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February 04, 2010

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Aaron Stern

Dave - thank you so much for sharing your personal experience. It is amazing how, just like an "immature high school student", we can continue to think we know it all and yet have no experience in life.

Sara - what a great reflection of the article. Sounds like you learned some great lessons to help in your growth and posture in the workplace. Thanks for sharing.

David Madden

Hey Aaron,
Thanks for posting this article. I’m a college pastor and have not only seen exactly what the article explains but I have also been guilty of it myself. When I graduated from Baylor my interviews were pretty ridiculous. I assumed I would be the CEO once they saw my brilliance and expertise. Then when I began working for a church at 24 I assumed I would be a senior pastor with a mega church in no-time.

The article reminds me that one of our responsibilities is to help frame reality and expectations for those who are coming behind us. People are human and their expectations will always be a little off when they are moving into unchartered territory.

Sara

Thanks for posting this Aaron. I'm 23-years old, and I'm guilty of some of the habits and expectations listed above.

Before my best girl friend and I graduated from College, we both had these grandiose ideas of becoming MANAGERS for our FIRST JOB! We couldn't believe anyone would want to hire us as anything less! We both found jobs that were above entry level right out of college, and we were both fired after 3 months.

Looking back, I see how accidentally arrogant we were. As the article says, we expect so much from employers... we want the moon and we want our boss to spoon feed us how to get it.

After being fired, I really had to re-evaluate my career life, what I wanted and what I was ready to work for. I've been at the same radio station now for a year and a half. That may not seem long, but it’s longer than I expected to stay here. I had to start out of the receptionist, but time and hard work paid off... I was promoted after a year.

I do have to remind myself, that I'm an adult and it’s my responsibility to be proactive and do my own research or homework... answering questions before they're asked of me.

I still have a lot of growing up to do, but I’m getting there :)

I do have to say, I SO MUCH appreciate my co-workers. I'm the youngest by almost 10 years in my office, and even then, everyone older than me has been doing this kind of work for many years. Still, they treat me as an equal, not the baby of the family. That alone, as the article explains, sends such positive messages to me and encourages me to work all the more harder.

Thanks again for sharing!

Sara

Thanks for posting this Aaron. I'm 23-years old, and I'm guilty of some of the habits and expectations listed above.

Before my best girl friend and I graduated from College, we both had these grandiose ideas of becoming MANAGERS for our FIRST JOB! We couldn't believe anyone would want to hire us as anything less! We both found jobs that were above entry level right out of college, and we were both fired after 3 months.

Looking back, I see how accidentally arrogant we were. As the article says, we expect so much from employers... we want the moon and we want our boss to spoon feed us how to get it.

After being fired, I really had to re-evaluate my career life, what I wanted and what I was ready to work for. I've been at the same radio station now for a year and a half. That may not seem long, but it’s longer than I expected to stay here. I had to start out of the receptionist, but time and hard work paid off... I was promoted after a year.

I do have to remind myself, that I'm an adult and it’s my responsibility to be proactive and do my own research or homework... answering questions before they're asked of me.

I still have a lot of growing up to do, but I’m getting there :)

I do have to say, I SO MUCH appreciate my co-workers. I'm the youngest by almost 10 years in my office, and even then, everyone older than me has been doing this kind of work for many years. Still, they treat me as an equal, not the baby of the family. That alone, as the article explains, sends such positive messages to me and encourages me to work all the more harder.

Thanks again for sharing!

Aaron Stern

Bryan - Thank you for your comment. Sounds like you had a great discussion. I think these ideas are worth discussing with 20-somethings for feedback and for putting developing a healthy perspective about life and work, I agree with your takeaways that the some of the entitlement may be driven by good priorities but the issue is presentation. There is something to be said for boundaries and priorities but it is important that it is balanced with a posture of humility, patience and respect.

Benson - I agree that the Church needs to talk about the theology of work more often. We must see it as spiritual and an expression of mission.

John - don't really appreciate the tone but agree that dropping the pride will not only help in taking any job but actually getting better jobs in the long run.

Bryan

I read this article a little over a year ago and had the privilege of discussing with some of my employers. I am 23 (so I am part of this generation) and I work at a church so it was a safe place to discuss both in regards to myself and my generation as a whole. While we agreed that this could and will certainly cause some issues as more and more of this generation enters into the workforce, we couldn't help but see that perhaps there was some good in this as well. I am not advocating a sense of entitlement but these arose out of things that we didn't particularly like in the previous generation.

1. My peers oftentimes saw the pitfalls of their parents being a slave to their mortgage and are therefore advocating for higher pay. While that isn't particularly to correct solution, the ideal is noble.

2. In general the previous generations saw worked more and more and spent less time raising their kids. A decent amount of neglect was what many were left with. They don't want to repeat that mistake. Again, the way it is handled by my peers is not the best and they usually don't have families quite yet but the desire for this correction is nonetheless healthy.

There are other similar arguments but since this is a comment and not an article of my own I will stop there. One of the best things I think those who are older and experienced along with those who have the privilege of being in college ministry is to walk with them through what it looks like to fight for healthy ideals in a wise manner and to walk along side them in growing in patience.

Thanks for creating an environment for this discussion.

Benson Hines

Thanks for pointing us to this article, Aaron. For those who minister to college students, I think it points out at least a few things:

1- This should be a need we seek to meet. Much of the impact we make as college ministers doesn't have nearly the immediate & life-altering application that preparation for vocational spirituality does. Yet this is one of the areas in college ministry we focus on least.

2- the article also points to our need to learn about generational differences, letting those differences impact how we do ministry. Because our audience is so narrow (and is untempered by the presence of parents and others from different generations), generational differences presumably affect our work more than any other area of Christian ministry.

3- This is also an area that draws a line between the work of college ministry and the work of young adult ministry. While both areas can learn LOTS from this article, it's clear that training for vocational spirituality looks different (and requires differences) when discipling "pre-vocational" collegians vs. "mid-vocational" young adults (some of whom are even younger than the collegians). The difference is more sociological than age-based.

Sorry for the thought explosion, but those was my first reactions!

John Crist

I hear the "i can't find a job" complaint all the time from people at the mill. It's BS. Fast food is hiring 24/7. People are just too proud to work there. They'd rather like on credit and be in debt the rest of their lives than to take a job at the bottom. P.S. mill setup team is not a resume builder.

Aaron Stern

April - thanks for your comment as an employer. With such a prevalent entitlement attitude it seems to me that a hard working, servant hearted, God honoring employee would make a pretty big splash and a great impression.

David - A partnership is definitely a valuable goal. I suspect that a young person who loses their job as a result of a sense of entitlement would get a pretty strong message about what will work.

Stephanie - It will be interesting to see if this trend continues or if a "course correction' will be made. Seems to me though that it will be difficult to change an attitude that is self-serving unless there is a heart adjustment since it is in our nature to want the world to revolve around us.

April

I'm twenty three years old, and don't feel I was raised in an unrealistic, coddling environment. I had parents who worked extremely hard for what they had, but I notice that among my peers this mindset has not necessarily drifted down. Particularly teens born in the early to mid nineties; as their manager I heard them threaten to quick weekly, sometimes daily, if conditions were not to their liking. It is important to remember that not only does the employee offer something to the employer, but the employer offers something to their workers. When I interview for myself or interview others, I keep in mind, not only am I evaluating them to see if I want them to be part of my business, but they are interviewing me to see if they want to be part of what I'm doing. This is what "at will" employment entails; workers can come and go as they please, and employers can hire or fire them as they please. It's a give and take relationship on both ends, to keep both parties satisfied with the situation.

David Harris

I read this article last week, and I think it's right on the money with my generation. I'm 27 years old, and I've been in the work force for a decade. It amazes me the number of my peers that feel like the company should be honored to have them as employees. While I believe that companies should take care of their workers, I don't think they should cave to entitlement and laziness, regardless of the employee's age.

Stephanie Augustine

I read an article a few years back that pointed out the differences between the Baby Boomer, Gen X and the Millineal generations in the workplace. It is interesting to see how each generation's work ethic impacts family. I am wondering if the Millenial generations kids might swing the pendulem back to the other side. Only time will tell!

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