Naïve Sense of Entitlement. We are watching an ENTIRE generation grow up with EXACTLY this. We are watching a generation of children, raising children. These are people who were NOT out of mom’s house and yet found themselves pregnant, and now they have to raise a child when they don’t know how to care for themselves. Worse yet, NOW they are being forced to care for a child. Unfortunately in many of those situations the grandparents end up doing the raising, so just about the time THEY are at the point in their life where they were going to relax, perhaps retire, they now have a child to raise. But at 60, they are just TOO tired to try and discipline a 2 year old the way they should and a 12 year old. So rather than discipline they give in, and whatever keeps the baby quiet! That’s how the baby then child and THEN teenager, develops the sense that the world OWES them, that’s how they were raised!
One of the BIGGEST obstacles to your own success is thinking that you deserve something without having to put in the work. That’s not how our world works; everyone tries to buy at wholesale and sell at retail, including your employers. They will pay you just enough so that you’re not going to leave and go somewhere else. Then they will take your work and mark it up to the point that THEY can make a retail profit from it. The BEST way they can do that is to find your best “profit point” that’s the point where you produce the BEST quality and highest quantity of work, for the least amount of money. In doing THAT I can guarantee you that they are not going to GIVE you anything, and if you go to an employer with an attitude of expectancy, there are about 2 dozen OTHER folks in line who would LOVE to have the job you have. Although they may not have the advantages you do, they don’t’ whine either,
a. BUT let’s say that you have actually completed college and there you are all bright and shiny with your Bachelors in Math, English or what have you, just WAITING for the world to open up and reveal its secrets to you! Get in line! There are 10,000 OTHER students this year, with your same qualifications, some with better GPA’s, and many of THEM have some other skill that you DON’T have. So what is it that sets you apart? When I was in school an AA was a MINIMUM, and even THAT didn’t get listed on your resume unless it was followed by 10 years of experience or a REALLY good BA from a noted school! What is it that’s going to set you apart? What is the difference that’s going to make you different? If you tell me it’s your Tattoos or your piercing you are TRULY preaching to the WRONG generation. The ONLY generation that’s impressed by that is YOURS, and even THEY will wonder where you got the money from, so the one thing YOU need that’s going to set you apart is:
b. TALENT. Yes that’s right, regardless of what you studied or how hard you studied it, if you can’t demonstrate THAT skill along with at least TWO others while simultaneously preparing a Visio presentation that I can show my Senior Level Managers, then I won’t even notice! But surely you have SOMETHING that could be considered a talent? No, playing HALO for 36 hours straight while subsisting on nothing but Cheetos isn’t going to do it! Unless you can re-wrap that into a situation where you were intently focused on a single project for over 30 hours and took minimal personal time off so that you could meet your deadlines! Now THAT’S impressive, and it shows perseverance, focus and most of all some talent! But make sure that your electives read better than most folks. ”Advanced Underwater Basket Weaving and how it pertains to the expanding Global Markets for hand crafted goods.” Is PROBABLY not going to get much farther than the HR guy interviewing you.
c. So if having a sense of entitlement is bad what should your expectations be? Perhaps it’s the one thing that should have leapt out at you by now, and that is that Most Successful people have a genuine sense of humility and appreciation for their OPPORTUNITIES! Even if those opportunities are self created. Look at Tony Hawk, everyone considered him a skater punk who would end up in jail or the ER, and instead he is the CAPTAIN of an entire sporting industry that didn’t even EXIST 20 years ago. He saw a hole in a market he was interested in and determined that HE would be the one to fill it! Ladies you have an even BIGGER opportunity, most women will gravitate from one product to another, merely at the mention by a friend, so that creates TWO opportunities: First how do YOU get ahead of that next production curve? Secondly what’s the REAL need that is causing this migration? Do women change purses as often as they change socks, because the NEED a different color, or is there something about their current model that does NOT allow it to be used in more that one event in a day? That’s just one example, there are hundreds if not THOUSANDS of others that are WAITING to be discovered, that YOU should be grateful for! I have a VERY good friend who has supported her family by doing TWO things for the past 15 years. #1 she has constantly watched what the 20-30 year old women are doing and looking for holes that can be filled in THEIR day to day experience. Whether it was buying/selling beanie Babies or creating custom “family art flagstones” for rock gardens. The second thing she has ALWAYS done right is to recognize when an industry has started to go stale. That’s when she starts gearing up for her NEXT product line, not doing AWAY with her current line, but shifting the focus, slowly but surely towards the NEW line, and making sure to take the current customer lists, customers who TRUST her, with her to the new product line!
We have identified what some of the most common frailties are that will help steer a team member down the path to unemployment, but I still don’t believe that we have hit on the number one reason why it appears that one entire generation of Americans appears to fall short of another? I love my younger friends but somehow I don’t believe that my father’s generation you know the one called “The GREATEST Generation”, has much to fear from this one upcoming. But what one thing could we focus on changing, could we work on improving to help them achieve what it is they truly want in life?
This one is so simple; it is the single common thread running through everything that we have talked about thus far.