I have been given an offer in a nice company: like the technology, package, salary and perks. There is one problem: my manager is 10 years younger than me and he is a single techno-geek who fits right into the Silicon Valley culture.

Since I am a married man with two children , I am afraid that he just will "not get it" if I need to take a half-day/day off when my child gets sick or when I absolutely need to attend their piano concert.

I have heard that young "Silicon Valley cyber-punk-type-managers" have no problem calling at 11:00pm on a weekday or at 6:00am on Saturday just because there is a hiccup somewhere.

Is it a valid concern?

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    Related - workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/18239/…
    – David K
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 18:15
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    During the interview process, did you get any insight into the company culture and the extent to which this one manager controls your day to day existence? Despite his youth and singlehood, he will no doubt follow the company policies on personal time, family leave etc. What are they? Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 18:32
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    You are dealing with an individual not a statistic, not a category and not a stereotype. Get to know the individual and stop speculating and trying to get us to speculate about what he is and who he is. Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 20:11
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    Did you ask questions about this in the interview? You need to understand the work culture in any job you are considering taking ad not just for this reason. BTW I worked for a boss half my age and he was one of the best bosses I ever had.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 20:51
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    Also, cyberpunk has a specific meaning - scifi in the near (dystopian) future, with pervasive VR, cybernetics, etc. Stuff like Neuromancer or Snow Crash. Unless you're going to work for bleeding edge VR, it's a slight misnomer to label your prospective manager that way.
    – Telastyn
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 21:34

3 Answers 3


People understanding older parents

I've actually found most young managers I've dealt with are fairly understanding of family people. I'm sure their are exceptions, but I wouldn't be surprised if your young manager has a number of people they know with families. That said I'd just make it clear you do have an obligation to them, but you don't anticipate it being an issue.

After hours calls

I've never dealt with this sort of manager, but getting calls after hours is something that's happened at many employers I've worked for. Generally speaking if it's an emergency I have no problem with helping if able, but if it's not an emergency my response is usually something like "We can discuss this in the morning" or similar. Essentially I make the call not terribly productive in a polite manner to try and dissuade this behavior. (most managers usually get the hint pretty quickly and it's never come back to haunt me, fortunately most managers also only call me when there is a real emergency and not on a regular basis)


I wouldn't worry too much. If your manager wants to work crazy hours that's fine, but make it clear you have family obligations. You'll help in the event there's an emergency so long as you're able to do so. (And unspoken this applies only to emergencies. For non-emergencies it's fair to say "we can discuss this first thing in the morning" so far I've not run into someone who takes issue to this, you've let them know it's on your radar, and you've set a time to resolve things in a polite and professional manner)


Is it a valid concern?

While it is a valid concern, people are not their stereotypes.

While it's certainly more likely that a younger manager does not understand family demands, being young does not preclude them having a family - or an elderly family member that they need to care for. And while it's certainly more likely that a single manager does not value family demands, being single does not preclude previous knowledge of relationships.

In my experience, younger managers tend to be if anything more sensitive to these sorts of things. The last thing they want to be is that young punk who doesn't get it.

And in my experience out in the valley, this sort of drive for off hours work is driven from upper management, not middle management. If your company is one of those "every second matters" sort, either due to the nature of the business or due to company culture, it doesn't matter how old or understanding your boss is - someone's getting a phone call in the dead of night.


Is it a valid concern?

Your concern may be valid, but I think it is misdirected.

Instead of worrying about your 10-year-younger, single, [stereotypes-omitted] manager, worry about the company culture.

There are many Silicon Valley companies who have a hard-driving, work-all-hours, company-first culture - that may not fit your current personal needs. But there are also many Silicon Valley companies who emphasize family and/or work-life balance.

Companies tend to hire folks (including managers) who fit their culture. It wouldn't make any sense to do otherwise.

So, if you understand the company culture, you'll have a better feel for how you will be treated - by this manager, or the next manager, or whoever.

Google searches, Glassdoor, friends, and questions and observations during your interviews should give you some insight in the company culture. During your interviews, try to find a prospective peer who is in a family situation similar to yours and ask "What's it like to work here? What's it like to work for my prospective Manager" You'll probably learn a lot.

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