During high school I remember feeling like my soul was older than my body. This feeling became stronger during college. I felt like my peers were still so immature running around from party to party while I stayed in my room and studied. All I could think about was graduating as soon as possible so I could start working and live my life. Meanwhile, most of my peers were playing beer pong or downing jello shots, trying to delay their graduations by going the super senior route.
Once I became a manager, I found myself hiring a lot of Millennials because we had a lot of entry level positions to fill. The process of interviewing and hiring them made me feel even older. Even though we weren’t drastically different in age, our mannerisms, perspectives, and approaches to work and lifestyle were quite divergent.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, Millennials are making a big impact everywhere. They are the most talked about generation and are a making big transformations to corporate cultures and the pulse of our cities. Are they maturing as time goes by? Yes, by in large I think so. Yet there are still plenty of Millennials that have yet to mature and continue to be obsessed with “me me me,” making it hard to shake off the label of being so darn entitled.
So why are many Millennials still so entitled today? Why do they complain about 40-hour work weeks and still expect to get ahead? Why do they think it’s ok to publicly air their workplace grievances and expect fast promotions without putting in their dues? Why do they think they are so much more special than others?
Why do many Millennials act so entitled?
1) They’ve never traveled the world. Anybody who has traveled to developing countries realizes how good we have things in the United States. We’ve got clean drinking water, public libraries, free wifi everywhere, cheap electronics and a government that protects its people for the most part. My travels definitely opened my eyes to a lot of new perspectives and make me appreciate simple things like being able to drink out of the tap, access public restrooms and equal opportunity as a woman.
2) They don’t speak another language. When you only speak one language, you have a narrow view of the world. By speaking another language, even if it’s just a few simple expressions, you learn about other customs and traditions which allow you to appreciate more of what you have and the ways of others. Making an effort to speak the local language when you travel overseas really goes a long way.
3) They are bombarded with trash media. When the biggest news is about Kanye West on Buzzfeed or some shallow woman showing off her fabulous vaca selfie on Instagram, Millennials develop this great sense of FOMO. They fear missing out on a fabulous life, therefore, they’re not willing to put in years of work to get there.
4) Their teenage years were constant popularity contests. Social media didn’t exist when I was a teenager (thank god). But Millennials can’t escape it. When your entire school and extended network of peers can see how high or low your friend count and post likes are on Facebook, you’re bound to do some pretty stupid things to show off and try to go viral.
5) Their parents are the wealthiest generation ever. If you are a child of the wealthiest generation of parents ever, thanks to real estate and stock market highs, then you’ve probably had a more comfortable life growing up than previous generations. In fact, one study of over 100,000 Millennials shows that the average inheritance Millennials expect is over $1,000,000! Meanwhile, they all expect to retire after only 15 years of work.
6) They’ve learned how to manipulate their parents. Although expecting $1.08M in inheritance is nice, it’s not that great if you’re getting the money after the age of 60. Instead, Millennials have learned how to manipulate their parents into giving them their inheritance while they are still alive.
7) Technology makes everything instant. There used to be a time when people had to dial a number to make a phone call, or do research at a library, or write a letter. Nowadays, everything is done with a few clicks of a button. Given technology makes everything quicker, the natural expectation is for our success to be quicker as well. Most Millennials have no idea what it was like to live, work and study without the internet, computers and smartphones.
8) There are more examples of young billionaires than ever before. The rich don’t all look like David Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie any more. There are now tons of examples of multi-hundred millionaires and billionaires who are in their 20s and 30s, largely thanks to technology. When you see someone your age that’s worth so much, it’s only natural to want what they have and believe you can do the same thing too.
The biggest irony
In the past, hard work used to be the key attribute for success. Today, many Millennials believe hard work is no longer necessary given there’s so much wealth that will be left behind once the Baby Boomers die out. Everybody tends to act in a logical manner over the long run, don’t you think? I can see how many Millennials feel entitled and don’t want to work as hard or as long for their money thanks to their parents’ wealth and the other reasons above.
What’s the upside? For anybody who is willing to put in the hard work, know that you’ve got a tremendous opportunity to get ahead. If everybody understood the importance of paying their dues, it would be much harder to get ahead. Hopefully, as an Untemplater you’re a self-starters who recognize the massive opportunities ahead!
Be your own boss
Break free! If you’re burnt out of your day job, believe that you have options and can turn your career around for the better. I didn’t believe I could escape the grind for the longest time, but fortunately I wised up before stress destroyed my life. I never would have thought I could negotiate a severance package and get paid to leave a job I grew to hate, but I did! Learn how you too could get paid to leave your job like I did and open your eyes to new opportunities.