What Do Millennials Want in a Career?

Michele Warg
Posted by in Administrative & Clerical Services

Millennials — those born in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s — are a working class all their own. Also known as Generation Y, this group makes up the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. With different values than past generations, millennials pose a challenge for many recruiters who are frequently unsure of what millennials want and how to retain them.

A Challenge

Members of Generation Y want to know they are making an impact, so it's important that their work be challenging and satisfying. Millennials feel fulfilled when they have the chance to develop innovative ideas and streamline tired business practices. Involve millennials in strategizing missions, and let them take on challenging and pioneering roles.


Millennials often become bored when faced with the same duties every day. Adding some variety to a millennial’s work routine may be as simple as assigning him a new project or pairing him with a new team member. Multifaceted roles with a fast pace are ideal for members of Generation Y.


Millennials are typically attracted to positions with a great deal of flexibility. A healthy work-life balance is a top priority for members of Generation Y, so the opportunity to work from home a few days per month may be more enticing than a bonus. Flex time and extra vacation days are other job perks that are likely to attract a millennial's attention.

Opportunities for Growth

Ambitious and goal-oriented, millennials like to know that the work they are doing is contributing to the future success of themselves and the organization. Companies that offer opportunities for professional growth, such as a tuition-reimbursement program, are more attractive to members of Generation Y. Offering millennials the chance to take specialized training or receive a professional certification is a great way to earn their loyalty.

A Voice

Millennials appreciate teamwork and association. They like to have their ideas and opinions heard while also collaborating with other members in the organization. Giving millennials the opportunity to work in groups or with a mentor increases their productivity and morale.


Millennials like to feel supported by their superiors, so they appreciate receiving feedback at regular intervals. Schedule annual performance reviews with your employees to let them know what their strengths are, and then offer suggestions on areas for improvement, if necessary.

Members of Generation Y seek more in a career than just a big paycheck and decent retirement options. Employers who know how to tailor their job offers to what millennials want have more chances to attract top talent. However, if you want this generation of workers to stick with your organization, make sure job duties remain attractive and challenging, offer more work flexibility, and provide regular feedback to acknowledge employees' efforts.

Photo courtesy of panuruangjan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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  • Gaylyn England
    Gaylyn England

    I don't think those born in the 80's should be in the millenia category as they are a league of their own. These youngsters have no idea what it's like to work for awhile to get experience under your belt before you start seeing promotions. They expect to be served with a silver spoon. Granted they pick up quick, they still expect things way to quickly in the workforce. They also have no sense of teamwork. So sad

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