What Millennials Look For in a Career


By Sheila Chiang

Hint: It’s not more money.

By 2020, Millennials will make up 35% of the global workforce. ManpowerGroup’s global research found that Millennials work as hard, if not harder than other generations, and are optimistic about their careers. They prioritize money, people and purpose. With career ultra-marathons ahead, Millennials are focused on developing the skills to ensure their employment security and build a “career for me.”

Those born between 1980 and 1996 view the workplace like how a gazelle sees arches of grassland: open and limitless.


If you answered “more money” as the biggest incentive to attract a millennial to come work for you instead of your competition, you need to rethink your strategy.

Bye, bye nine-to-fives

A recent study from the Intelligence Group found that 74% of Millennials want flexible work schedules.

Millennials view their work not as something that can be measured by hours or locations, but by the output of what they do.

This group of people grew up with advancing technologies that allow them to work from home or the local coffee shop, instead of 9–5 in the office.

Employers need to offer flexibility and freedom in working arrangements to attract these people. As long as the job is getting done, why not?


A collaborative work culture

Fostering an inclusive corporate culture helps attract millennials to work for the company.

For millennials, a collaborative environment that values open participation from individuals with different ideas and perspectives has a positive impact on business. Leadership at such an organization is transparent, communicative, and engaging.

As a fellow Millennial, I find a positive and open working environment where we can see the impact of our work, understand the value we bring to the organization, and are being recognized for our efforts, highly encourages contribution and input of ideas and suggestions.


Opportunities for skill development

Millennials don’t just want to spend their time earning a paycheck; they want to invest time acquiring the skills and knowledge they need to grow both personally and professionally.

They also look for companies that provide the opportunity to learn directly from a mentor. On a whole, 72% of millennials would like to be their own boss. But if they do have to work for a boss, 79% of them would want that boss to serve more as a coach or mentor.

It’s safe to say that companies who fail to invest in the area of developing young employees are likely to lose them. Millennials are frequently looking for purpose in their work, so allowing them to explore that space while they move through their career will increase their enjoyment with their job.


Supply the right benefits

Foosball table and free beer? Always welcome.

Millennials place importance on a company encouraging spontaneity or being a fun, informal place to work. Holidays are also on the top of the list of company benefits millennials would like to have.

This group of workers value a work/life balance. They appreciate creative freedom and the flexible approach to work.

Employers can consider their benefit packages to include free food and drinks as well as after-hours access to facilities.


To remain innovative and impactful to young people, companies will have to always ensure their corporate culture is fostered for a purpose-driven millennial workforce.

What do YOU look for in your career? Share with us in the comments section below!