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“The peril of feeling entitled” by, Kelly Swanson

upmoHere’s a great little article from UpMo about how to be gracious and why you should stop complaining. It goes a long way! This is a must read:

Know Thyself: Feeling Gracious? Or is It Something Else?

Pardon our saying so, but in this economy, your stellar background, great track record, prestigious degree and glowing references guarantee nothing. You are not entitled to that next promotion or that next job. Yet if employers perceive that you are coming from a place of entitlement rather than that of value, they will shut you out. You will, in effect, paralyze yourself. You will damage your ability to act in forward-moving ways.

Do you ooze entitlement? How do you know? Are you frequently angry and resentful when things don’t go your way, or when people fail to meet your expectations? Do you believe you deserve a good job or to be treated a certain way by the interviewer? Do you think your network “owes” you for favors you’ve done in the past? If so, then others around you may perceive that you’re under illusion of entitlement.

One way to combat and overcome a sense of entitlement is to adopt the attitude of gratitude. Recognize that life owes you nothing. Employers owe you nothing. Interviewers owe you nothing. Your network owes you nothing. You may be smart, perceptive, and highly educated, but you have to admit: there’s always someone out there who’s smarter, more perceptive, and more educated than you.

An article in last year’s WSJ talks about how fewer people are complaining these days as a direct result of the downturn (and why you should complain less, too); the story also provides solid advice for how you can begin to adopt a more grateful, less entitled attitude. A clip from the piece, by Jeffrey Zaslow:

“Some people today may be smartly cutting back on complaining because they recognize it can be detrimental to their careers,’ says Sherene McHenry, a professor of counseling at Central Michigan University. ‘It isn’t safe or wise to complain at work these days. When determining who to let go, nonunionized companies first get rid of complainers and those who are difficult to be around.’ . . . Dr. McHenry encourages us to write…three things we’re grateful for every day — no matter how simple they might seem. ‘Some days,’ she says, ‘the list might be as basic as oxygen, food, and shelter.”

Other days, especially if you’re able to tone down the entitlement and dial up the gratitude, your list may also include your brand new, career-enhancing job.