What Happened to Hard Work?

Entitled. Lazy. Narcissistic.you can't achieve million dollar dreams with minimum wage work ethic

These words are used to describe the latest generation to enter the work force. I am sure you have seen the open letters, posts, and articles centering recent college graduates and their expectations of their first job. The attitude seems to be that a college degree is enough to start with a high position and even higher pay grade. Those who have been in the work force for years and who have worked for their success seem to disagree.

Gone are the days when an employee takes the attitude that hard work is what it takes to reach those top-level positions or to land a better job. It seems the trend is moving toward employees demanding higher wages, flexible work hours, and rapid promotions without having to put in the time or effort to gain experience. What happened to good old-fashioned hard work?

Unfortunately, I do not see things getting better.

resultsThe next group to enter the work place is currently sitting in classrooms with a similar attitude. Students feel they are entitled to a grade without having to put in the time and effort to earn those grades. Homework, studying, reading, and learning are seen as inconsequential and unimportant. Yet, the same students who refuse to put in the effort at school are the same students to accuse schools of not preparing them for the “real world” and then later take a similar attitude in the work place.

Yes, I realize students have never placed importance on their schoolwork. That is not the problem. The problem is the amount of parents who share the attitude that their child deserves a grade without having to put in the work to truly earn it. Parents, we need to stop perpetuating this attitude of entitlement.

Here is my challenge to you, parents:

1. Show your child the value of hard work.Difficult doesn't mean impossible.

Whether it’s helping with chores, completing schoolwork, or understanding the value of a dollar, I have a responsibility to teach my child these life skills. By doing so, I am teaching him the value of hard work which will benefit him later in life.

2. Don’t come to the rescue; let them struggle a bit.

As much as I want to make my child’s life easier than I had it, sometimes I just need to step back and let him struggle a bit. I want my child to experience what success after perseverance feels like firsthand. I want him to see that things do not always come easy.

3. Accept that sometimes they’re going to fail.


Jaime Mackey
Originally from Florida, Jaime has lived in Southern Louisiana for most of her life (so, that makes her a local, right?). She currently resides on the Northshore with her husband and son and teaches high school English. An enneagram 5, you'll most likely find her doing hot yoga solo, on her phone researching a random topic or sitting in the comfort of her home with coffee and a book within an arm's reach.


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