You Ain’t Hear? Gimme Got Shot: My Generation And Our Odd Sense Of Entitlement

December 6, 2012  |  

I remember when my younger brother woke up one morning feeling that because he had his driver’s license, he deserved a new car. He first went to my parents and petitioned for his own vehicle. Of course, they looked at him sideways and asked him such reasonable questions as, “Do you plan on getting a job to pay your car insurance?” or “Gas prices are rising. How do you intend to keep gas in the car?” and even, “Your grades aren’t showing that you deserve a car. How do you plan on proving that you are ready to take on this responsibility?”

I suppose my brother didn’t feel like he should have to prove to my parents that he was deserving of his own car. Not only was he convinced that he was deserving of a car but also entitled to one. His next target was our grandmother. After badgering her and going on and on about how much he wanted a car and felt he should have one, she caved and brought him a fairly new BMW.

What should be noted most about this story is not how absurd it was that my grandmother decided to buy my little brother a BMW, but the fact that he truly believed that he was entitled to this car. He was in no position to financially keep the car up, put gas in it or do damn near anything for it, yet he was convinced that because he had his driver’s license, someone was obligated to provide him with his own vehicle. While this story may be a bit on the extreme side, many young adults within this generation seem to share a similar false sense of entitlement when it comes to things in life that should be earned.

I recently had a conversation with one of my classmates who happens to be a seasoned media professional in his forties with many years of industry experience under his belt. In an effort to pick his brain and get an idea of what employers are looking for from new graduates such as myself, I asked him what stands out the most to him when interviewing potential employees. He shared that his biggest problem with recent graduates in the job market is that many of them give off the vibe that says they believe that their potential employer somehow owes them something. “They walk in feeling as if they’re entitled to the job their interviewing for as opposed to realizing that they are competing for it and trying make the best impression.” He also shared that many are not willing to work their way from the bottom up. They come in fresh out of college turning their noses up at the work being offered, expecting to fall into some grandiose position and do all of this glamorous and fun work in their industry when the truth of the matter is that it just doesn’t work that way.

I for one, found his statements difficult to believe considering the state that our economy is currently in and knowing as a recent graduate how challenging it is to find work in your field. However, before I could even argue with him about it, I thought of other young adults like my brother or former classmates who merely made appearances during the semester and barely turned in assigned work, but expected to receive grades worth bragging about once the semester was over. I even thought of former co-workers who happened to fall in my age group who didn’t even put forth an effort to carry their weight as regular employees but felt they should be promoted to supervising positions.

In an interview with the CBS Early Show, Jason Dorsey, author of Y-Size Your Business, shared that in his experience working with millennials and interviewing them, “they would rather be unemployed than to take a job they believe is beneath them.” He also shared that some Gen Y’ers are lazy, but that they also “have a different work preference.” For example, many won’t show up to work on time, but are “willing to stay late. They’re also sending e-mails at 2 am. They just work differently.”

He also urged young adults seeking to enter the work force to take the jobs that they can get because staying unemployed for years and years after college graduation will only make entering the workforce more difficult. “You’ve got to take the jobs you can get now and get the experience, build your network, do these things that give you more options rather than holding out,” says Dorsey.

Do you believe that Generation Y suffer from entitlement mentality or simply just have higher standards?

Check out Jason Dorsey’s discussion of Gen Y in the workplace in a video after the jump…

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  • L-Boogie

    I am really getting tired of my comments disappearing.

  • L-Boogie

    As someone who did grunge work, this is an insult. Most people think this generation is lazy. That is so not the case. Most of us are not giving a chance because we are “young”. Please stop with the generalizations.

    • L-Booie

      After awhile even the grunge workers, want a real job.

  • JustSayin

    I think this is one generation talking down to the next. Remember– “Those who criticize this generation forget who raised it” Today’s day and age is now accustomed to things coming at a faster pace. Computers, new phones, new cars, social media… everything is fast pace. Fast Food… Get your degree in 18 months or later. Jobs are being made fun of or people get the stereotype of working an “immigrant” job or a “welfare” position just because they are in retail or some service position. The generation that raised this generation has raised this generation to be materialistic. They are products of the Clinton era. The 90’s. Gold chains, fancy cars, shiny material and nice jobs. The kids are not feeling entitled. They “upped” their expectations because that is how they were raised. And; unfortunately rappers, artists and celebrities flaunt their success in the faces of the FEW children that were not raised that way and then they become envious. So… entitled? No, absolutely not. They are just trying to live to the new American Dream. The one that has been upgraded to a fancy Loft, iphone, corporate job and big booty h**s.

    • L-Boogie

      LOL! “Loft, iPhone, corporate jobs, and [long schlongs]…LOL!

  • There is a sense of “I deserve the best and I deserve it right now.” I see it over and over but that isn’t a failure of these kids its a failure of the parents. People taking out seconds on their home so they can fund their child’s sweet sixteen party huh? Where they do that at? They have a sense of entitlement because much has been given to them and they haven’t had to earn anything.

  • sabrina

    Yep, its true. As a recent graduate myself, I’ve heard many employers/professionals say this, and I even seen it for myself! Can’t even lie, even I felt entitled to certain things at times…but then I came down off my high horse real quick!

  • Say What?

    There are people of every generation that feel that way, however with that being said, I will say that there are so many that seem not to be willing to work for it and whose priorities aren’t in order, I can’t tell you how many broads I know that have the iPhone 5, but no food in their house and yet rock the longest and thickest of Remi!

  • Vanityamazon

    Yes I absolutely think that the kids of the generation do
    have this entitlement mentality but the sad and unfortunate thing is that they
    are not the only generation that feels this way. I am a 31 year old college
    grad with a masters degree. I am honestly super over qualify for my current job
    but I have always had the mentality to know that you have to work and do what
    you have to do in order to grow and prosper. I have the understanding that my
    dream job is coming but I have to start somewhere. I know so many adults from
    the ages of 25 to 35 that think holding out is really going to get them
    somewhere but it’s not especially in these hard economic times. I have a friend
    that is 32 and has not had a job in six years because she feels that she is too
    good to work a basic job and she barely made it out college and she also keeps
    trying get into a top notch grad school with low grades from her previous college.
    I really think that people need to stop and think and understand that you can
    do anything if you work hard and are humble and realize that a college degree
    does not entitle you to anything it just helps you on your journey into
    adulthood and gives you the knowledge to follow your dreams.

  • Yes! im not understanding this either…i still to this day say a check is a check is a check. These kids these days arent willing to do grunge work at all or even anything outside of their “degree field”. Im in IT after being layed off back in 2010 from a tech company i had a lil paper put away for about a years worth of downtime i decided to kick it for few months and got bored. A friend of mine said “why not giving bartending/waiting a shot, you have the personality”. never in my life did i think i’d be doing that because ahhhhh im a computer geek. Well i went a got my bartenders license and got a job as a waiter at a local bistro. I ABSOLUTELY ENJOYED IT! I would have never known that waiting tables could be such fun. Spent time at that spot and they gave me some bartender hours so i could really get in the mix. HAD EVEN MORE FUN!!! Now mind you the money was nowhere near that of a steady paycheck with benefits but the tips were awesome, got to hang out all hours of the night and met some other cool folks in the biz who were top of their game. Im back in IT now but my hours dont allow for me to have a pt job waiting/bartending. To sum it all up kids these days need to expand their skill sets and stop sitting on their asses because they cant find a job in their degree field. You never know what you may find.


    Its called Toilet Earth…..its getting worst..instant gratification. Everything needs time