As I write this, it is a lovely sunny afternoon and I’ve hopped on a cab on my way to UP, sitting out EDSA traffic. Nope, I have no class on Wednesdays. It will be my first time to talk in front of engineering students, in the hopes of engaging them effectively to take the path of technopreneurship. It will be my first time to present the big picture, the advocacy, the realizable hope of a brighter future. It will be my first time to not do sales pitches. This is freaky and exhilarating, man.
Earlier today, I had the privilege of sitting in a meeting full of Gen X leaders in the conglomerate, talking about enabling the youth to be the movers and shakers of today, to deliver results in the move for a better nation. One of the people in that meeting happened to be the organizational development meastro of the brood, and shared of his sentiments on the youth of today. He expressed his sentiments on how, in his organization, young hardworking people can easily move up the ranks. He has however noticed that though the yuppies of today are madly talented, they (or we, for that matter) have a general sense of entitlement. Given this, he has observed that the young people are the ones who are usually let go, or quit because they feel they don’t deserve to be doing menial things.
This brought me back to the time when I was in my 1st job and I found myself sitting in a meeting where the executives were talking about one of the management trainees who resigned. During her exit interview, she expressed that she found the task of distributing flyers to be demeaning, that it wasn’t what management trainees were cut out for, that her friends might see her doing this task and might ruin her reputation. Hearing this story and realizing how much of a buzz this generated amongst the executives, I felt fairly embarrassed. Let us admit that this is not an uncommon account of events. We are stereotyped into a box labeled “the brood who think they’re too good to do small stuff”. Behavior like this unfortunately validates this stereotype. It is sad and it is true.
Going back to the maestro’s sentiments – as the meeting ended, he then reminds me to work hard and break through this box. I left that meeting room with a smile on my face. It is my first time to be in an environment full of Gen X idealists who, to this day, still have it in their hearts to make things better. I am loving this, man.
So you must have probably figured out by now that this is not a post about getting touched by the very first time, but doing new things for the very first time – things near to my heart, things with meaning.
My hope is that we think and act out of the box. Let us underpromise and overdeliver. Let us do more than what is required of us in our job descriptions. Big or small, let us do what we do with meaning.
There is no shame in hustling and immersing oneself in “ramen conditions” to achieve positive results.
There is no shame in being that person who reports to management on a regular basis, but also goes out on a limb to distribute flyers, staple documents, and fix directories.
There is liberation in breaking through preconceived notions of regarding menial tasks as not worth doing.
There is fulfillment in being the millenial who has transcended through the entitlement complex.
We can. We will, man.
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