Are Millennials Entitled or Just Audacious - Newslibre

Are Millennials Entitled or Just Audacious

I am where I am today because so many who came before me chose to lift me up when they could have just as easily looked the other way. My first job was way back on campus, at a microfinance organization.

The CEO decided to risk taking on board a third-year student with barely any financial experience and throw them neck-deep in the audit department. I made a lot of mistakes, but I also learnt an incredible amount in the one year I interned.

My first role out of campus only happened because a lecturer recommended me and 6 other people to an organization that was looking for fresh graduates. Not only did he recommend me, but he guided me throughout the entire application process.

It included submitting a financial model as a case study and while I had some exposure to the financial modelling world, I had no business claiming to be knowledgeable in that field. I can go on and on, ultimately it comes down to the fact that others have helped me to get to where I am right now.

Now, I want to touch a little bit on the recently trending topic on millennial entitlement. As a millennial, I believe I am getting to my breaking point with the word ‘entitlement’.

When we ask for interns to be paid fair compensation for work done, or ask for work-life balance, etc. We are labelled entitled. It almost seems like a millennial asking for basic human kindness is automatically labelled as being entitled.

The term ‘Millennials’ generally refers to the generation of people born between the early 1980s and 1990s, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Some people also include children born in the early 2000s.  The Millennial Generation is also known as Generation Y, because it comes after Generation X — those people between the early 1960s and the 1980s.

Why the focus on millennial entitlement?

While I do not know the origin of the feud between the lawyer and the individual that leaked his Direct Messages a few weeks back, I made some observations from the comments and arguments that ensued.

For those readers, who like me could not quite figure out what was happening, I was able to get the background story. It seems back in 2015, an established lawyer was contacted by a fresh graduate for advice with regards to an interview he had secured with a reputable business.

Part of the interview process involved a case study that the lawyer was in position to help. The lawyer declined to help and informed the graduate what he was asking for was billable. Years later, the now not so young fella leaked the entire conversation on social media and commented on how arrogant it was for the lawyer to decline to give him any help back then. This sparked an online debate on millennials and our entitlement.

Argument one is, the young fella is entitled, disrespectful, and deserving of all insults that came his way. Argument two is, the lawyer was rude, arrogant, and should have spared some time to help a young aspiring gentleman.

Argument three, which is perhaps where I lie in the entire situation could have been handled with somewhat better grace by all parties involved.

As someone who is often giving more than they should, especially professionally, I am learning to put up some boundaries or at the very least charge a fee in compensation for the hours I usually find myself spending helping other people solve work related challenges.

Are Millennials Entitled or Just Audacious - Newslibre
The digital world has given millions an open space to air out their thoughts more freely which can’t be said for the baby boomers and generation x who often grew up under a more conservative society which saw certain expressions as being defiant. (Photo by Helena Lopes/Pexels)

A couple of years back, I found myself experiencing burn out in my early 20s. A deeper investigation into the cause revealed that I had worked three years straight with no break, even on weekends.

I would find myself working 12 hours a day then taking on unpaid professional work over the weekend to help people who just needed to “pick my brain”. This burn out taught me a lot, the key being the need to learn to say no.

There is also a factor regarding differences in generations and the influence of social media in today’s society. Young people today are more open about their thoughts and are willing to express their views and needs unlike the older generations.

Social media has also played a huge role when it comes to millennials and why often they are regarded as an ‘entitled generation’. The digital world has given millions an open space to air out their thoughts more freely which can’t be said for the baby boomers and generation x who often grew up under a more conservative society which saw certain expressions as being defiant.

Humility and compassion aren’t rocket science, we should all embrace them openly

Coming back to the entire situation unfolding on the timeline. Should the young gentleman have taken offense over being denied someone’s time and intellect? Absolutely not. No one owes you their time, and you are in no way entitled to receiving help from anyone other than your parents.

On the other side, could the lawyer in question have handled the situation a little better? Absolutely! In life, I have come to accept that a little kindness goes a long way. What the young gentleman was asking for could have been answered in under 5 minutes.

It is not rocket science. As members of a young adult society, perhaps the onus is on us to help those who come after us. Surely, someone helped you get to where you are today, and in the event you are not in position to help or do not want to help, there is a kinder way to turn down someone seeking your assistance.

All in all, we need to choose kindness first as a society. Being compassionate or having some empathy for someone’s situation shouldn’t cost you anything. It’s what I would call basic one on one human relations tactics.


More from Mind Wreck: There’s No Virtue In Untrampled Virginity

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Author: Michelle Mboha

Michelle is an economist, early stage business adviser and a human rights advocate. She is also a guest writer for Newslibre.


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