Millennials and Entitlement

I felt the need to chime in since this has been a hot topic recently regarding Talia’s open letter to Yelp’s CEO.

My response is not necessarily aimed at this one issue of a frustrated employee who’s not making enough money, but rather a part of a broader issue: Millennials and Entitlement. Those two words pretty much sum up Talia’s letter, which may not or may have led her to being terminated; although I’m leaning towards the latter.

The generation of millennials get a lot of criticism for their opinions and perspectives. They believe in a certain kind of logic in the way that the world works, or rather, should work, from their point of view. Example A: Talia’s letter and current unemployment status. There were many factors involved that contributed to Talia’s opinions, but the top two were clearly #1 high cost of living in the Bay Area and #2 low entry-level wages. It is a known fact that San Francisco has the highest cost of living. On top of this, to expect the best paying job right out of college is unrealistic. Could more tech companies in the Bay Area pay more? Definitely. But this is what was offered and she accepted it knowingly. Yelp does have offices in Scottsdale, Arizona where the cost of living is far lower than the San Francisco Bay Area. This will give recent graduates a chance to save money and build a foundation for themselves while gaining “real world” work experience.

I am a millennial myself who worked at the Yelp San Francisco headquarters for a year and understand both perspectives. I personally wanted to thank Jeremy Stoppelman for giving me my first job out of college because it allowed me to develop and hone the skills that I use every single day in both my personal and professional life.

However, I think this topic is part of a larger issue regarding millennials and entitlement. My generation of fellow millennials have unfortunately succumbed to entitlements of feeling like they are “too good” for certain positions and jobs. There is nothing wrong with not necessarily loving a job that you have at the current moment in time. It just means you desire something better. This should inherently spark your motivation to inch one step closer to your “dream” job/career, whatever that may be. What is wrong is the utter lack of work ethic and feeling that you are owed or entitled to something and that it belongs to you. Newsflash: Nothing in this life is ever handed. It is earned. A rather simple concept.

As a millennial, we have grown up in a generation of so much technology- literally at our fingertips (most are probably reading this on a mobile device) that instant gratification is pretty much expected. Sorry to say but instant gratification for a job and career does not exist. You must work for it the same way as everyone else. To expect or demand anything otherwise is naive. I think it is a learning process for all millennials and depending on varying backgrounds, some understand it a little better than others.

However, I must say that there is also something positive to be said about millennials and the drive to succeed. Millennials are known as the dreamers and doers. Our generation is not perfect, but we do have a vision and are the ones with the desire to change the world. I don’t think it would be valid to generalize and criticize an entire generation. I just think with an open-mind and the awareness that hard work is how success is achieved, not simply given, will give us millennials an advantage in the highly connected, advanced and opportunistic world we all live in.