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Work and Generation Z

The general idea among 18-year-olds seems to be that everyone should get paid for either doing nothing or receive an exorbitant sum for doing the bare minimum.

The general idea among 18-year-olds seems to be that everyone should get paid for either doing nothing or receive an exorbitant sum for doing the bare minimum.

I don’t want to sound like my grandmother even though by the end of this I’m probably going to come off a lot worse than she ever has, but seriously, what is going on with some of the younger generation when it comes to work?

Quite recently, I was approached by a young lady who proceeded to question me about my job like some forgotten branch of the Gestapo and while I was taken aback, I did my best to answer her questions.

The crowning moment came when she roundly told me that she would never, ever work for free and that if people wanted her to write for them, they would have to pay a certain (ridiculous) sum. I think the last time I had witnessed such entitlement was on a Keeping Up with the Kardashians episode. The thing is, she’s not the only one.

Life doesn’t owe you anything and neither does your employer

I recently read somewhere that 75 per cent of children want to be YouTubers. Not writers, not doctors, not athletes, not even astronauts. No, 75 per cent of our young want to parade themselves in front of (hopefully) millions of people and get lots of money for plucking their eyebrows while speaking to a camera. Now, I’m the first person to defend YouTube and God knows I love beauty and luxury vlogs as much as the next person, but it does beg the question: why does no one want more for themselves?

The general idea among 18-year-olds seems to be that everyone should get paid for either doing nothing or receive an exorbitant sum for doing the bare minimum. Everyone speaks about rights but no one’s willing to put their backs into it and take on the uncomfortable responsibilities. It’s so bizarre because I’m not really much older than Generation Z but my expectations were completely different when I started building a career a few years ago. I spent a long time working and interning for free because that was simply what you did and I wasn’t resentful about it either. I didn’t fancy myself the next Jane Austen and I’m always trying to learn more even though I’ve been doing this for quite some time now.

When I got my first meagre pay cheque I was happy and I certainly didn’t swan around making demands to be paid 40k a year like a 21-year-old who hasn’t even been to University did at an interview a few months ago.

Like everything in life, building anything up takes time, work, patience, and sacrifice. You’re not always going to leave the office at 5pm. You work weekends because a job needs to be done and people are relying on you to do it. You try to understand that, although you might consider some things to be unfair, you need to do them anyway because it’s better for the team. Life doesn’t owe you anything and neither does your employer.

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