This is a time when the quest for jobs is at an all time high. It seems like we are in a tornado created by unemployment, the economy and politics. Is this perception true? Maybe reality is simpler, with a lot of people collecting money without having to work for it. After all, who can judge them since the economy is bad and the poor soul just can’t find work.
Here is a dose of reality: we are now an entitled and lazy work force. We have no drive and little self-respect. Would we consider taking a job that pays a bit less and that allow us to make a modest living or is that step beyond the thinking today? How about taking two minimum wage jobs to support your family? It seems to be completely out of question.
How about spending tens of thousands of dollars on school only to find out your dream career requires you to work your way up to that position? No way! Work during your favorite band concert, who do they think they are?
The Stunning CEO Situation
I recently met with CEOs of organizations across the US and a big surprise that came out was how difficult they find it to hire into entry and mid-level positions. The jobs were available, funded and candidates interviewed. The message that came through was that candidates have a sense of entitlement. The CEOs reported an overall attitude from candidates that they deserved positions at $100k+ per year.
The thought process is like this, “Why should I work 40 hours a week for $35k when I can sit at home for $25K and not be judged by anyone including myself? I tell myself every day that it is the economy’s fault that I can’t find a job.”
Everyone wants the money that people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs earned in their lifetimes. It looks so easy to stand on that stage and introduce the iPhone and then sell a billion units. There is a convenient loss of memory about the garage days and the countless hours of WORK (gasp).
This lack of commitment to working hard is visible at the company level as well. Think about all the news articles on companies that expect a handout in order to make a product instead of finding a way to make it happen. Those companies will never be a success.
The bottom line is that no individual or company can be successful on someone else’s dime.
No Easy Fix
While the CEOs were eloquent in defining the problem, we didn’t come up with answers. How do you fix a society in one meeting? The answer is you can’t. You can’t make people want to work, you can’t make people respect a job, and you can’t make people respect themselves enough to work instead of taking handouts.
What we can do is start talking about this situation to give people the chance to rethink their attitudes.
People, the jobs are there and perhaps not a dream job but available and a positive step. Until we stop making excuses and blaming others this attitude is not going to change. As a matter of fact, it can get worse if we accept this kind of behavior. Organizations cannot continue without workers and cannot afford to pay everyone on staff $100k per year.
This attitude is corrosive to society and is a singularly powerful piece of advice. How many times have you gone to the doctor with an ache or pain to hear nothing is wrong and yet you know that you are overweight and lazy? This fix is to get off the computer or from in front of the TV to get some exercise. You’ll feel better about yourself. Or, how many times have we heard it was the teachers fault, I couldn’t understand what they were teaching? News flash: it isn’t the teacher, you are just lazy. Any fact can be looked up online and you were too lazy to get off of Facebook to look it up.
Workers, students, parents, and friends: let’s start being honest with ourselves and others. Let’s stop making excuses and help ourselves. Let’s help others to develop a better understanding of the importance of a good work ethic and to not expect overnight success. Life is not easy and sometimes it takes commitment and hard work.