She realised that, for all her ability and knowledge, being in her 40s also made her something of an anomaly.'As well as our boss, the rest of my team of six were also female, in their 20s and had clearly been recruited to reflect the creative, youthful vibe of the company,' says Alexandra, who lives in Bromley, Kent, and is engaged to Cez, 38, a financial consultant.'You could count the number of staff aged over 40 on one hand.
When I heard one of my team describe a 40-year-old man in another department as 'old', I decided to keep quiet about my own age — and they didn't ask.'Meanwhile, the trendy open-plan office was more boutique hotel than corporate building, with its free coffee counter and complimentary breakfasts served from the specially designed 'rustic' kitchen.
They would look at me condescendingly when I said I didn't understand.'The age gap between Alexandra and her boss — newly promoted to marketing director after six years at the company — made her feel increasingly alienated.'She'd formed a close-knit gang with my younger colleagues.
I thought working for someone so youthful would be a positive challenge.'Yet, within five months, Alexandra's hopes that her new young boss would provide a 'positive challenge' had morphed into dread at the prospect of sitting desk-to-desk with her every day.'Her know-it-all attitude was intimidating,' she says. But what's it like as a middle-aged employee having a millennial boss?
'Colleagues were always on Twitter or Instagram, while I spent time making sure that jobs were done properly.'Everything had a 'hashtag' and one colleague who helped train me remarked I was 'so unusual' in doing things slowly.
But they were always so busy, they made mistakes.'Alexandra's confidence evaporated.
'Millennials don't have a concept of 'serving time',' explains Helen Goss, an employment lawyer at legal firm Boyes Turner.
'Older women expected to have to climb a career ladder, but millennials don't want to wait years to be promoted.