Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Entitlement Issues

I am currently looking to move on from my current job right now. Because of this, Jenn and I have been talking about a variety of issues and topics regarding jobs, what we think we are “worth”, etc. Now keep in mind, both of us are “educators” so we understand that our worth does not amount to much in real world dollars. However, we do understand that we are at least worth enough to be paid a livable wage. Anyway, one of the issues that Jenn brought up is entitlement. It may be a tail end of Gen-X or Millennial Generation attribute, but regardless, we feel some sense of entitlement about jobs. For example I feel that I am entitled to a certain level of position in my field because I have a couple years experience full-time and have a master’s degree. Well, Jenn questions that entitlement. She asks, “Do you really deserve a certain type of position? Are you not willing to work your way up”? Good questions indeed, and definitely questions I had not ever thought about.

The whole issue is pretty intriguing, especially because I think Jenn and I have some pretty hardcore work ethics for people of our age (at least according to our parents, and other people not in our generation). Yet we still realize that even we have some feeling of entitlement.

So where does this put us? I have had a couple job interviews and as of yet nothing has turned out. Partly due to that I am questioning my career choice. Understanding that I have a sense of entitlement makes me think that if I switch fields now, its no big deal because I am still at an entry level.

So these are the thoughts in my head on a Wednesday evening.


michelle said...

I always think that having a master's degree in at least a somewhat related field as your job should automatically put you in a higher pay scale and also disregard some of the need for "working up".

I have a masters degree and almost two years in my position. However, there's another person who has 5 years experience and a high school diploma who is always disgruntled they don't make a significant amount more than me, yet still makes slightly more. I don't understand that.

Leah said...

Just move to Chicago, damn it. The jobs will follow.


B said...

YOU are questioning your career choice?!!!!!!!!!!!!
about time.... SA is SHADY!!!!

Jake said...

Michelle - I do think if you have a master's you should definitely have a leg up on people that don't. Although, at least in the states, more and more people are getting more and more degrees...they are begining to mean less and less. Its pretty scary.

B - You crack me up... I am just following your example, and you don't even work in SA...

Drina said...

I think if you've worked hard for a graduate degree you should expect greater responsibility (ie better position) than entry-level BA/BS, but that's just me. It's frustrating having to work below your level, but it's probably a good thing that it's prompting you to try and move ahead.

My best friend had been working at this place for 7 years and earned her BS during that time. Even then her employerl kept her in the same position because it was convenient for them, though she should have been doing so much more. She got frustrated one day and quit, just like that. Quitting forced her to look elsewhere, and within two weeks she found a job in which she actually used her degree, and she was getting paid more than double her old salary.

Now, I'm advocating just quitting your job with nowhere to go. But if you're unhappy, not being challenged, and not being compensated fairly, it doesn't hurt to pursue higher goals and better employment, right?


Drina said...

Oh sheez, that should read, "I'm NOT advocating quitting your job."

But you probably knew that, smart guy.

Jake said...

Drina - thanks for the comments. I appreciated them. I definitely think it is not out of the question to think employers will exploit workers because they can. Too many times workers just sit back and take it.

No good at all.

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