Sunday, January 16, 2011

Volume 3 Issue 3: Two-Cent Economics

The Entitlement Attitude - Part 2

From part 1, we saw how Malaysian fresh graduates develop their entitlement attitude. In the last issue, we discussed the high demands of fresh graduates in terms of benefits and pay before accepting a job. In this issue, we will look at some further examples of Malaysian fresh graduates with extremely poor attitude.

Another common manifestation of the entitlement attitude is in the high frequency that Malaysian fresh graduates hop jobs. Typically a lot of these fresh graduates change jobs within six months of starting work. One of the most common reasons is that they feel that they are not interested in the job. Or in other words, they find it boring.

Usually, this is not so much because the job is mundane, but because in the first six months of a job, there is only so much a newbie can do. The fresh graduates have yet to pick up all the necessary skills and knowledge to contribute meaningfully to the business. In the mean time, they are stuck with what they think are basic and menial jobs to familiarize themselves with the workplace and culture. In less than six months, there is really not much they can learn about their job, much less learn about the career that they are trying to pursue. Such is the naivete and impatience of Malaysian fresh graduates.

What makes it worse is that they typically resign from their positions before they are able to get a new one. There is so much complacency that they would rather remain jobless for weeks and months on end than stick it out with their existing job. In the face of a little discomfort, Malaysian fresh graduates react in their ever-so-big shot kind of way with their nose held high by leaving their jobs without future plans.

Then they take a several month hiatus to go on a backpacking trip in the Andes or Alps or somewhere exotic like that. All under the account of their parents. There is seriously no embarrassment in being completely dependent on their parents. In fact, they still feel like their parents owe it to them.

Another main complaint from Malaysian fresh graduates is that their job is too troublesome. Some of these fresh graduates feel that going out of their way to complete a task is not within their job scope. They even have the nerve to cite the fact that the related task was not spelled out in their offer letter, therefore it is not their responsibility to complete the task. Did they forget that whatever the task that needs to be done is most likely for the sake of the clients? Be it in sales, or in manufacturing, or in the finance industry, the clients are the ones that ultimately pay their salary. If the company does not take care of its clients, then there will be no future business. If there is no future business, the company would then have to shut down, and guess who will be out of a job?

There will be times when we are called upon to go out of our way to cater for the needs of the clients. In fact, one should even feel proud to be able to render this extra service to our customers because we have managed to make their lives better. In doing that, they may even give the company further recurring business. One must not underestimate how a little effort can go a long way. I have already shared the story about great customer service  and first world thinking here.

Needless to say, the list goes on. My goal is not just to highlight the poor attitude that is inherent Malaysian fresh graduates. In fact, the group I am referring to may not even cover ALL Malaysian fresh graduates, but it is safe to say that many (enough) are in this group that they need to be made aware of the atrocities that they are portraying. So until now, the goal was to hopefully create the self-awareness to brutally examine our own thoughts and actions to see if we were guilty of such entitlement behavior.

In the next part, we will look at some ideas on how we can overcome this entitlement attitude in a useful and realistic manner.

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