasons existed).

The buzz word was “innovation” . . . and without knowing the dynamics of the politics, any innovation that I might offer wasn’t likely to go very far.

But as to the OP’s situation, I would suggest considering a mindset of at listening to what your older direct reports have to say and understand why they might be saying it (i.e., asking them to offer the explanations to gain that understanding). Acknowledge their good points and acknowledge that you may not be in a position to make the changes they’d like to see. Most of the time, the older ones just want to feel like they’ve been heard.


The use of that word is a bit worrying to me. Sounds like someone talking about a misbehaving child. I would prefer something like “their process” or “their methods”.