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Are Millennials Really Entitled?

I recently had a very interesting conversation with a good friend of mine. She, just like me, graduated from university last year. However unlike me, is still struggling to find a job. But not just any job, ‘the job’ the one that will fulfil her, the one that will make her want to wake up every morning. This got me thinking. Over the past few years we millennials have been labelled as entitled. But why is that? Also exactly what is this entitlement they keep referring to?

“Entitlement refers to the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.”

For decades our parents and grandparents have been perfectly content working traditionally jobs e.g. nurses, doctors, etc, in order to put food on the table. Why is it then that we feel the need to be fulfilled by our careers? Life isn’t just about our jobs right, we have our families, our love lives yet we put so much emphasis on our careers. An article I read recently cleared a few things for me. The way we measure success, and the way the older generations measure success is different. The baby boomer generation measures success through the following; status, prestige and financial security. While we on the other hand measure success as:

  •  being part of something meaningful, doing work that matters both to us and the world
  • building deep, authentic connections with people, real relationships

But the question still remains, why the sudden change? Is it maybe a sign of evolution. Human beings now seeking a deeper fulfilment in the work they do? And if so then are we (millennials) acting entitled for wanting something more?


2 Responses

  1. Sipho Mahlangu


    Just yesterday I was talking to my friend’s Dad.
    He was asking me why his Son (my friend) does not stay with same Employer for longer than 2 years because the explanation he is getting from his Son does not make sense to him.
    Him being Generation X, it was so hard trying to make him understand.
    In the end, I ended up with more questions than answers myself about how we Millennials perceive the concept of work.

    In pondering upon these questions, I also realized that the aspirations, pace & consequently the demands of life & of the work environments themselves have changed since the last generation and these factor in to our attitude towards work.

    These changes are definitely something we need to consider as well in pondering on this subject.

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