Am I an Entitled Employee?

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Now that I have a super solid emergency fund (and FU fund) I carry around many expectations of my employer. Plus, I’m an entitled millennial, so I have that going for me too! Thus, I shouldn’t have been surprised last week when one of my coworkers stated that I should be more grateful for what our employer covers!

Entitled employee and how to act like one
Unfortunately, for now I work for the money.

Let me give you the backstory. Last week, in a staff meeting, some of my more senior coworkers were marveling at employer perks (in this case paid lunch when traveling for work) that I frankly expect (and sometimes find a bit stingy). I made a comment about how I expect to have my lunch covered when I’m forced to travel out of town and I expect to get to attend trainings that enable me to do my job better. **Cue the appalled looks from my coworkers.**

Of course, those same people giving me weird looks also get to keep their employer paid health insurance after retiring. That’s something that us very few of us US based millennials have been offered. So, hey, I’ll gladly exchange my free lunch for cheap health insurance for life.

The Job Market is Strong

I can afford to be “entitled” now, since the job market in my field is strong. If it weren’t for the nice perks of my awesome tax advantaged double 401k, 457 account I may have jumped ship by now! But that equals a 25% bump in my pay since I pay so little in taxes by maxing those two things each year.

If a new job was tough to find, maybe I wouldn’t be acting so “entitled.”

My Entitled Expectations of My Employer

Here’s what I expect from my employer:

How to become an entitled employee to make more money
I use that money to buy beer and save for retirement.
  • A stable workspace that is mine (I live 1/3 of the hours of my day in cubicle land) – BTW I’ve had to move cubes 3 times in less than two years and not fought it. There are rumors of a fourth move coming up, that may be one too many with no change in role. Also, rumors? Why can’t people just be up front?
  • A free lunch on days when I’m in the field. I travel a few days each month for work and spend about a dozen nights out of town each year. I expect my lodging and food to be covered.
  • A work vehicle, rental car, or mileage reimbursement for that travel.
  • Competitive pay and benefits.
  • A safe workplace.
  • Respect, regardless of years of service, title, or station.

What My Employer Should Expect of Me

Now, I don’t get to carry those entitled expectations without providing something in return! I only expect those things because I contribute something(s) to my employer and workplace:

  • mostly pleasant attitude and friendliness to coworkers.
  • Quality and on-time work.
  • Initiative to take on projects and anticipate team needs.
  • Willingness to travel and stay overnight when needed to complete my job.

Benefits of Being An Entitled Employee

But you know what being entitled has equated to:

promotions, raises, and getting noticed by leadership.

How to become an entitled employee to make more moneySetting expectations for how I’m treated at work lead to quick career progression at my first job. Then it made finding a new job an easy change. I followed these steps to quit and landed an offer to return in the future if the new job didn’t pan out.

Some of my coworkers have proposed that those expectations and entitlements may make them “not a team player.” However, in my experience, the opposite has been true. And hey, maybe my employers are unique, but I’d guess that my experience at an international corporation with over 15,000 employers and, then, in state government isn’t all that special. I wouldn’t call either of my employers progressive.

But, in both cases I have quickly grown my salary and responsibilities. Including doubling my salary in my first year of employment. You know how I did that one? I asked for it, first when I started and again 3 months later after I had a proven track record.

No, I’m Not An Entitled Employee

Even with my not so crazy dreams of FIRE and flush emergency fund, I wouldn’t call myself entitled. I am not an entitled employee.

How to become an entitled employee to make more money
Work can buy me this lunch.

I understand that jobs can be difficult to land (I did graduate college during the recession), but being a good employee goes a long way. And, for me, being a good employee includes taking breaks from work on weekends and evenings. I need to recharge so that I am creative and ready to solve problems at work.

Setting boundaries and reasonable expectations helps me give more to my employer. It has been my strategy since year 3 of working…I may have burned myself out a bit to far during those first two years. This is all much easier to say and do since I no longer have non-mortgage debt. But, for me, it’s all about showing up at work and checking out when I’m gone.

How do you balance work expectations? What are your “entitled” employee requests?


6 comments on “Am I an Entitled Employee?”

  1. Okay – getting food and lodging covered for work travel should be a given. That’s crazy. But any job that has forever health insurance wins in my book.

  2. Reply

    I disagree with your expectations of the job and your employers expectations of you. You should expect a fair shot at advancing all the way to the CEO’s job and the millions of dollars that go with it, realizing you may not want it, doesn’t matter. Your employer should expect you to directly and verifiably contribute several times your cost (pay plus benefits) to the bottom line of the company. If your employer isn’t giving you an unimpeded shot at any job you desire and the money that goes with it you should leave. If you aren’t earning your keep several times over they should show you the door. Work isn’t about passing time pleasurably, it is about winning and then maybe getting out early. But that’s just my opinion, I’m a millennial’s parent, not a millennial.

  3. I agree. There are some strange attitudes floating around there about what you should and should not expect from your employer. Personally, I am used to being provided overtime food. That is not something universities provide because I am expected to make and keep track of my own calendar.

    So when there’s an important meeting at 8 am and you’re teaching classes until 8 pm, well… that’s just poor planning on your part! Most people just go down to the cafeteria to buy themselves dinner/lunch when that happens, but I’m cheap and refuse to pay for the privilege of working, so that’s when I break out the bananas. They’re cheap, fairtrade, and I can pick them up on my way to work for far less than any meal would cost me at work. Plus, there’s always my bag of oats and a kettle…

    I am always stunned when I hear about places that charge employees for their uniform. Workwear, especially uniforms, should be a dead given provided by the company to do your job. Doubly so if it’s safety gear.

    1. Reply

      Yes! Not necessarily uniform, but certainly items (such as gloves) that make the job much much easier are things that my husband has to pay for himself. I think that’s a very blue collar thing; the white collar environments I’m used to will cover basically anything within reason.

  4. Reply

    I think part of being a good employee is knowing your worth. Never be ashamed to assert your value!

  5. Reply

    When you travel for work, they should cover you for all the expenses(excluding non-work expenses that doesn’t involve food) because you are representing them when your going out of town for your company. I don’t know why your co-workers should be shocked that your company should reimburse your work travel expenses.

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