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Ageism in the workplace

Carolyn Hax on

Ageism is ageism. Your complaint is ageist.

If it'll help: Imagine if your 20-something-year-old children mentioned to you that older people they supervise at work were undermining them because they think 20-somethings are too young to be in charge. Would you sympathize, or would you say, "I get it -- I don't take you seriously either"?

Re: Young supervisor:

It's also worth reflecting on the fact that one's supervisors are only going to keep getting younger (or seeming like it) as one ages. Resenting it is like battling against the tide.

-- Anonymous

Amen, thanks.

I was trained for this myself by watching my doctors get younger and younger. (How do they do that?)

Re: Ageism:

--Sponsored Video--

The older I get, the younger my colleagues are. I've worked with older bosses, younger bosses, and same-age bosses. I recommend this worker pay more attention to the work at hand and less to what the leader looks like. A younger person has energy and vision and fresh eyes that can open up discussion and solutions. An older person has experience and judgment and skills that, if not stingily withheld, can move the project forward successfully. This worker is at risk of being seen as an inflexible old fogey that everyone has to work around.

-- Older

Right. And even if the younger person fails to bring "energy and vision and fresh eyes," it is still the employees' job to make the best of it -- just as they must muddle through when an older person occupies a management position despite dubious experience, judgment and skills.

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Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

(c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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