This is the hard truth, and nothing but it. Straight, no chaser. And before I get into this chat, I have to get something off my chest and I want you all to always know that I am a Ride or Die chick for our Generation. (that was my caveat). But… I am not sure when half of our generation decided that we were owed something from anyone, especially in our professional lives. This may come off as a surprise or even harsh, but once you understand this simple truth, life’s opportunities become endless!
Entitlement is the first word that comes to mind. Essentially, one is under the belief that because you simply exist, or because you got a degree that something is owed back to you from the Universe. Being entitled is exhausting, mentally and emotionally. Try it for a day if you have not already indulged at least once in life. Think about it, if you are always thinking you are owed something, you are constantly disappointment when it does not happen. That repeats every single day. Life is stressful enough. But on the reverse, if you know that nobody owes you anything, but you have the opportunity to earn it everyday, when the reward comes, it’s pure bliss. Because you worked for it and got it.
As always, I want to give you a couple takeaways from my experiences. Here’s a short list of what nobody owes you in work life.
Nobody owes you a job. I am not sure why this still comes up in discussions, but it does. Typically it comes up with Gen Z’s (the news kids on the block) and younger Gen Y’s, but this thinking can apply to anyone. Who said just because you graduated, were a well rounded student, and you sent out 20 resumes that you are simply owed a job? A job is not charity, they aren’t just passing them out all freely. It is an exchange of work for compensation. Some of you will get the dream job call you wanted and some of you will be taking anything after 3 months of waiting for a call. As soon as you stop thinking you are owed a job, you will have more motivation than ever to keep hustling your way to your 1st or next opportunity. Sidenote on paying it forward. When you become the one sitting in the hiring chair, follow-up with people and always look for talent (as you know all too well, you can hold someone’s future in your hands.)
Nobody owes you a promotion (follow-up to #1 and self explanatory). Do the work. Make a case for yourself. Nobody is a mind reader.
Nobody owes you fun + friendships. While it’s great to have a fun and friendly place to work, with people you actually like to be around daily, it’s simply not always the case. You don’t have to be happy hour buddies or even friends on social media to work together to get the job done. If you do come across that kind of environment and that’s important to you, consider it a bonus! But not everyone wants or needs that type of work culture to thrive. Things like friendship are earned, they are not owed. It’s a natural development that can happen over time, but once again it’s not a given that you will be BFF with all/most/any of your work colleagues, so don’t take it personal.
Nobody owes you special attention. This thinking can not only be exhausting but be a barrier to growth. If you want more face time with a higher up, make the time to walk in their office or schedule a meeting. If you want to be considered for a promotion or new role, make sure the right person knows that and knows what you are doing. Once again, nobody is a mind reader and everyone is busy. You cannot blame the other person for not knowing your talents or skills or celebrating your wins if you aren’t making them aware.
Overall, the way to combat entitled and the “you owe me” lifestyle is to be accountable for your actions every single day. Don’t ask why didn’t I get something, but ask what could I have done to position myself better?
Take the entitlement monkey off your back. Be free in earning your achievements! And remember,
no one owes you anything. you owe yourself EVERYTHING.
Until next time, stay dope Gen Y!