Gone is the era when you had to put in 20 years at the same gig to score a much-anticipated promotion, and gain a few measly underlings to do your bidding.
Thanks to the startup trend and the tech-savvy younger generation, more and more Millennials are becoming 20-something bosses these days.
But navigating upper management can be tricky, especially if you've only got a couple years of actual professional experience under your belt. Some less-skilled ladies might use and abuse the position to unleash their inner Anna Wintour and go Naomi Campbell on her subordinates.
Luckily, there are ways to gain respect without tapping into your inner diva. Here are seven ways to do so:
1. Wrap criticism in a compliment.
It's OK to tell someone they need to step up their game. The most effective way to give feedback is to point out what the employee is doing well, then give some really specific, constructive pointers on what they can do better.
Be straightforward, confident and let your employees know you have faith in their ability to improve.
2. Show up on time.
You can't expect your subordinates to be punctual if you are not willing to put in the same effort. Set a good example by showing up early with a great attitude.
3. Be available.
No one likes the boss who doesn't answer emails or is impossible to schedule a meeting with. Just because you're in charge, doesn't give you a license to skirt your responsibilities and be elusive.
Make it clear to whoever works for you that you're around to chat, give advice and step in when needed. Follow-up when you're supposed to, and try not to drop the ball in getting back to people.
4. Remember, you're in charge.
On the other hand, just because you're available and well tempered doesn't mean you let people take advantage of you. Be firm when you need to, be lenient when it's appropriate and don't take sh*t when someone is trying to pull a fast one.
Call people out when necessary, and make sure everyone is meeting deadlines and assigned responsibilities. At the end of the day, if something doesn't go right, it's you who is going to look bad.
5. Take ideas from everyone.
There's no shame in doing a little crowdsourcing from the juniors. Do they have any insight regarding client relations, process improvement or general workplace life?
Pool suggestions together to see where your worker bees have the right idea. People love when they feel they have a say in their work and authority. It makes for smoother sailing down the line.
6. Ask if your employees are happy.
People really respect a supervisor who cares. Call in your employees to ask what they like about their job, what they think needs improvement and if they are in it for the long haul.
Happy workers are productive workers, and it can give you a fantastic perspective on what's going right and what's going wrong.
7. Get advice.
The most valuable asset you can have as a boss is a mentor. Choose someone whom you respect and is further down the professional path to show you the ropes.
Turn to this advisor for regular advice, crisis management help and tips on how to maintain civility and peace in the workplace. Behind every CEO is the CEO who came before and taught her everything she knows.
In the professional world, reputation is everything. You want to be lauded as a person who is easy to work with and handles herself like a boss bitch.
Getting a reputation for being a "bitch boss" can cause more problems down the line and ruin future opportunities. It's not enough to know how to do the work. It's knowing how to deal with it, too.