Being “Entitled” in the Workplace

Published January 4th, 2016
By: Liz Valpatic, Administrative Assistant and Marketing Coordinator

I’m part of the generation that has, unfortunately, been coined the “Entitled Generation”.
It’s true, look it up!
Millennials, Gen-Y, Generation Me…Entitled Generation.

Such a negative term blankets such a large percentage of people. We are deemed “self-centered narcissists,” lacking empathy, overreacting to criticism, favoring ourselves, and pursuing the notion that “everyone is special, but especially me”.
Needless to say, I knew I had a huge stigma to combat when I took my first full time job out of college at Woof Boom Radio.

A little background on myself: I was born and raised in Valparaiso, Indiana. I graduated from Valparaiso High School in 2010 and decided to attend Ball State University. From there, I graduated with a degree in Telecommunications: Sales and Promotions with a Marketing minor. I wanted to stay in Muncie after graduation and give back to the community that I called home for 4 years as I pursued my degree and I was more than excited to start work at Woof Boom Radio in May of 2014 as the Administrative Assistant and Marketing Coordinator.

Growing up, my parents successfully dodged the “helicopter parent” stereotype that accompanies my generation’s shortcomings and raised me to be respectful, to live by the Golden Rule, to love others, to always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, and to ask forgiveness when I wronged someone. Good job, mum and dad!

That’s not to say that all of those things come completely natural to me, especially the ‘respectful’ part. I always struggled with “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it,” and I was constantly getting in trouble for ‘mouthing off’ (which is just a different way of saying that I was very rude to a lot of people).

Luckily for me, I get to work with a lot of people from different walks of life. We are all different ages at different stages with different beliefs and different work styles and I find myself constantly learning from each of them.
I strongly believe it is because of our differences that they all treat me like I belong, like I’m not a recent college grad with no relevant workplace experience. They see past my flawed generation and notice the potential I offer.

I’m finding out there are always missteps in the journey to being respectful, and, to be honest, I have found myself off of the path more times than I would like to admit. I have witnessed firsthand that having a bad day can cause you to react without thinking first. Arguing behind a computer can cause you to say something you don’t mean. Failing to put yourself in someone elses shoes can cause you to deeply offend without realizing.
But, slowly, I’m also learning that being respectful looks more like putting someone else first, considering their side, and reacting accordingly. It’s learning from all the times you were disrespectful, owning up to it, apologizing for being so, and never making that mistake again. It’s treating others the way you would want to be treated (the Golden Rule, ladies and gentlemen).

You might look at me, do the math, and calculate that I am part of the “Entitled Generation”, but it’s my hope that once you get to know me, I am everything but.

That’s me, in the red!