Millennials, Gen X’s favourite punching bag, are routinely criticized for being entitled and lazy.
And yet, the largest generation of Canadians (making up 27% of the total population) is changing the face of business. As the card-carrying members of Generation Y take on more leadership roles, they are redefining what it means to be the boss, and what it means to work.
While every marketer and news outlet is trying to understand the inner workings of Generation Y, we chatted with CEO/Founder of Rozaay Management and CMO/Co-Founder of Atlas365 Inc., Randy Osei to discuss how this generation operates in the workplace.
In a recent study, 90% of millennials surveyed said being an entrepreneur isn’t necessarily about starting a company but having a certain mindset. Someone who is a “self-starter, risk-taker, visionary and someone who spots the opportunity.” Osei fits the bill perfectly. After founding and running his successful marketing firm Rozaay Management, Osei and a friend jumped at an exciting new opportunity.
“When my best friend came home from law school and said there is going to be a shift soon, and we should get ahead of the curve to help narrate some of the opportunities ahead of us, I was on board. In creating Atlas 365, outside of Rozaay Management, we created a new avenue from which we could explore the cannabis space without attaching the Rozaay Management brand to stigmatized raw materials,” shared Osei.
While Osei is part of a growing number of millennials who are creating their own business, many are also turning to the freelance lifestyle. Freelancing comes with the same self-starter and risk-taker attitude but has the added bonus of a much more flexible work schedule and location.
Non-Traditional Work Environment
A 9-to-5 in an office cubicle just doesn’t cut it anymore. Millennials are already demanding more flexible work options, such as working from home or flexible working hours. In fact, working from home is steadily rising in popularity as many millennials cite that they’re more productive working from home. An evolving work environment is also something Osei is very familiar with.
“Having a healthy balance between work, family life, staying active and having a social life will help keep you going. Understanding that ideas do not have office hours will definitely put things into perspective for entrepreneurs. Finding your creative process is also important because if you can find out what helps you focus and execute ideas, you have won half the battle. Lastly, I enjoy working at my office but I always have my laptop on me so as long as there is WiFi I can work from anywhere,” shared Osei.
“When I started Rozaay Management, I didn’t even know what corporate citizenship or social responsibility was. It wasn’t until my first ever trip to Ghana in 2016 that I made it important that we always look at ways to give back. 2017, we launched the #rmbooksneakerdrive and since then we have been able to impact over 700 lives and counting. I always envisioned myself helping others through my work but never in my wildest dreams could I see myself helping the planet the way we plan to with Atlas 365 Inc,” Osei explained.
Osei is part of the 94% of millennials recently surveyed who want to use their skills to benefit a cause. In fact, millennials are more likely to be loyal to a company that values causes like protecting the environment and matches profit with purpose.
Work Hard And Do Your Thing
“Myself and the people around me are passionate and don’t believe in ‘work.’ We see everything as an opportunity,” Osei shared. Giving voice to a generation, Osei’s shares many millennials’ attitude towards work. Millennials are driven by their passion more so than previous generations, and they place an emphasis on working hard. So much so in fact that many are willing to relocate or add to their commute for a better job. So all those stereotypes of Gen Y being lazy and entitled just aren’t true.
And for those looking to follow in Osei’s entrepreneurial footsteps, he shared some words of wisdom:
“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from being an entrepreneur is having to learn as you go and being able to adapt. There is no manual or ‘how to’ book that I can download on ibooks to figure out this lane we’re in. It’s scary, but more so very exciting!”