I agree and disagree with the statement. On the one hand, today there is a sense of entitlement which is pervasive in our culture. Recently I was having a conversation with some new hires about jobs. They were complaining that they had to apply to “so many places” and got “so many rejections”.
So I asked them, “Did you cold call the company and inquire about positions?” and “Did you write resumes and cover letters that were tailored to the employer/reviewer?” The responses I got were “No, that is a waste of my time.” and “That is too much work.” then proceeded to describe how they got a college degree and that should be enough to get them employed.
In this sense, you are not entitled to employment just because you got a degree. There are too many degree holders today (a good fraction unqualified, but I don’t want to go down that road) and one has to do what it takes to stand out. That means putting in the extra hours calling employers. That means writing a specific resume and cover letter for each employer and positions. That means DOING WHAT IT TAKES to get ahead, and that concept of “effort beyond the average is lost to people today” partially because they feel they “earned it” without doing anything extra from anyone else.
Now, on the other hand, people today are also very self absorbed and apathetic. “Nobody owes you anything” is frequently used as an excuse to be lazy (not so different from above) and self centered to avoid helping another person. I agree that this type of attitude will contribute (and already is) to our downfall.
Ill use another example from a similar context. When I applied to jobs I got rejected several times. After I heard the bad news I would usually call the employer and inquire about the interview, asking what I did wrong or what they thought I could have improved upon, or what kind of candidate they were looking for. I got mixed responses: some people were very helpful, but the majority were very dismissive.
The quintessential responses were “I don’t have time to give that kind of feedback.”, “We don’t disclose that information”, “We will get back to you (never heard from again).”, or simply my call wasn’t returned.
Yes, I understand I am not entitled to that information, but it would be A NICE GESTURE to take 5 minutes out of your day to HELP a new candidate improve their job prospects via feedback and corrective action.
For example, a candidate would benefit to know they came off as too nervous, unconfident or too cocky, so on their next interview they could adjust and practice. It would also be nice to know if the position was simply closed. The concept of doing something nice for someone just to be nice and help another person, with no expectation of a returned favor is also lost on our culture. I frequently see people acting more important or busy than they actually are and it drives me nuts. Maybe they feel powerful in those moments, I don’t know. My usual response to assholes like that is “Oh Im sorry, I forgot you are negotiating those mergers with Google for your fortune 500 company. It must be tough being CEO.” Ironically, most CEOs I have met have been very nice and helpful.