Chicago native, TikTok influencer shares insights about Gen Z in the workforce

Val Warner Image
Thursday, April 11, 2024
Chicago native, influencer shares insights about Gen Z
Chicago native DeAndre Brown is a full-time influencer as 'corporate baddie' after going viral for his posts about Gen Z in the workforce.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Laughing through the ups and downs of working in corporate has been a hot trend on TikTok, so much so that Chicago native, DeAndre Brown was able to become a full-time influencer after going viral for his posts about Gen Z in the workforce.

Val met up with Brown at his alma mater, Marian Catholic High School, where they talked about him becoming the internet's "corporate baddie" and his opinion on what corporations are getting wrong about Generation Z.

Deandre Brown has come a long way since walking the halls at Marian Catholic.

"It's just so great that I'm now able to utilize my platform for people that look like me and identify with me to know that it is possible that you can be yourself and that you can go far in this world," he said. "I can't believe I didn't have a haircut though."

Now, he's bicoastal with bases in both LA and New York.

The Chicago native currently has over a million followers across multiple platforms and is affectionately known online as the "corporate baddie."

Asked how he became a successful influencer at only 24 years old, Brown said, "I was working in investment banking. And I was working from home. This was during a time when no one was really in the office.

"So then I started my Gen Z work from home series to talk about Gen Z and the workforce, not realizing at the time that that was such a huge topic within corporate spaces, on how do we engage, how do we retain Gen Z in the workforce.

"I've been fortunate enough to receive a lot of brand deals from some of the biggest companies like LinkedIn, Microsoft, Google..."

These major corporations have consulted with Brown on the wants and needs of Gen Z in the workforce.

There are certain stereotype s when it comes to Gen Z. A lot of folks think Gen Zers are lazy. Asked how he dispels these stereotypes, Brown said, "I don't call it lazy, that Gen Z do want to work but we just want to work in a different way than what we initially....or once saw as the way to work. This hustle culture, grind, grind, grind, grind, grind, grind.

"It's not effective. I think when you value your employees' mental health, that they will work harder at their job because they are in a clearer head space.

"This is what we should do. We should be setting boundaries, we should be taking mental health breaks and time for ourselves."

Along with being an influencer, Brown also has created his own consulting firm, Gen XL, that assists with influencer marketing, professional development and corporate consulting.