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That “Entitlement” Thing

It’s one thing to possess confidence built on merit, accomplishment and perseverance. But quite another, according to mere baseless expectations … just, because.

Perhaps, I can’t say for sure, it is a result of things attained too easily, rewards presented frivolously to make someone feel good about themselves. But I do know that the phenomenon of self-entitlement is an obstacle to companies and even more so to job seekers with an over-inflated view of their own abilities. Ironically, it seems the younger the person the more entitlement they feel – which to my experienced eye, seems a little backward.

A growing problem, and one I hear about almost every time I speak with senior-level managers, is the unrealistic demands of young job applicants, who’ve done little more than complete their university studies. True, some business sectors have shortages and as a result job seekers can ask more than others – hey, go for it if that is the case. And I am not diminishing the attainment of a college degree, oh no, far from it. But the power of possessing an undergraduate degree was greater when fewer people had them, say, until the mid-1970s. Today, if we are honest about it, if you can pay for a degree you’ll get a degree and having a degree doesn’t make the person but, rather, what they do with that degree. As a fresh or recent graduate, most haven’t yet done much in their profession of choice to boast about. But now I am straying off topic.

If you feel you are deserving of something more than others with your same length of experience, you’d better be prepared to back it up with proof, or in the parlance of experienced recruiters and hiring managers, have a documented and provable track record of success to back up your claims. Otherwise, what you feel you are entitled to is simply a personal wish list. I meet many people who expect a lot but I don’t see these same people getting the job offers they are sure they deserve.

Hiring managers have a duty to manage the expectations of applicants as well as employees seeking elevation and advancement. So that when the process reaches the job offer stage, the hiring manager and potential employee have the same understanding and not two people with very different ideas, resulting in time wasted for both sides.

If you have earned the right to ask for something better, because you have outperformed your peers, then before you interview or talk to your boss, you need to formulate your position in such a manner as to demonstrate why you are worthy. If you are young and perhaps you don’t yet have any/many accomplishments about which you can boast, then I have a suggestion. Get an attitude adjustment and instead of making unfounded and ridiculous demands, suggest that if given the opportunity you’ll work hard to gain experience and in doing so, gain some relevant experience and build some accomplishments. You might find this approach will get you closer to what you want as well as what you need.

If you think this topic has relevance and you would like to be better prepared and improve your chances; to have the information available for quick reference or someone you know will need it – then no question about it, you need my handbook. Think of it as a career survival guide providing useful and effective tips for every step of the job search and interview process, ready when you will need it. It is recently updated and there’s stuff in it you’ll find nowhere else; you can find more information here