Young Managers of Older Employees – 4 Secrets to Success!

Are you among the group of young managers whose reports are much older than you? Then, these 4 secrets will make you wildly successful (and popular!)

Two things often happen when millennial managers are in charge of older employees. One, young managers feel they are not taken seriously. Two, they feel like they have to pretend to know things they don’t. The truth is that when you are a young employee and you have little life and work experience, the idea that you have to fully fit in your managerial role from day one can be daunting. It can make you behave in ways that are completely unproductive and that will likely achieve the opposite results than what you seek. (Like constantly questioning your judgement, for instance.)

So to help you avoid falling into a trap, here are:

Young Managers of Older Employees – 4 Secrets to Succeed from day one

Young Managers of Older Employees - 4 Secrets to Success! Read on! | Featured here, Jenny Gracia a young manager, and a RSM Ambassador at a Red Shoe Movement event.

Featured here, Jenny Gracia a young manager, and a RSM Ambassador at a Red Shoe Movement event.

  • Accept that you’ve got what it takes. If you were given a managerial position, it’s because your boss saw something in you besides a degree that qualifies you for the job. You’ve probably had enough volunteer experience with the Peace Corps or helping Habitat for Humanity build homes in Guatemala. Or you led enough student councils, schools newspapers, and debate clubs. Or you might have created your own small business, led a fundraising effort for a school in Africa, or simply impressed your boss with your passion for your community. Bottom line, as a young manager, you bring to the table specific skills, common sense, problem solving, and very possibly, an ability to inspire others. That’s why you were chosen. Embrace it. Remind yourself of your value daily. Create a mantra around it so you can repeat it in times of self-doubt. And believe me, you’ll have a few of those along the way. (I.e.: “I’m a young manager and I’ve got what it takes to succeed.”)
  • Get to know each individual. Leave any preconceived notions at the door. Establish individual relationships with your older reports so that you learn as much as possible about each one of them. Approach the relationship without preconceived notions of how flexible or rigid, outdated, or in need of training this person is. The reality is that people will often surprise you. Show your true self, be transparent in your purpose and you’ll get the best out of every one. And while you’re at it, check with each person the preferred method of communication (email, text, phone, in person, etc.) to be as effective as possible when communicating with your older reports. Successful young managers are known for their flexibility and this includes, using a variety of communication vehicles to deliver their messages.
  • Be humble and assertive at the same time. If you master this fine line you’ll have your job cut out for you. Be humble in asking for the input of your older employees. They are knowledgeable about the job, the company and the industry. Consulting with them will save you headaches, time, and money. The more you make them feel included in the decision-making process, the better they’ll respond when you make a decision. Be assertive in making decisions after weighting pros and cons. Managers can have a democratic style but in the end a decision needs to be made and the responsibility of the outcome will fall on your shoulders. So make a decision behind which you can stand.

    The 4 Secrets to Success for Young Managers of Older Employees | Mindalia de Jesus, a RSM Ambassador and young manager, featured at a RSM Event.

    Mindalia de Jesus, a RSM Ambassador and young manager, featured at a RSM Event.

  • Be the young manager everyone wishes their kids were. I’m always thrilled to meet amazingly bright young managers who are wise and mature beyond their years. They project a sense of calm and collectedness that mark them as clear leaders of their organizations. They inspire others to do their best, to give their all. They make everyone wish they had been that well-put-together at that young age, they make everyone wish their own kids were this smart. Be that person. How? By following the previous three secrets. And by:
  • Asking lots of questions
  • Encouraging curiosity, exploration, risk-taking
  • Acknowledging that you don’t know everything and you’re always learning
  • Readily admitting mistakes
  • Honestly praising the work of your team
  • Offering recognition for older employees who do a great job, and
  • Making people feel significant about their contributions and their role in your team.

Introduce a mentorship program: Whether its the older employee’s mentoring younger ones or interns. You can even partner with organizations and schools, if the employees are willing. Not only is their experience being put to good use, but the company would also build some good karma. – American Express Open Forum

Young Managers of Older Employees 4 Secrets to Success: If you are a young manager, you were chosen for a reason. Own the gifts you bring to the table!

Own the gifts you bring to the table!

If you love learning and you love a challenge being a millennial manager of older employees can be an extremely rewarding experience. If you take it seriously, it will propel your career forward at amazing speed.

Share your own advice here. What works and what doesn’t work for you? What suggestions do you have for your colleagues?

Inspirational Quote | Young Managers of Older Employees - 4 Secrets to Succeed from day one

Inspirational Quote | Young Managers of Older Employees – 4 Secrets to Succeed from day one


Career Advice: Interview Tips for Women

Best career advice from Susan Landon and the top interview tips for women you will ever read! How to relay your accomplishments, timing, your personality for a smashing success.

By Susan Landon

You’re getting closer to your new job.  You’ve been following some good career advice and networking everywhere you go.  You’ve written a terrific resume.  And now you’ve got an interview scheduled with your dream employer next week.  You want to make sure that you’re ready and avoid difficulties that you’ve heard women are prone to in interviews, so you’re looking for specific interview tips for women.  So here they are…

Career Advice: Top Interview Tips for Women Photo credit: www.

Career Advice: Top Interview Tips for Women
Photo credit:

Interview Tips for Women: Best Career Advice

Be yourself!  As women, we often try to change who we are to fit into a male environment. And we end up hiding the things that make us unique and likeable, and we come across as flat.  I once provided career advice to a delightful woman named Jessica who had a full, infectious laugh. She had a great resume and was invited for many interviews, but Jessica never got the job offer.  As I tried to help her figure out what was happening, I learned that friends claiming to have good career advice had told her to make sure that no one heard that laugh during an interview, because it didn’t sound professional.  So Jessica put all her energy into making sure she didn’t laugh.  And her interviewers saw her as nervous and dull.  Once I told her to be herself and let her true personality shine, she had no trouble landing a great job.  If you put on a fake personality during the interview, they might hire you.  But eventually they’ll find out who you really are.  And if that isn’t who they wanted to hire, it could be disastrous for you.

An important interview tip for women: brag! Photo Credit:

An important interview tip for women: be yourself!
Photo Credit:

Interview Tips for Women: Your Accomplishments

Brag!  This is not the time to be humble.  Make sure that you can discuss every job on your resume from the perspective of what you accomplished and what you contributed.  If you’re looking for a more senior position, you should be speaking in terms of how you led your team to achieve X or Y. But if you’re interviewing for a less senior position, it’s crucial to speak in the first person so the interviewer understands the accomplishments are yours. This is a key piece of career advice that often gets overlooked. Think about what you can contribute to your new employer and be as specific as possible.  The interviewer doesn’t want to hear only that you’re a hard worker.  She/he wants to here what abilities and experience you bring to the table.

Interview Tips for Women: Timing is Key

Watch your timing!  Don’t ask about vacation, work/life balance, compensation or other benefits at your first interview.  Of course these are important!  But you don’t want the interviewer to think that these are more important to you than the job content and opportunity to contribute to the company’s objectives.  Just as you wouldn’t bring up how many kids you want to have on a first date, don’t discuss your special needs on a first interview.  Once you and the interviewer have fallen in love, you’re in a better position to ask for things you want. (So keep in mind that regardless of whose career advice you’re following, timing is everything and when applying any interview tips you must be mindful of the situation.)

Interview Tips for Women: When interviewing, keep in mind this sound career advice

When interviewing, keep in mind this sound career advice

Interview Tips for Women: Making a Personal Connection

Make a personal connection!  This is something that women are particularly good at, but sometimes we think it’s not professional, so we hold back.  You obviously seem to be qualified for the job, because you were called in for an interview.  Hopefully you’ve been doing a good job of talking about your accomplishments.  But interviewers want to hire people they like.  People they would want to work side-by-side with and go to lunch with.  If you notice the interviewer has a photo from a ski trip and you like to ski, make that connection.  If you see photos of kids, it’s OK to comment that they’re cute.

Although this is sound career advice for everyone, women can benefit from focusing their attention on the aspects I highlighted. I promise you that if you follow these interview tips for women, you’ll have a great interview and you’ll be settled into your new job before you know it!


Susan Landon, Managing Partner New York, Alexander Hughes Executive Search Consultants