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Millennials need to lose their sense of entitlement

Millennials expect the world from the different companies they seek jobs with. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Generation Y has a track record of narcissistic entitlement, which plagues the future of the American workforce. The trend is evident in students around the country. Graduation is close for many University of Houston students and many are wondering what’s next for them. Typically, students respond in one of two ways: they are hoping to get a job or push on to graduate school.

Those who chose to go into the workplace are expecting — demanding a full-time job that offers them a competitive salary, provides health insurance, flexible work hours, motivation to succeed and a partridge in a pear tree.  

There is a false sense of entitlement that plagues college campuses. Lisa McLeod’s article “Why Millennials Keep Dumping You” perfectly exemplifies this sentiment. McLeod explains that employers need to provide a better return on investment than minimum wage for a new employee fresh out of college.

The reality of the situation is that entry level jobs pay entry level salaries, especially in smaller firms.  

How entitled you feel does not trump basic accounting and economics.  Each company needs to make sure that their costs do not exceed their revenue. They have a dedicated budget allocated for payroll. Before taking a chance on a passionate and energetic entry-level employee the company needs to make sure that they are going to profit from hiring that employee.

Truth be told, if you were concerned about your student debt, you should have gotten a degree that contributes to society. If you want to make the big bucks, then you need to put in your time just like every other employee.

David French, writer for the National Review responds to McLeod’s essay in a similar way.  

French writes, “I’d replace McLeod’s four demands with four responsibilities: take care of your own performance, do your best to provide ROI for your employer, be ‘on fire’ for excellence, and treat your managers not as ‘numbers’ but as human beings.”

Nothing could be closer to reality than French’s argument. It is time Millennials wake up from fantasy land and embrace reality for what it is: demanding.

According to CNBC, “the US created only 98,000 jobs in March, vs 180,000 expected.” Now 98,000 jobs may seem like a large number, but keep in mind that they aren’t all paying six figures with retirement packages. The monthly job market announcement gives millennials a false sense of security to rest upon their college laurels.

What is not understood by most millennials is that it takes time to get there. We have all spent at least four years of our life in an institution that promised us a return on our investment. However, the fine print (or modern day terms and conditions) is that a higher salary and benefits are not given, they are earned.

What is the alternative? First, if you have time left in school, I sincerely recommend that you use one of your electives to take GenB3300 (Personal Finance). That class will teach you how to prepare to live in the real world and manage your money effectively (a skillset most millennials lack). Afterwards, if you are dreaming about a job that pays you well, encourages you to be the passionate and energetic being you are and has the greatest return on investment, go into sales.

Sales may be the most unsexy job title in history. The reality is that most sales positions couldn’t be further from that. Most sales positions reward you with what you put into it. The trick is to find the company and product that inspires and motivates you to sell.

If you believe in something, then you can sell it.  

It is time to get off your high horse, millennials. It is time to open your eyes to the realities of the workforce. If you want to make six figures, go out and earn it, but don’t expect to start there. Some jobs pay more than others at entry level. Keep in mind that scarcity exists everywhere in society, especially in the job market.

Opinion columnist John Brucato is an economics senior and can be reached at [email protected]


  • I disagree with the jobs numbers … its more like 280 instead of 98.

    But I do agree with the premise that Millenials do feel entitled and should get down from their undeserved high horse, or they risk repeating the kids from the 60’s and early 70’s, being lazy in life and borrowing money from their elderly parents.

    Millienials have to realize at some point that their futures will be brighter under Trump, than with the limited opportunities presented under Obama.

  • This is a horrible article. Millennials aren’t focused on entitlements they are drowning under what the state of the country has places us in. We are all firmly aware most jobs aren’t going to pay six figures. Most of us think we would be lucky to make 40K a year straight out of college, which in most cases won’t even cover the student loans and 10% interest that these predatory companies place on us. Some of us have amounts the same as a small house, mortgages have 3% interest and student loans are 10%. You need to stop blaming Milliannials about the state of things and actually write an opinion about something that matters like the fact that the Education Department wants to gut the Obama protections to help students not default or the fact that companies like Navient are gouging students with interest so high that it makes it near impossible to pay off.
    Off the soap box I go.

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