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Millennials: The "Entitlement" Generation?
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, October 21, 2008

If there's one thing I've heard on a constant basis, it is employers grumbling about the expectations of the younger workforce. The Wall Street Journal has a very interesting article on that today which pretty much reflects what I've anecdotally heard:
If there is one overriding perception of the millennial generation, it's that these young people have great — and sometimes outlandish — expectations. Employers realize the millennials are their future work force, but they are concerned about this generation's desire to shape their jobs to fit their lives rather than adapt their lives to the workplace.

Although members of other generations were considered somewhat spoiled in their youth, millennials feel an unusually strong sense of entitlement. Older adults criticize the high-maintenance rookies for demanding too much too soon. "They want to be CEO tomorrow," is a common refrain from corporate recruiters.

More than 85% of hiring managers and human-resource executives said they feel that millennials have a stronger sense of entitlement than older workers, according to a survey by CareerBuilder.com. The generation's greatest expectations: higher pay (74% of respondents); flexible work schedules (61%); a promotion within a year (56%); and more vacation or personal time (50%).

"They really do seem to want everything, and I can't decide if it's an inability or an unwillingness to make trade-offs," says Derrick Bolton, assistant dean and M.B.A. admissions director at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. "They want to be CEO, for example, but they say they don't want to give up time with their families."
Anyone have an idea where this sense of entitlement came from?

Hint: Can you say "false self-esteem"?

There's actually something beneficial about being bashed about a bit by life, isn't there?
 
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I was born right at the beginning of genY 1983. And i can definitely see this is a lot of people. I grew up with a father who above all wanted to instill personal responsibility in me. It sickens me at times to see the amount of selfishness and entitlement in a lot of my peers. Debt reaching to the sky, feeling its their right to own a home right out of school and have no idea how to manage needs and wants. Bring that kind of attitude into the workplace and you have exactly as you described. The idea that you cant make 70k right out of school bewilders them.
 
Written By: joshb
URL: http://
Hint: Can you say "false self-esteem"?
If im so wonderful, it must be other people keeping me down.
 
Written By: joshb
URL: http://
Anyone have an idea where this sense of entitlement came from?
Part of the problem is a leftover from the Dot Com days. I am in a position to interview and hire new personnel for a small environmental company. These young people are generally fresh college graduates with mostly bachelor degrees looking for their first post college professional position. They have heard all the stories of graduates getting 60 and 70 thousand dollar starting salaries (some even had stories of $100,000 starting salaries) and they figure it is now their turn. On more than one occasion, a young interviewee has left my office wondering what has gone wrong with the interview when a 35 to 40 thousand dollar beginning salary is discussed. And I am not even going to start talking about their disappointment over the benefits being offered.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
And I am not even going to start talking about their disappointment over the benefits being offered.
Sort of like Mercedes owners get when they discover they don’t actually own the road.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
"Anyone have an idea where this sense of entitlement came from?"
"Production is the application of reason to the problem of survival."

Ayn Rand said that a long time ago, and there has never been a better statement of the concept. We are witnessing the rise of a generation completely steeped from birth in the non-idea that the economy is about "resources". They are rank ignoramuses who could never believe anything but that this is all a game and a sort of nod to the form of it (like: the idea of a "job" in the first place) would be enough to secure their place at the trough. They would no more grasp the fact that Rand stated than they would fly to the moon by jetting gases out their asses.

They got this "idea" — should we call it that — because stupid people raised them.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Anyone have an idea where this sense of entitlement came from?
I do, but I don’t have time to go into it. My kid finished in last place in his t-ball league, and I have to go have his trophy made.
 
Written By: Is
URL: http://
so many are in for a rude awakening. They will have to come to some hard realities. And it is a source of danger, because unscrupulous demagogues will use their dissaffection.
 
Written By: kyleN
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
That’s all right with me, I’ve been watching mine working, and from what I can see, they’re already managing, or soon will be managing the "entitled ones".

We let them know early on, they weren’t entitled to anything more than they themselves could earn, and they’re all in the entitled generation.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
This is a ongoing and accelerating problem.

The best and most cognitive of a generation sees it in their own generation (as joshb above).

Myself, being the son of baby boomers, sees it starting there. The boomers wanted to make their childrens lives so much better then their own that they did. That is a worthy and great goal but they did it so well their children didn’t learn the life lessons needed to become all they could be on their own.

Get in trouble. No problem, Mom and dad will come pull you out of the fire.
Jump back in the fire. No problem, Mom and dad will come to the rescue.
Need money. No problem, here have some.
Get a booboo. No problem, we the parents will let you lay around and milk it for all it’s worth.
Get in trouble at school. No problem, we will yell at the school.
 
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
D@mn kids these days, not worth a bucket of wam spit...In my day, you had to go to the library and use the Encyclopaedia Britanica to plagarize your papers, but these days *FEH* Google LUXURY

I mean, in MY day:
I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.
And you try and tell the young people of today that ..... they won’t believe you.

And STAY OFF MY GRASS!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Like anyone else, The Millenials just want an honest week’s pay for an honest day’s work!

Not to be a voice of discord in the harmonizing quire here, since I agree in principle, but it also wouldn’t hurt for corproations to get their sense of self-entitlement knocked down a little.

It simply wouldn’t hurt to make room for people who just want to work 35 hours a week and enjoy life outside of work. This is not at all incompatible with those like myself infused with the "puritan work ethic" (the term must be understood humorously in my case) who would prefer to work 70 hours a week for twice as much pay.

The fundamental problem is that large corporations (at least the several I’ve worked for) seem simply blind to the idea that worker A is twice as productive as worker B and should be paid twice as much, instead giving the 70-hour guy a 5% raise and the 35-hour guy at 3% raise. Clearly that’s not sustainable.

Rather than trying to fit everyone into the same mold, which made great sense when we were all manufacturing workers, but not so much sense now, a better answer would be to pay for pruductivity and let the market sort the rest out.
 
Written By: Skorj
URL: http://
"It simply wouldn’t hurt to make room for people who just want to work 35 hours a week and enjoy life outside of work."

How do you know that? Who are you to say what would or wouldn’t "hurt" someone else’s business?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
How do you know that? Who are you to say what would or wouldn’t "hurt" someone else’s business?
I don’t draw the inference that the person IS saying anything of the sort...they are asking a question.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
*FEH* Google LUXURY
Indeed.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Joe:
"I don’t draw the inference that the person IS saying anything of the sort...they are asking a question."
Can you read, you imbecile? There is not one interrogative his entire two hundred-odd word comment, and I quoted the leading declarative of the third paragraph. Who cares what you "draw"? Shut the fu*k up.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
It simply wouldn’t hurt to make room for people who just want to work 35 hours a week and enjoy life outside of work. This is not at all incompatible with those like myself infused with the "puritan work ethic" (the term must be understood humorously in my case) who would prefer to work 70 hours a week for twice as much pay.

The fundamental problem is that large corporations (at least the several I’ve worked for) seem simply blind to the idea that worker A is twice as productive as worker B and should be paid twice as much, instead giving the 70-hour guy a 5% raise and the 35-hour guy at 3% raise. Clearly that’s not sustainable.


I do not see this a a problem of large corporations but large unions. The unions where seniority is most important not quality of work. (look at Dem. congress for example)
 
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
For their part, millennials believe they can afford to be picky, with talent shortages looming as baby boomers retire. "They are finding that they have to adjust work around our lives instead of us adjusting our lives around work," a teenage blogger named Olivia writes on the Web site Xanga.com. "What other option do they have? We are hard working and utilize tools to get the job done. But we don’t want to work more than 40 hours a week, and we want to wear clothes that are comfortable. We want to be able to spice up the dull workday by listening to our iPods. If corporate America doesn’t like that, too bad."
Why not allow employees to work flex hours within reason? As long as it doesn’t kill team productivity, some flex time (for example working 40 hours over 4 days) should not be a huge issue. Why not let employees listen to music? I cannot think of a software engineer that doesn’t prefer working with music playing.
"Their attitude is always ’What are you going to give me,’ "
What? They shouldn’t be asking what the company is giving to them! They should be asking what they can give to their company!
"For this generation, work is not a place you go; work is a thing you do," says Kaye Foster-Cheek, vice president for human resources at Johnson & Johnson.
Really? Interesting - so the generation that grew up able to work anywhere, able to do papers at the coffee shop, or to answer phones on the run actually thinks that they might not need to be at a workplace to do work? Shock!
 
Written By: FiredrakeRAGE
URL: http://
Rather than trying to fit everyone into the same mold, which made great sense when we were all manufacturing workers, but not so much sense now, a better answer would be to pay for pruductivity and let the market sort the rest out.
Yeah the CONCLUSION sounded like Skorj was telling folks how to run their businesses, doesn’t it? Do YOU read the commenters or just like to pop off on any random line that strikes your fancy.

And apparently YOU care what I infer, because I seem to have drawn a response...I know that’s the whole "logic" thing that escapes you no doubt, in your Fortress of An-Cap Solitude from which you wage your lonely struggle against the world.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
And ANOTHER thing, all this on-line pRon...In MY day a man had to sneak down tot he store, preferabnly in a part of town where no one knew him and purchase his pRon, carry it home in a brown paper bag and hide it somewhere.. Now adays, you just click on the Intrwebbie thing and there those B**bies are, black, brown, yellow, large, small, fake, real, in lingerie, hanging, swinging, and Oh sorry...have to take a quick break...AFK..
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.Well, back now. Any Hoo, all this pRon it’s too easy. This younger generation has it far too easy.

And KEEP OFF MY GRASS....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I can think of two "Entitlement Generations" right now, and Gee they weren’t born in the last few years...The "Greatest Generation" seems to think itself ENTITLED to Social Security benefits that increase not with costs but with WAGES, meaning their beneifts increase in real terms, making the system economically unsustainable, but do they care?

Or their children, the Baby Boomers who seem to think that they are entitled to the same retirement deal because they changed the wold at Woodstock, or something....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Imbecile:
"Yeah the CONCLUSION sounded like Skorj was telling folks how to run their businesses, doesn’t it?"
Because of his flagrant contradictions, there is no telling what he has in mind, which is part of why I asked what I did.
"Do YOU read the commenters or just like to pop off on any random line that strikes your fancy."
That might be a question, and it’s very hard to tell because you’re a hapless mushwit, but I’ll play it: I take people at all their words. I don’t operate a crow epistemology, like you.
"And apparently YOU care what I infer, because I seem to have drawn a response."
Only to set a lighted match to it. And if "a response" is your standard of gratification, then you’re pathetic. That was the very picture of a "troll" back when most people who used the word knew what they were talking about.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
That was the very picture of a "troll" back when most people who used the word knew what they were talking about.
I’ll take that to mean when you were on USENET and everyone agred with you...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I do not see this a a problem of large corporations but large unions.
I think it is. Cowed by Affirmative Action Diversity Programs and wrongful dismissal lawsuits (fake and legitimate), the large corportation I’m a part of has very rigid pay schedules with raises seperating good performers and lack luster performers by 2-5% depending on this year’s salary mandates.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I’ve heard the entitlement riff from my friends who manage and hire people. I imagine it’s largely true. No doubt this will exacerbate the coming generational war between the millenials and retiring boomers.

It’s going to be a big, unpleasant surprise to the millenials who back Obama that the Democrats will be "spreading the wealth around" in a way that takes care of retirees at the expense of the economy and of millenial paychecks.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
huxley, I agree but it will be a worse surpirse to the elders when they no longer can count on our money to supprot them.

That sounded bad.

 
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
They should join the military then. Annual pay raises are pretty much a given. You will be promoted from E-1 to E-2 within the first year. you get 30 days paid vacation or 2.5 per month plus all federal holidays. Last but not least provided it doesn’t impact mission you can usually leave early, come in late, or take the entire day off to take care of personal issues.

I think that meets all their needs.
 
Written By: mac
URL: http://
I regard such claims very skeptically, simply because the breadth of the generalization seems to great for it to hold true across a significant span of it. The excess promotion of a debased notion of ’self esteem’ and practices such as handing trophies out for mediocrity and worse are foolish, but such assertions about generations are too simplistic and convenient to have merit.

Has there ever been a generation that did not decry the degeneracy of the one that was to follow it?
 
Written By: Paludicola
URL: http://www.vikinghats.com
I imagine some of these MILS feel - incorrectly - that they are owed a fairly high salary out of college based on the ridiculous amount of money they just paid for an education and how much it was sold to them as essential to have.

It’s their own fault of course, but how many high school students (or their parents) really question the cost/value proposition of college? I can’t imagine being 50k in the hole and having a philosophy(or many others) degree to show for it. Not that there is anything fundamentally wrong with a phil. degree - unless you’ve just paid 80k for it.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Anyone familiar with Strauss and Howe’s cyclic theory of generations? In their scheme, history comes in generational cycles of four — in recent US history: (1) The Greatest Generation, (2) The Silent Generation, (3) Boomers, (4) Gen-X.

Supposedly the generations move from communal, optimistic, can-do values but becomes more individualist, rebellious and cynical before some great, somehow inevitable crisis arrives and forces a reboot back to basics. Today’s Millenials, according to Strauss and Howe, will be tested and rise to the occasion, much as the Greatest Generation did in the 30s and 40s.

See Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
"Rather than trying to fit everyone into the same mold, which made great sense when we were all manufacturing workers,.."

But it is so much easier that way. Do you really expect the management to manage? Contrary to popular belief, management is just as lazy and unwilling to rock the boat as the proles they employ. Management, too wants a week’s pay for a day’s work. Plus they get to define the work, which often includes conferences and retreats at luxury resorts.


"plus all federal holidays. Last but not least provided it doesn’t impact mission you can usually leave early, come in late, or take the entire day off to take care of personal issues."

Times certainly have changed.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Rrim, One of the girls I grew up with became a veterinarian from A&M (I wanted to type vet but thought it would confuse folks). She and I thought out her student loans and stuff ....she was in the hole and do you no what she said to me?
oOh Well..at least I will do in life what I want.

My true brother was in the jrcorp when the bun fire colapssed (bun -fire....lol)
 
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
My son was in college, a Computer Science major, when the dot com bubble collapsed. He went from "IBM offered the entire senior class jobs at $60K" to being lucky enough to get a part time casual job where I work when he graduated.

He’s now full time with the company, and saved enough to pay off most of his student loans and put 20% down on a house. Yes, he lived at home for a few years and didn’t have much of a social life, but sooner or later, everybody pays.

I don’t see this as much of a problem. College was cheap when I went, but they are not drafting people and sending them to Vietnam now.

 
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
"Has there ever been a generation that did not decry the degeneracy of the one that was to follow it?"
Off the top of my head, I don’t know, but the question is impertinent.

We can certainly look back and see obvious degeneracy. I should think that the case of the Weimar Republic would certainly make the point.

Now, we can do this in the light of principles. They’re what makes it possible.

We can direct that same light into the future, too.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"Has there ever been a generation that did not decry the degeneracy of the one that was to follow it?"
I don’t remember the Roaring Twenties folks complaining about their next generation.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
I don’t want to hear baby boomers complaining about anyone’s sense of entitlement.
 
Written By: Effeminem
URL: http://ethermind.blogspot.com
We can certainly look back and see obvious degeneracy. I should think that the case of the Weimar Republic would certainly make the point.
Explicate please...are you saying Gay Cabarets and Leather Lederhosen are bad? Weimar was made up of folks who fought at the Marne, at Der Kindermord at Ypres, fought in the mud of the Somme Offensive, the Hell Fire of Verdun, and struggled in the quagmire of Passchendaele. I don’t know if I’d call them degenerate...they had borne great sufferings and privations.

And their children underwent an even greater testing in the Fires of Gahanna, from the Winter Battles outside Moscow, thru the desperate Battles around Krar’kov, the Death Mill of Stalingrad, the struggles around the Kursk Salient,
the Apocalypse of the Battle of Berlin, the indescribable horrors of Hamburg, Darmstadt, and Dresden consumed in fire storms, the relentless pounding by day and night of the Allied bombers, and they didn’t crack.

They nor their parents could hardly be called "degenerate" in at least one sense of the meaning of the word, sybarites, Sprintrarians interested solely in worldly pleasures and incapable of sustained, painful efforts apart from a need to fill some gluttonous desire(s). So please be more clear...I write that seriously. The People of Weimar and the Children of Weimar may have been mis-guided, foolish, the willing followers of a perverted and evil ideology, but I wouldn’t call them "degenerate."

Beyond that, I’m not sure how you can call Weimar degenerate at another level, either. That they had Cabarets, that they had experimental film? What? That Weimar fell apart? I would like to see someone take an defeated nation, such as Germany was in 1919, filled with Revolution, with a poor history of democracy-the Kaiser was authoritarian-lard it down with the strictures of the Versailles Treaty and the burden of reparations and expect a lot out of the place. True, the Republic brought a lot of its sufferings on itself, the victory parade in 1918/19 where the Reichskranz proclaimed that the Army had never been defeated on the battlefield, was tantamount to accepting the "stab in the Back" Theory of History that the Nazi’s and other groups wielded to great advantage. Sure, the government caused the Hyper-Inflation of 1923, but it emerged because the government could see no other way to deal with the Franco-Belgium Occupation of the Ruhr. Germany 1919-23 saw multiple revolutions, and riots, many assassinations, the counter-revolution of the Rightist Frei Korps, the Beer Hall Putsch, and an inflation that ruined the middle classes, and at the end of the decade saw the collapse of the world economy.

I don’t see Weimar as "degenerate." How so? I see Weimar as a weak regime in unsettled times...and I see its citizens dealing with the social/economic/political fall-out of the riotous era 1919-31 as best they could, making some terrible mistakes, but mistakes driven not so much by moral failings as an inability to control their external environment and their political/ideological failings internally (the inability of the Right, Left, and Centre to form anything like a coherent coalition to deal with the increasing anarchy in Germany). This inability arising from history and ideology. Foolish and short-sighted, yes, "degenerate” I don’t follow.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I am from that generation and I was just happy to get a job after college. I was given a respectable salary of 30K and worked my butt off for the first three years to prove why I deserved a promotion to the next level. I was deined and told that I did such an amazing job in my current position, they didn’t want to have to start over with someone new . . . .but I still received only the 2% raise every year despite all my extra hard work. I quit and found a new job for 35K a year......two years later, my workload has more than doubled in capacity and I am known as superwoman at work because I can still get it all done. I expected at least a very good raise (5K)to compensate for the change, but when I had my review my boss passed through only a minimal 3.5% raise and then our healthcare tripled in cost, so my raise was immediately eaten up.

I feel cheated so far in life, because I do work hard and deserve promotions and pay raises based on my work, however, in the corprate world they will fire you in a second if you don’t do your job, yet are not willing to reward you for hard work done well and reward you for going above and beyond for them.

So this explains why people today have a sense of entitlement? They shouldn’t when they have just graduated and expect perfect jobs, but they deserve to when they are being screwed out of good salaries and bonuses when they go above and beyond for their employer and receive nothing in return. With prices increasing the way they are, I has less disposable income every year. Yet my job responsibilites increase every year. How will I ever catch up?
 
Written By: atlmichelle
URL: http://

 
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