Part of adulting is finding a career that you absolutely love. And sure, you might have to go through some duds before you find the right fit, but sooner or later, you鈥檒l land your dream job. But no matter where you are in your journey, learning how to deal with coworkers of all ages will undoubtedly be a part of the job description. As more聽millennials聽become managers, each generation鈥檚 different management, culture and communication styles will become even more apparent 鈥 and it may not be super clear how to work well together. So how do you thrive when you鈥檙e working with all generations? We called up Samar Birwadker, CEO and founder at Good.Co, to give us his best tips for getting along with everyone (well鈥 almost) at your nine-to-five.

coworkers different generations

1. Forget the number and get to know the individual.聽Unless you鈥檙e an entrepreneur in the super early stages of your biz, you鈥檙e going to be interacting with colleagues in one way or another, so it鈥檚 important to understand where they鈥檙e coming from. Samar says, 鈥淭he most important insight I can recommend is that a person is not their demographic. Research shows that people age at totally different rates and that 鈥榓ctual鈥 age is not always a good predictor of attitudes and behavior. Studies have also shown that aging can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. There鈥檚 real truth in the idea that you鈥檙e 鈥榦nly as old as you feel.鈥欌

He also adds that Good.Co data challenges many of the most common stereotypes about age. 鈥淲e found that people in the 45-60-age bracket were just as motivated and open to taking risks as 18-25-year-old millennials 鈥 and more open to creative thinking.鈥 That鈥檚 right, millennials: Gen X and Boomers are still coming up with a lot of fresh ideas.

2. Embrace diversity.聽Honestly, how fun would life be if everyone was the same? Yawn. 鈥淓ven where age-related differences exist, it doesn鈥檛 follow the notion that a younger life is a better life. Some of our data shows that workers 45-60 are actually more open as聽leaders. This group鈥檚 leadership style is based on encouragement and respect for different perspectives, compared to the younger group of millennials, who tend to focus more on achieving personal success.鈥 Whoa. Time to start appreciating your boss鈥檚 management聽style.

coworkers different generations

3. Understand that learning is bidirectional. Being a聽social media whiz doesn鈥檛 mean you know more than your older coworkers.聽Samar explains:聽鈥淥ur data suggests that, on average, older workers can put aside their ego to fit more easily into a wider organizational culture. This broader perspective allows for a more measured, tactical approach in decision making and networking. Younger workers can, therefore, benefit from the experience of their elders in strategy and social communication, but knowledge sharing goes both ways. People who began their careers before the digital and mobile revolution can benefit from their younger, more tech-savvy colleagues.鈥 He says teams that include workers of different ages have a greater opportunity to learn from each other, and will be more open to doing so if they鈥檙e focused on a common goal.

4. Recognize that age matters less where career paths are not linear. 鈥淚t鈥檚 a common worry for older people who see younger colleagues promoted above them to think they might be past it, superseded by a younger generation, but this is much less true today than it might have been even a few decades ago. These days, career paths are much less linear, and age much less relevant. If you鈥檙e a younger boss, don鈥檛 assume that your older team member has missed the boat. They might be in the first phase of their second, or third or fourth career,鈥 advises Samar.

Tweet us how you bond with your older or younger coworkers聽@BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)