Being in real estate, sales and finance, I have had the pleasure of working with many different types of people throughout my career, but the newest generation of “worker” is fast becoming an organization’s worst nightmare. As I move forward in the birth of my own business, finding the right person for the job presents itself with new possibilities and contemporary problems. Gone are the days of working hard for what you have, and enter are the days of entitlement in the job market. Based on a combination of experience and business savvy, there are things that scare me with this new worker-in-progress, and reasons why you, too, might want to think twice about hiring them.
1. They are used to getting trophies and awards for just showing up
I could speculate that it all began in the 1980’s with the self-esteem movement, and if I did, I wouldn’t be the only one to draw that conclusion. There is an entire generation of workers out there born and bred to believe that they should get trophies and awards for participating. Because of this, I have seen a distinct lack of competition in the younger set to push hard and prove themselves, ultimately, creating a declining workforce.
2. They haven’t worked a day in their lives
Unlike my generation, who attended the school of hard knocks and had their first job by the time they were 15 or 16 years old, there is a new trend in the employment market of kids who have not “done their time” in the fast food or retail industry to gain valuable work and life experience. This creates a mentality of entitlement, coupled with unpredictable lack of practical knowledge and experience.
3. They lack self-discipline
Perhaps it is a direct result of “organic” parenting coupled with the self-esteem movement. I am no psychologist, so I am not qualified to judge the why, but I can evaluate the result. There is an overabundance of 20 something’s coming forward and seeking out employment seriously lacking in the self-discipline department. Workers that need resolve scare me, as they are not productive and require extensive micromanagement. That’s time (as a business owner) I am not willing to spend.
4. They are chronic time wasters
Between cell phones, Twitter and Facebook, employee productivity is down overall, but it presents an entirely new realm of poor workers when an interviewee cannot seem to put his phone down during the interview process –probably because he is Facebooking about it. This type of chronic time wasting behavior is a serious red flag to any business owner,serving as an indication that work often gets sacrificed in favor of leisure time.
Of course, I am not discounting the brilliant young and driven folks out there, if I could find one, but i must say that the new stereotype of the modern-day employee rapidly emerging in the workforce is a radical turn off to employers. My advice to the younger set? Fix it soon, and take a lesson from your elders if you want to have a chance of gainful employment and eventual leadership positions. Then again, there is an old saying that goes, “Youth is wasted on the young,” and coming from a potential employer, let me say, don’t waste yours.
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