I previously blogged about Twitter Chats and the many benefits that can arise from participating in these networking events. One chat that I particularly enjoy is the U30Pro (under 30 professionals) chat. Although I haven’t been able to participate recently, I always review the chat transcripts and read the digest which is communicated via email.
The last digest that was emailed with the #u30pro chat highlights was for the discussion of “Ambitious vs. Entitled.” My attention was INSTANTLY diverted toward the digest. I love this topic, so I thought it would be fun to give my opinions to the prompts since I was not able to participate in the chat. Below are the given prompts and my responses:
So, which is it? Is Gen Y entitled or ambitious?
Gen Y – according to my opinion – is entitled. In my parents generation, college wasn’t the norm. College was truly exceptional and it was only for those who were incredibly serious about their education and their future. For example, it was more valued for my dad to work in the family business than to get a quality education. It was HIS choice to further his education. College for my generation is not exceptional – it’s expected. I knew classmates who barely graduated high school, however their parents forced them to apply to the University or TMCC while paying for them to get C and D grades. At this point – it is no longer an opportunity.
This is entitlement. We no longer view college as being for the elite, however we view it as the new High School Diploma. The graduate degree is the new college degree.
In addition, we are being told by our parents “If you get this degree, you will be making 6 figures.” We feel entitled to a hefty salary right out of college based on our parents advice. Yes we are entitled – but it is the direct result of how we have been raised.
Why do older generations consider Geny Y entitled?
I feel as though this could be answered several ways, however the first thing that would come to mind is technology. My step-dad always mentions how he couldn’t “Google” the definition to something – he had to look it up in the dictionary. To older generations, we don’t understand and value the wealth of information we have at our fingertips from internet technology.
How can you stay ambitious and confident without being looked at as entitled?
Those who feel entitled do not go above and beyond. They wait for opportunities to come to them as opposed to seeking out and researching new opportunities. They don’t put in the extra effort because they’re entitled to their salary/wages – they shouldn’t have to “earn” them. To stand out as being ambitious and confident we need to continue being hard workers and producing valuable effort. We need to start our professions as early as we can while our entitled counterparts spend the evenings partying and sleeping in late. Our actions will portray our work ethic. Those we work with will know we are not “entitled” but rather ambitious and confident.
What will you tell someone that calls GenY entitled?
I’d tell someone that our actions and behaviors are direct results of the way we are raised. It is our opportunity to change our entitled behavior to show others that we are appreciative of the opportunities we have worked hard for.
Your turn! If you’re a young professional or GenX with a blog, I’d love if you could answer these 4 questions in a blog post or as a comment. Send me your blog and I’d love to read your answers!