The Millenial Tightrope: Walking the ‘Deserver Line’ in the Workplace


Every generation has a reputation. The “greatest generation” was frugal. The “baby boomers” were big spenders. Gen X was full of “free spirits,” and Millenials are being labeled as “deservers.” And experts say to blame the parents.

Millenials were raised by parents who made them feel they were special and entitled, according to Alexandra Levit, author of MillenialTweet: 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Managing the Millenials.

“Their parents made them feel they were deserving of good things just by being alive,” Levit says in an email interview. “[Now] in their first jobs, they have to do certain things and yes, wait awhile, to accumulate the experience and expertise to be ready for the next level. This is a new phenomenon for a lot of them.”

Experts say Millenials’s “deserver” attitude into the workplace could hold them back and hurt long-term career growth.

Many are looking to fast-track their careers, according to Jared O’Toole, co-founder of Under30CEO, and may be unaware of how to reign in their eagerness.

She says there is a fine line between ambition and entitlement.

“They are trying to be aggressive, and I am all about aggressive,” O’Toole says. “It’s tough to move up in the business world, and it’s fast-paced. But you don’t want to come off as cocky. On the other hand, you won’t be handed things you don’t ask for.”

Millenials are driven and innovative, and many have dedication to advance the companies they work for and not just their own careers, according to Levit. However, she warns a sense of entitlement will most certainly hold this generation back in the work place.

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