Are Companies Not Hiring Millennials Because They are Entitled?
Is there a risk that college students will struggle to find job opportunities because companies view them as entitled? Even if you technically don’t consider yourself a Millennial (companies sure don’t know where to make the distinction), there is a lot that this generation of college students can learn from how your parents’ generation views today’s workforce. Can we shake this misconception around being entitled?
Millennials are getting a bad rap in the press these days. Generation Y, regardless of whether they have earned college degrees, is having difficulty finding work, leading more and more recent graduates to take jobs they’re overqualified for. According to a study conducted by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, over half of working Americans with college degrees are overqualified for their jobs. There’s no doubt that millennials are having trouble finding jobs that match their skill sets, but do they even deserve them? There is a growing number of arguments that supports the idea that they don’t.
Getting a college degree is easier than ever before. Online universities have exploded in popularity. For example, The University of Phoenix alone has over 300,000 registered students. Graduation rates more than doubled between 1976 and 2006, and have continued to rise since then. The most frequently received grade at Harvard is an A. Recent graduates, most of whom fall into the generation Y demographic, are feeling less valued than ever before. Perhaps this is because the value of their education has decreased.
One of the many buzz words referring to Millennials is GYPSY, or “Generation Y Protagonist and Special Yuppy”. This refers to the common notion that millennials were raised by their parents to believe they are special, different, and important; the protagonist of a life story in a world that revolves around them. According to an article in the Huffington Post, Baby Boomers were raised with conservative expectations about their lives, which were then exceeded as they grew into adulthood during one of the most prosperous periods of our country’s economic history. Those baby boomers then projected their greater than average expectations onto their millennial children, who are now disappointed that their lives and careers may not be as fulfilling as expected. The article goes on to assert that GYPSYs not only feel entitled but are slightly delusional as well. Because they have such high expectations of themselves, they believe they are being wronged when they don’t end up with the “special life” they always envisioned.
Judging by these facts, it seems that Millennials have an over-inflated sense of self-worth and that the value of a college degree means less than in generations past. So does this generation even deserve the jobs they aren’t getting? The answer isn’t entirely clear cut, and when it comes right down to it, it doesn’t matter.
Gen Y is coming whether we like it or not. Millennials have already become the largest generation in the US workforce, and will become 46% of the total workforce by 2020. As their future role in the workforce is inevitable, the best course of action will be to prepare Generation Y in the hopes of keeping them productive as they fill the shoes of retired workers. Some of the very same quirks that have been keeping Millennials out of the workplace, can be used to help motivate them within it.
According to a Study by the Kenan-Flagler school of business: Millennials value meaningful work and a sense of accomplishment more than their counterparts of Generation X and the Baby boomers. They also care less about high pay and responsibility. This means they favor collaboration over individually focused work, Personal enrichment over income, and actively involved leadership over a commanding and distant supervisor.
Keeping in frequent communication with Millennials, especially during their first weeks and months of employment is important to getting them involved in the workplace. Effective coaching gives them a better sense of direction to ensure they stay engaged with their responsibilities and avoid stagnation in their jobs. Providing collaborative projects can also help ensure that Millennials not only feel useful but increase their productivity by working toward a shared goal. Incentivizing success and providing set measures for accomplishment can also get a Millennials work drive into gear. Regardless of whether or not they are a good fit with the rest of today’s workforce, Millennials will be entering it. For this reason, alone we must take steps to incorporate them into the professional world, whether they deserve it or not.