Late last year I received a very nice invitation to a small dinner party featuring an MIT professor. It was an informative evening even though I chose perhaps the wrong seat. When I entered there were two open chairs, and, to quote the Knight Templar from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, “He chose poorly.” In other words, I picked one end and he spent most of the evening turned the other way. But what I got was priceless. Discussing many of the students he’d been getting for the past several years, he recommended a book, “The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement,” by Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell.
I’m finally getting around to reading it. It’s well worth the read. Especially if you are hiring or supervising people. Do you know any people who feel entitled? Who think everyone and everything exists to serve them? Who don’t understand why they can’t be CEO of a major company with fewer than two years’ experience?
The Dayton (Ohio) Daily News recently had a news item about the difficulty of hiring people for manufacturing jobs. One plant manager said that most applicants didn’t want to work eight hour days or work overtime–and that’s from the few who could pass the drug test. He said he could use 55 people right now.
In the Automation World Linked In Group, there is a discussion about whether automation costs jobs. But Jim Cahill of Emerson Process Management and the Emerson Process Experts blog pointed out that there were many job openings posted on the Delta V Linked In Group. I’ve seen job postings in many other Linked In Grroups, as well.
Have we as a generation failed to bring up the next generation with a work ethic? Or does this describe only a small proportion of the generation that’s under 45 or so? Are you finding plenty of younger people who are willing to work and pay their dues to learn the systems?
Thanks for highlighting my comment, Gary! If anyone wants to see just the Emerson Process Management openings, they can visit 5-pages worth on Monster.com at http://jimc.me/reXg4T
On your question, I see plenty of college age and just graduated with plenty of work ethic. My general perception is that they have different ideas on what makes a good place to work and are not as enamored with the org structures, work processes, and cultures found in many industries today. Our world continues to become more hyperlinked and less hierarchical.
Different industries and businesses are figuring this out and are adapting. One only has to visit a conference such as SXSW Interactive or the Consumer Electronics Show to see the vim and vigor of these younger folks in action.
Thanks for the note, Jim. John Berra always told me he was impressed with the newer engineers coming along. I just wondered how widespread the problem was–or if it was mostly the typical newspaper hype.
Gary, My blog post today echoes John's thoughts. It's about a summer intern in our Fisher valve division who put together a great tool for comparing emissions and pneumatic energy consumption between pneumatic controllers.
It's nice work for a process automation newbie!
Much better use of interns than in my day! Congratulations. Thanks for sharing.
There's a lot of blame to go around. I think family size is important; it's much easier to be spoiled when you're an only child. (I'm glad I wasn't, but I know a lot of only children).
The importance much of society places on "self-esteem" hurts.
But, how many companies are willing to train? If you're only look for people with a lot of experience in X (say, with Delta V) in a certain area for a certain salary, yeah, you're probably going to have problems finding qualified employees.