Youth's mistakes: online venting about the workplace

Memoir writing makes one reflect on youth. My latest thoughts have been on what I call my "adult youth," the twenties, and specifically my journey through the workplace at this age. In 2012, I will leave my twenties behind. While it was an interesting age, it is one that I am eager to transition out of. I'm not certain if this happens to everyone that gets older, but now all the mistakes of youth become more clear and vivid. Just as I scoffed at adults when they told me inevitable truths, now I am scoffed at when I try to give young people a heads up. It is particularly disheartening when I offer advice about behavior in and about the workplace, because young people nowadays think that none of it matters. But it does. It totally does matter and anyone that tells you otherwise is a clown.

The inspiration for this post was an episode of Louie, the comedian Louie C. K.'s show. This was the episode that Louie's sister dropped off her niece and ducked out to Philly. The show began with a bit about 20-year-olds and how they have nothing to offer and yet they think they should be entitled to more than they've earned. It was so funny and so true. It really made me understand the perspective on the millennial generation in terms of work. My generation has been infested with rampant laziness, misplaced entitlement, and, frankly, a lack of simple tact and respect for their elder colleagues.

This is not to say that this generation is void of greatness. There are multiple groups I've come across that give me belief in young people - my memoir group and young librarians primarily. These are keen observers and sharp thinkers. They do not fall into the millennial mold and after a single conversation with any one of them you realize that you are speaking to someone amazing. However, those are but tiny segments of a larger group with all sorts of problems.

The problem I'm focusing on here is understanding why young people spout off online about their employment or lack thereof when it's an employers market. Employers get to pick from the best nowadays and they're not going to pick the arrogant little shit with a big mouth, tiny resume and online profile riddled with employer-bashing and "woe is me" junk. No employer wants to see that you are lazy, entitled and have a bad attitude. Speaking as an employer myself, I'm thankful for those that shoot their mouth off and make the bad apples easy to spot and weed from the candidate pool. So, if you are a young person, do yourself a favor and keep your sniveling in the privacy of your own home. If you post that nonsense all over the internet, you are just digging yourself a deeper hole in a situation that was already bad for you to start. What do I mean?

According to a November 2010 Foreign Policy article, there are 81 million people worldwide under the age of 24 without work. In the United States alone, the article says, 19.1% of people under 24 are unemployed - the highest percentage since the US started tracking this information. In Europe, that number is higher, except in Germany, cause they're awesome. The young are last to get hired and first to get fired because they do not have the experience and skills that make them indispensable to an employer. Even now companies have openings, but the youth coming out of college do not have what it takes to get the job done.

Based on these grim facts, you would think that young people were more diligent at hiding their weaker characteristics. They are not. They love to broadcast their shortcomings loudly, without shame and to anyone that will listen. And that won't help them get hired.

The sad reality is that my advice nor the advice of any other adult will be heeded. Young people will continue their whiney rhetoric and continue destroying their chance of being taken seriously by employers. When you are young, you think you are invincible. Unfortunately, that attitude will only lead down the road of irrelevance. Life's tough. Grow up and stop publicizing that you are a bad hire.

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