Millennial ‘Speak’ Strikes Again

If it weren’t for Millennials and their ‘all about me’ conversations, I’d have nothing to post on this blog. Just when I thought I’d run out of millennial material, I had an exchange with a recent college grad that left me scratching my head.



Recently, I offered a small, freelance opportunity on a college job board. The job entailed reading a large document for major content errors. I figured the project would take 7-10 hours and I offered $100 for the project or $15 to $10 an hour depending on reading pace. It’s not a ton of money, but none of the resumes I received showed any expertise in content editing, hence the low rate. None-the-less, I offered the job to a student who, at the least, had some interesting, although unrelated internships.


The student turned the job down which is fine. Not every job is a perfect fit.  It was the wording of their decision that left me speechless.


“A $100 does not seem worthwhile to me. Had I been a fan of yours, I might have reconsidered. It’s up to you to convince me otherwise.”


My first thought was that if I had fans, I wouldn’t be posting a low-paying job on a college job board. Had I been famous, people would be begging me to sweep the floors in my office for free. Here’s the deal. Neither of us are famous, but we have made a connection and that connection is the first step to networking. (Think LinkedIn) Maybe this is not the right job, but in six months another opportunity that pays more, may arise.


If you are lucky enough in this economy to turn down a job offer down, I recommend doing it in a way that leaves the lines of communication open. Hey, you never know. One day, we might both be famous.


  • MariaClara

    It is funny how some people see the world! I would have thought exactly the opposite of the student, and would go along with the professor’s idea. Getting a job, either directly from a professor or at college in general, is an important tool for networking, and it attracts new opportunities. Even if it is something that you are not so glad to be doing, it opens doors, and just one open door is what any college student wants!
    Just as an example, I am currently on college and work as babysitter. There was an opportunity to work for the college during the summer in a seasonal position, and I did not think twice! Even though I will be getting paid less than I get on my other job, I saw the opportunity as a unique one, and thought exactly on networking. And even if I wasn’t able to get the position, I would never use such words to turn the job down.
    But, after all, I am glad the student in this case did so, because that is what differentiates people who will succeed from those who are not. But he should have thought better… We never know who is going to be famous anyway!

  • Hayley315

    Wow , what a big ego. To apply for a position to then turn it down in a very unpleasant matter and all while insulting you as well is absurd. From the wording my thought it he wanted you to beg him ? regardless if famous or not, I believe people should hold others to a standard in which they hold themselves – AKA treat others how you wanted to be treated. Let’s just say with that attitude none will beg him/her of anything anyday famous or not.

  • rnelson91295

    People of generation Y have a noticibly different attitude about many things, especially courtesy and professionalism, that I would hope didn’t exist in such large numbers beforehand. It’s one thing to be generally ungrateful, or even snide in some instances, but in an environment of job recruitment, you want to have your best smile on and be sure to utilize all the positive mannerisms you’ve accumulated since you were in elementary school. To be so blatantly uncompromising is rarely heard of, even in this self-centered completely unaware generation of adolescents and young adults. When you read something like “convince me otherwise,” that would at first seem like a stab at displaying interest, but it’s really just a way to say “I think I’m too good for a job I offered myself up for.” No amount of money warrants a response like that, and it’s probably safe to say with that kind of overconfident demeanor, this particular person has their work cut out for them and will realize sooner or later that every person must start somewhere. What I’ve learned from freelance employment, above anything, is that no amount of money is more valuable than the connections you earn from doing impactful work and making a good impression on those you work with. Connections are what will secure you your next freelance job, and from working that next job you will get experience, and from that experience you will have a better resume and higher profile clients. To me, money is not an incentive when doing low-level freelance work, it’s a bonus to everything else I gain from my experience, so I make sure that my work reflects my ambition.

  • bryanp

    I couldn’t agree more with “keeping an open line of communication.” In the event that the student found no other job and you haven’t yet found another qualified intern, either of you could have reconnected and gotten the job done, however now thats no longer an option. It seems each generation criticizes the next but really and truly, it’s a matter of principle and ethics. I’ve seen peers with Associates Degrees advance more quickly than some with Bachelors degrees for the simple fact that one of them is more driven, one of them follows business principles and overall is more hungry. Interns often times work for free or college credit, so turning down $100 for a days work is actually kind of laughable. $100 Per day is 2,200 a week (M-F), or 28,000 a year (before taxes). Some people will wait for the perfect opportunity and miss life as it passed while others will create their own opportunities. Millennials have been misled to believe that can be an overnight celebrity via media or influential business but the reality is that even Steve Jobs and Peter Thiel worked their way up the ladder. While this opportunity does exist, you’re much more likely to meet like minded people in like minded settings, working internships and later careers.

    • bryanp

      ** 2,200 a month

  • evanpea

    i think the new millennials are independent in making their career decisions. the teacher seen amazed by this college grads attitude toward this job that see did not like. she didn’t agree with the deal. this show the confidence in the student.