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Why a Sense of Entitlement is Detrimental to Your Career

A Sense Of Entitlement shifts your expectations to other people and leaves you vulnerable

Entitlement also breeds an inflated sense of self-importance

I have had those days when the skies hang low and everything moves in the wrong direction. Those days when you don’t want to step out of bed and face yourself in the mirror because, you know, everyone is unfair.

It is true we all want to be appreciated and rewarded for every accomplishment at work, but who sets the metrics? Could we be the problem by deserving more than what we’ve earned?

Yes, sometimes there is someone who deserves the perk better than you even if you break the last sweat to get it. This alone is disappointing, but not as breaking as the entitlement you have.

“Who even cares?”

The more you commit to the pursuit of your goals, the bigger the sense of entitlement grows within you and this contrary to popular belief that it gives you confidence, only breaks you. From biblical stories to ancient fables, being entitled makes you prone to failure. Do you remember the story of Cain and Abel?

Well, here is a snippet.

Cain and Abel went out to offer sacrifices to God. Cain being a farmer gave what he thought was God’s share in his harvest and Abel gave the fat portions of his flock as sacrifices and the good God was pleased and looked upon him with favor. Cain’s offering wasn’t appreciated and so he tricked his brother and killed him and a curse was placed upon him.

Let’s face it, if Cain didn’t feel so much entitled to God’s blessings he would have done better; possibly pick a lesson or two from his brother and offer sacrifices that pleased God next time…

But No, It Had To Happen There And Then!

Having a sense of entitlement is detrimental to your career. It makes you a difficult person to work with and a thorn in the flesh to your superiors. Needless to say, it inhibits your growth at a personal level because you know you have everything it takes to be the best.

Don’t get me wrong, self-confidence is your biggest asset, but that overbearing attitude; the belief that you must be treated better than everybody else without earning it isn’t confidence. While other employees are learning the workplace culture and positioning themselves for leadership, an entitled employee savours his privileges of the moment and complains when such privileges aren’t forthcoming.

While other employees appreciate bonuses and perks they were rewarded after achieving their targets, the entitled employee view them as rights— not rewards. This causes career stagnation.

Employee entitlement is common in the workplace today especially among the millennials who are brought up believing that they are special and must be treated as so.

Create Balance between Expectations & Reality

Entitlement is like insanity, those who suffer from it rarely know they are sick. You might be a victim of employee entitlement without even knowing. If subconsciously you have developed an inflated sense of self-importance;

  • Do you ever think you are irreplaceable?
  • That you can get away with major workplace misconducts simply because you are the best?
  • That doing only what is in your job description is such a great feat that must be rewarded?
  • That your superiors aren’t better than you and should know better?
  • That you should receive a pay rise because you’ve worked in the company the longest?
  • That you don’t get recognized for great things you do?

Well, all these are symptoms of employee entitlement. The best way to beat employee entitlement is to balance your expectations with realities.

There are situations when you might miss a perk, not because you didn’t do better but because someone outdid himself and earned the perk. This doesn’t make your bosses assholes, it simply steadies a culture of healthy competition. In a healthy competitive workplace, rewards and punishment work hand in hand to boost production and mould employees into better people.

There’s little you can do to influence your superiors’ decision on whom to reward and whom to punish, but you can do so much by adopting a better attitude. Changing your self-indulgent, arrogant and selfish attitude and recognizing that there are other people who can do a better job than you do opens a cap of growth for you. When a cup is full to the brim, you can’t add anything to it. Ensure you have enough space for much more. Here’s how;

Be an Asset to the Team- Working in a team exposes you to new realities, you begin to learn the strengths others have and how they merge to achieve milestones that seemed impossible. In working with teams, your weaknesses unfold before your own eyes and so are your strengths. You learn to appreciate the process more than the product.

Working in a team also helps you to develop interpersonal relations; you become a better communicator with your team members, customers, and other stakeholders but most importantly, it helps you appreciate the fact that you are nothing more than a dot in a maze; you need others to create a labyrinth. So yes, be an asset to the team—not to self.

Learn

More the knowledge lesser the ego, lesser the knowledge more the ego. ― Albert Einstein 

People who constantly learn about their area of specialty always have a space for improvement. The needs of the market constantly change and there is no way you can adapt to that change if you don’t learn. Household products that we used in the ‘90s have gone through a series of remodeling to fit today’s needs, workplace needs of the ‘90s are so different from now. Learning may not guarantee you bonuses and perks, but it sure makes you a better person.

Also, a learner always has the next step on the ladder in pursuit of knowledge. This ambitious pursuit leaves no room for entitlement to materialize.

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