Why young people HATE their jobs

May 30, 2007

I came across an interesting article on MSNBC American’s hate their jobs more than ever. The emphasis was on the new generation that is entering the work force. The problem is that companies do not understand our generation because no one has outlined the reasons in concrete terms that the baby boomers who run corporations can understand. Just a note to all you baby boomers you should really take the time to watch the PBS special about young people today, although the focus isn’t just on careers there are a few snip-its worth checking out.

So here are my top 3 reasons why young people hate their jobs.

1. THE PAY- Lets face it entry level pays pretty poorly in most jobs. And the ones that do pay well usually require significant sacrifices in terms of your personal life. When you work over 60 hours a week you tend to burn out pretty quick. I don’t want to hear all that BS about how our pay or salary is reasonable, or that we are so lucky compared to past generations etc etc. The fact of the matter is that living expenses are much higher now than they have been in the past, just take a look at real housing prices for reference. Not to mention the cost of education has risen as well and the average graduate has a debt of almost $20,000 dollars. So excuse me if your 35k job reminds me of an indentured servant.

2. OFFICE POLITICS – Who’s ass do I need to kiss to get ahead around here? Let’s face it most companies, even the ones who claim to not have office politics, are full of backstabbing and lies. At least in offices where its clear you have to play the game to get ahead in the rat race, there is no illusion and the best brown nosed yes man wins. However, there are more insidious companies that create illusions of fairness. What they call fairness I call red tape. Someone who deserves to get promoted has to jump through hoops just for consideration. And then it turns into a long discussion which waste peoples times and cuts into the bottom line, result the promotion is less than you expected. Joke on the companies who do this most employees who are smart already have other offers lined up elsewhere.

 3. LACK OF FREEDOM – Call us spoiled if you will but we were raised in an environment where our life’s have been like a buffet. We pick and choose elements we like and discard ones we do not. We partake in sports and activities we enjoy and grow by doing what we love and, most importantly, what we are good at. Work on the other hand expects you to do what they want regardless of what your strengths or weaknesses are. Most career paths, especially at the junior level, are so rigid that they cannot exploit talents we all naturally posses. For example most positions that are junior expect you to be detail oriented and organized. Although these are important skills there are those of us who might either be creative or analytical and could add value in other ways. Unfortunately, until you pass “the artificial bar” set by the company you will never get to stimulate that part of your brain. We want to feel the freedom that we can explore our careers and see what we will be good at rather then feel we are being molded into a worker bee.

Some of you might disagree or think there are other reasons, but from what I have seen I feel these are the big ones. A top runner up was “lack of appreciation.” However, I believe that this is something that varies wildly by managers so it isn’t a universal truth. A simple “good job” or “thank you” can go a long way. Instead we slave for hours over details that your VP whisks away with a single pen stroke without even a mention of your contribution.



  1. You are just trying to justify being lazy. Our generation wants more for less, and we wonder why everything is getting outsourced to China and India. You are not doing justice to the opinion of our generation. Now quite blogging and go do some work you lazy bastard.

  2. Yeah right Jish, I probably work more than most people can even imagine. This blog is work, everything I do is work. My motto is work smart not work hard. The world is changing and you can even be a sheep or make your own rules. Life is not about work life is about living, and working for someone else is not living unless their intentions are aligned with yours. Look where consumerism got us… global warming maybe. Watch the 11th hour theres a good ten minute bit that will allow you to understand that the 50 hour work week is not right, especially if the whole time your making someone else money. If you feel I should write my full philosophy on the issue I will do so, I just dont know if enough people care about the subject as most people are sheeple (sheep people)

  3. I thought this to be an interesting discussion. When I was in my twenties, I worked 70 to 80 hours workweeks. Sure, many motivated people will do this because it is what is needed out of college nowadays to get ahead in many professions. The problem with this is you have no LIFE, which is a bit depressing for a young person. One thing that my generation has a difficult time balancing is the requirements of work and enjoying free time. How many people would consider working 70 plus hours a week fun. Working hard to get ahead is great and honorable. It proves to others that you are not lazy and will do whatever it takes. However, the downside is believe it or not there is more to life than work and money. Life is meant to live and enjoy. If people don’t have time to enjoy life, I think that is a tragedy.

  4. This page helped me alot on a project i had to do in class!

  5. Laziness is a virtue. I will not waste my ONE LIFE in labor, working for some fat CEO who would rather spend his day at “work” looking at yachts, trying to decide which to buy, while I SWEAT. This is the first generation to realize how dehumanizing it is to sweat. There’s no excuse for the government not being able to hand out a $500 a week check to EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN, for life. Why work? We as Americans are entitled to the pursuit of happiness. Why should an artist be slowly murdered by forced work?

  6. This is exactly why I quit college and became an electrician, its so much better, more fun, and the job is guaranteed since so few people go into the trades these days.

    Good luck trying to function in the real world, you spoiled losers.

  7. Thanks for the comments. I actually ended up quiting the corporate world and currently working on building a business. You can follow me on 30 sites in 30 days.

  8. I’m 26 and have had a nervous break down, gained 30 pounds and now taking Xanax…… I have only been working in IT for 2 years!! The only people who I have found to have “success” are the ones who only focus on work. They are drones it’s very said, I wish they could see there is more to life. The main reason they keep going is because they all vent to each other and feel that it is normal. Call me weak if you want but, you know this 50 to 60 hour work week is getting nuts. I used to think that this is a part of growing up and becoming an “adult”. But now I see why my parents never went corporate America. My mom was a high school teacher and my dad was a cop. They loved what they did, even if the pay was not the greatest in the world. They are very happy, not stressed and have a happy relationship. If lots of money and stress makes you happy, you can have it!

  9. I LOVED this post. To hell with all the old sticks in the mud that hated it. “Lazy” is what we call people who aren’t doing what we want them to do. The world has drastically changed since then and you can now work your ass off at a 40k job and still be just above the poverty line. No thank you.

  10. While we’re dabbling in the area of Why young people HATE their jobs Bleak247, It is only but natural to get worried about a good job opportunity, as it is not an easy task to look for a job. There was a time when a job hunter literally had to become a hunter in order to catch the kill. One had to wake up early and get in line for many interviews. Even before that, a job seeker had to sift through numerous classified ads in the daily newspaper or go through a list of the jobs available at that time.

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