This isn’t a post about a specific generation. I know that the word entitlement is often associated with millennials. I know first hand why it is. In many cases, there’s a tinge of unfortunate accuracy to the connotation and association. But, I am not talking about blanket judgment of a generation. I’m talking about anyone that thinks they are entitled to anything. We all know people that have that attitude. If we’re honest, we have all probably wandered into that territory at least once. I know I have.
Nobody owes you anything. If you think they do, you have already failed. You also don’t automatically get what the guy in the next office, cubicle, or desk gets. Sorry. Maybe they are a lazy loaf and for some reason, they are seemingly getting all the perks and bonuses and rewards and you’re just sitting there wondering when it will be your turn. I could shift directions on my post here and talk about how you’re playing the comparison game and that’s not healthy or an appropriate thing to do, but I’ll stick to my main thought.
There are a couple types of people that I want to focus my attention on. They are both people that I have been, so I can get away with that. Person 1: From your point of view, you work hard and you don’t feel recognized or rewarded for all that you do. Person 2: Your friend or coworker seems to be getting everything they want and they get away with (figurative) murder, hardly doing anything, and you want the same first class ticket. Yes, there are a lot of other personas in the workplace that venture into the entitlement syndrome arena. But, for the sake of not writing a book, I’ll just focus on these two.
I’ll go ahead and get Person 2 dealt with so I can focus my attentions on Person 1. If you really want to be a lazy loaf that gets paid to do little to nothing or only do the things you “want” to do, you aren’t going to be successful. Life is hard. Work is hard. Responsibility is hard. Unless you were born into the Hilton family and literally have expendable income (inheritance) coming out of every orifice of your person, you aren’t ever going to get anywhere in life being that kind of person. And if the person you’re trying to be is the lazy loaf, God has no use for you. That’s harsh, I know. I certainly hope the message gets through to you. You don’t get what you don’t work for. If you have any goals, dreams of anything better, etc., you have to work for it. I acknowledged that I have been both of these types of people, including Person 2. And I can tell you that my jaunt into that grossly ridiculous territory was very short-lived for very good reason. It’s silly.
Now that I’ve successfully offended 27% of the potential readers of this (I made that statistic up), we can move on to Person 1. I have been this person more often than I’d like to admit. Again going back to the statement about the comparison game, that’s where I usually get caught up in it. The reality is, you probably do work hard. And you probably also don’t get the recognition that you probably deserve for all that you do. I know that certainly isn’t true of everyone. There are lazy loafs and people that aspire to be lazy loafs after all.
According to employee engagement statistics, 69% of employees say that they are ready to work harder if their bosses appreciated their efforts better.SMARP (think social media for the workplace)
If you’re a Person 1 or have been, you’re not alone. According to SMARP, 69% of people don’t feel appreciated enough at work. The quote above would almost and has probably repeatedly been used to pass the buck of blame solely on the boss or leadership. After all, the statistic reads that way, doesn’t it? I will admit, as a “boss,” I am not always the best at recognizing the efforts and hard work of my team. I try to be diligent, but I do fail. Probably more often than I succeed. There’s another side to that coin though. I challenge that many in that 69% are suffering from Person 1 entitlement syndrome. The fact of the matter is, if the majority of hard working people around the world are feeling unappreciated, it’s probably because they are feeling like they deserve more. Life isn’t fair cupcake. Yes, you work hard. Nobody cares, work harder. There was a meme that was going around that said something to the effect of “My company has this wonderful policy where you are rewarded for doing great work by giving you work that other’s aren’t getting done.” It basically means, you work hard, they dump more on you because the guy next to you sucks at his job, so you’re doing his too. Yeah, think about that for a moment. Don’t you see the actual positive there? You’re better than he is so, yeah, you get more work to do. Don’t think it goes unnoticed. Rarely does it go unnoticed by good leaders.
Yeah, I said it. We have gotten to a point in our society where people just expect rewards, accolades, promotions, bonuses, raises, etc. for the same thing that most of the rest of the world is doing, working hard. If you want to stand out, you just can’t get away with working hard, you have to work harder. Yeah, it sucks. It’s life and reality. If you want to be the next supervisor, manager, director, vice president, or whatever the next step is in a ladder of your organization, or going to another organization to achieve that role, you have to not just work hard, you have to work harder. If you’re sitting there thinking you just deserve it, you might be sitting there for a while.
I have often found myself motivated by my own life-goals. I want to be able to do this. I want to be able to do that. I want to be able to go there and do that. I have also learned that I don’t attain those goals if I don’t work for them. That might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people just expect things to happen without working for it. It’s scary and sad at the same time. I blame it on participation awards and TV shows that make it seem like life is all comedy and butterflies.
If you really have goals and you really want to achieve something, get off your butt and go for it. Just don’t expect to get it because you want it. You have to work for it. If your ambition doesn’t line up with your work ethic, you’re not going to succeed. You may be able to skim through a few things, but you aren’t going to make it very far. I know, this isn’t a touchy feely post with a happy ending. But, it’s an honest ending that I hope helps you understand that yes, you work hard, no, you aren’t appreciated fully (most likely). You’re not the only person in that boat. So, if you want to get out of that boat, don’t blame your boss, work harder. If you have dreams, work for them. Work hard for them. You probably deserve them.