Several characteristics have been associated with the millennials, but there is a single one that bosses and employers constantly cry about in the workplace. The single one is the sense of entitlement to have things come so easily. Senior management, from the older generation, tend to look beyond the talents and charisma of most millennials. They focus on a myth fact that this generation is spoilt, overly confident, averse to hard work, and feel entitled to have things come effortlessly.
Though these traits are not what anyone wants or needs in a work environment, people need to understand that it has a degree of permanency and will continue to define this generation in spite of the negative connotation that it carries. In a way, this generation that is so accused (those born between 1980 and 2000) have accepted this label of ‘entitled’ and are looking at the positive side of it.
How Millennials Themselves View Entitlement:
Instead of viewing ‘entitlement’ as a sense of being owed something by the universe, most millennials believe it is their inherent right to dream big, pursue their dreams and secure an incredible lifestyle as early as they can. They feel there isn’t the hierarchical need to depend on a gatekeeper or an authority figure for permissions to pursue their goals.
In a manner of speaking, these types of feelings and attitudes are not harmonious with the way the corporate structures of the older generation were built to operate. For a starter, the corporate structures of the older generations were designed to reward hard work and persistency without a provision for short-cuts. An employee from the older generation was expected to work as hard as possible and build diligently – one step at a time. In the world of a millennial, emphasis has shifted from working so hard to working so smart. There is a great deal of evidence to illustrate how smart work does pay off in all areas of our lives today.
Entitlement versus Earning It:
It’s quite funny that despite the negative connotations attached to ‘entitled’ as a word, it does not really have a negative definition.
Entitlement is not defined as the having the right to unearned privileges.
It is true that millennials demand their right to certain privileges. One has to ask, however, if those rights and demands have been earned.
With technological advancements and the way things are working out, there are absolutely no reasons to doubt the fact that the amount of time spent at a particular task or position does not determine success. There are smart ways to do things. The success of any venture does not depend on the amount of time spent on such ventures. In the light of the above reasoning, one can argue that millennials are able to achieve results in shorter times. Therefore, for a majority of the time, this demographic has earned the rights and privileges they ask for.
The Roles of the Society, Social Media, and Internet on the Feeling of Entitlement by Millennials:
Undoubtedly, the society and the prevailing way of life has had a significant role to play in the way millennials feel about what rights and privileges they should have. The society itself has inadvertently exerted pressure on millennials to achieve success as early as possible, and the millennials have responded likewise. For instance, there are more young billionaires in the world than ever before. The recorded billionaires provide the evidence to substantiate the belief, that having a positive mental attitude can result in the achievement of mega success for them as well.
The internet and social media, have contributed to this feeling of entitlement. Almost everything now can be done quicker with a few clicks of buttons. It would be natural then to expect success to also be quicker. The way we live and the way we do business has changed significantly over the years and it shouldn’t be too surprising that millennials feel entitled to have things come easier and faster.