Feb 23, 2022
In today’s blog we are going to explore the conflict between the older workforce and having a millennial as your boss.
Do you think millennials are self-absorbed and entitled? Well, you have a lot of company, according to one recent survey which found that 71% of Americans think the younger generation is selfish, but here’s the thing: If you’re not working for one already, you probably will be soon.
Capital One’s new Spark Business Barometer survey finds that millennial small-business owners — those under the age of 34 — are doing better than their older counterparts. More than 60% reported higher sales in the past six months, compared with around 40% of businesses overall. They’re more optimistic, too; about three-quarters consider business conditions to be good or excellent, compared with roughly half of small-business owners overall.
This means millennials are the ones doing the hiring: 45% plan to hire in the next six months, compared with 30% of small-business owners overall. Since more than half the jobs in the country are at small businesses, this makes it likelier than not that today’s job seekers will end up working under someone in the Generation Y age bracket. This is a changing dynamic. Many are fresh out of school and still have that I know everything attitude. One thing is for sure, millenials do pursue a sense of confidence and guts.
If your generation X or a Baby Boomer, having a millenial boss can be problematic. The solutions that you have been using to solve problems no longer become valid. The "old school" approach is out the window when millenial bosses are tuned in, literally, to social media, smart phones, and new technology. That is their world. Paper and books of hard copy do not exist. Everything is digital.
1. Speak their language. Determine how your millennial boss prefers to communicate. For instance, maybe they hardly ever check voicemail, but they might be quick to respond via online chat, email, or text message.
2. Be prepared to hustle. “The day-to-day work at a Generation Y–led business is very intense and fast.” Be flexible — you might be expected to jump into a variety of roles and do a wide variety of task. It might sound daunting, but it can pay real dividends for your career. “This keeps workers on their toes and motivated because they feel they have power to be able to influence decisions and strategy across the board.” This is ok if you really enjoy what your doing but if you don’t, then there can be resentment and anonmosity that can build.
3. Sharpen your social (media) skills. Millennials expect to build a brand on various social platforms and be ‘liked’ in volume. Since before they were teenagers, millennials have been expressing themselves online and are used to a constant, instant flow of information and communication.
4. Don’t try to be their BFF. Older employees struggle more in a job as they become friends with a millennial boss outside of work, keeping it professional is the way to keep the job.
5. Keep your tech skills up to snuff. Millennial small-business owners tend to be very technologically savvy and open to digital tools and innovation that will help their business succeed.
Do your job and do it well, and your millenial boss will have no reservations.