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How to Get Along With a Younger Boss

These 10 approaches can help bridge the age gap with your manager

4. Find the silver lining

The enthusiasm that a younger boss brings to the job can be contagious. Soak it up. "If you've ever managed other people, you know it can be hard work," says Michelle Hynes, a career coach in Portland, Ore. "Your supervisor will love you if you're one of the people who makes it easy — and even fun."

Be positive. "Cross-generational misunderstandings can arise in any relationship," Hynes says. "But staying open to new learning, asking questions when something goes awry, and genuinely wanting a win-win situation will go a long way."

See also: 5 ways to being happier at work

The key to success in a younger boss scenario? "Realize that you're building a relationship that allows each of you to be successful in the workplace," Hynes says. "Ask yourself: How can I be a good partner?"

And be curious, she advises. "Everyone's experience has limits, and there's always more to learn. What growth opportunities does working with and for this person offer?"

Finally, be generous. "You have knowledge and networks built over many decades," she says. "How can sharing these help your boss succeed?"

5. Get hip to texting

A younger manager will probably want to communicate with you via text message, instant messenger or emails rather than face-to-face chats or the phone. Voice messages are passé. A missed cellphone call is comparable to a voice message for the younger set. Don't resist. It's up to you to adapt.

6. Prepare for less face time

For many younger managers, time spent in the office is not as vital as the results you produce. So your well-honed work ethic of being an early bird at your desk might not impress. Teleworking tends to be looked on more favorably, especially if you can get more work done by not cooling your heels in rush-hour commutes.

Meetings are more likely to be via teleconferences and webinars. Get acquainted with Web-based applications like GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx,, TeamViewer or Google+ Hangouts. See which platform your company or IT department prefers. If you haven't tried it at work, get comfortable by trying these platforms with someone outside the office.

7. Note your latest achievements

 "Let go of the past," Jones says. "It's great to feel pride for accomplishments in past years, but know that you get no points for them in today's workplace. Your boss is focused on current challenges and wants to know regularly how you're helping to address today's problems and tomorrow's goals."

8. Steer away from age-centric comments

Avoid suggesting that something younger managers do is similar to something your adult children are doing, or bringing up what you were doing when you were their age. This sounds obvious, but sometimes it slips out because you're thinking it. Your boss rarely wants to know that he or she reminds you of your child.

And skip the chitchat about your personal life that dates you. For example, "there's no need to bring up the fact that you're expecting your third grandchild," Salpeter says.

Next page: Keep your skill set and wardrobe sharp and up-to-date. »

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