When it comes to our dream career, some of us know exactly what we want, while others (okay, most) are still trying to figure it out. And that’s okay, because from bonafide #girlbosses to girls still celebrating graduation, being happy in our work life is just as important as being happy outside of our nine-to-five. But a lot of companies are confused about what being happy at work really means to millennials. So, Gallup researchers conducted a new survey to try to find out exactly what this generation wants out of their careers, and the results are kind of surprising.

woman working on laptop

The 70-million millennials in the US workforce, born between 1980 and 1996, want what most generations before them wanted — a steady job of 30+ hours per week that brings in a regular paycheck. Slightly different from generations before them? Millennials say that they don’t just want to just show up for work, but rather, be engaged with their jobs.

But that desire, compared to the reality, is the problem, according to the study. Currently, a whopping 71 percent of millennials aren’t engaged or are actively disengaged at work. That’s most definitely a factor in one of the themes that Gallup says describes millennials collectively: unattached. In fact, 93 percent of millennials surveyed reported that the last time they took a new role, they switched companies (in other words, only 7 percent stayed at the same company!). Also, 47 percent of actively disengaged millennials would switch jobs in the next year, if the market improves.


According to Gallup, millennials as a whole are also idealistic. They want their work to be worthwhile, and 87 percent of millennials say that career development at a job is important to them. Meaning, it’s not a group of folks to clock in and clock out without furthering their career.

The study goes on to note that “Millennials want to understand how they fit in with their jobs, teams and companies. They look for work that fuels their sense of purpose and makes them feel important.” Plus, as one of the most highly educated and technologically-connected generations, millennials tend to approach the workplace trying to understand what the benefit is for themselves (beyond the paycheck).

Unfortunately, there’s still a bit of a disconnect between these values and the old guard in corporate companies. We’re hoping that as millennials, boomers and Gen X learns more about one another, they’re able to collaborate more effectively and all find work that fulfills them.

Do you agree with the study? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)