City Slickers

To be Young. To be Urban. To be Professional. To Be Evolved. These are the commandments of the modern Yuppie. Read on to find out how to take your status in the workplace and beyond to the next level as smoothly as possible while maintaining a steady stream of income.
Text by Rony Mo | May 26, 2018 | Lifestyle

The Yuppie, or Young Urban Professional, conjures up horrific images of Patrick Bateman’s work buddies in American Psycho or the under-40 yet underwhelming cast of USA Network’s Suits. It was an ‘80s-era social construct that identified a particular type of businessman that called a Wall Street-esque skyscraper home, engaged in selfish interests and rubbed their achievements in your face. This type of person is in no way extinct, but they’ve been stripped of their title by the current workforce that’s shifted their priorities and become worthy of praise. This modern remix of the yuppie is at once exciting and evolved yet difficult to define.
The first thing to being a successful Yuppie in today’s world is to identify that work-life balance is the cornerstone of every young professional’s structure. If you’re a workaholic, you’re doing it wrong. Gone is the salary man concept of a 60-hour workweek at one company for 30+ years. Contemporary colleagues want employers to not only show them the money (and benefits) but also prove they won’t abuse their willingness to be a team player. Companies that take their top performers for granted will soon find themselves reading an elegantly printed resignation letter on card stock, while watching their rain-making abilities walk out the door.
It’s also important to recognize that alter-egos aren’t just for superheroes. Clark Kent reported the news for The Daily Planet and Peter Parker relished his career as a photojournalist at The Daily Bugle. Those professions allowed them to pursue their crime-fighting lives. “Work-to-live” should be everyone’s motto so you have the time to run your marathons for cures, volunteer for homeless puppies or moonlight as a sports writer. It doesn’t mean you’re a slacker, but rather intensely focused for 8-10 hours a day and de-stressing the rest of the time.
Once you’ve got that under your belt, you need to know that hiding in plain sight will assure you’re never lumped in with the tools in your trade. Who says you can’t come to work in a flannel button-down and Doc Martens and out-perform every one of those Nordstrom mannequin doppelgangers who Google the day away in your department? Even if it looks like you’re going to chop wood, you’re still cutting costs and making your leadership wonder why they didn’t notice you before. In fact, work spaces are becoming increasingly casual and collaborative because they’re more effective than the top-down approach of the well-dressed worker bees.
Regardless of your attire, you must remain courageous in leaderless and immobile environments. There’s no shortage of negative, panic-stricken people when projects are failing, but those who step up and lead by example will always have positive outcomes to show for their labor. The ability to motivate peers is just as important as being a self-starter, if not more so. Eventually, when the environment becomes too stagnant, these types of folks become collaborative consultants who save the day in times of crisis…or go off to form their own companies. After all, there’s no better boss than yourself.
Throughout it all, it’s essential to remain certain that living well is the best revenge. Unlike those who came before us, we know there are limits to resources and that our choices not only affect our peers, but also everyone’s future. What good is recycling glass and bottles at home when we constantly photocopy 40-page single-sided color documents at work? We could just as easily print in booklet format or read the e-version on a tablet. We live in a culture of consumption that still praises the most extravagant and ridiculous displays of wealth. We should commend sustainable lifestyles and those that help reduce our carbon footprints…no matter where we may roam.
Successful modern-day Yuppies are also tapped in to the pulse of their city. It’s just as important to be social as it is to be successful. Opportunities are often born over drinks, and a stellar meal can help seal a deal. There are steakhouses and billiard halls in every city in America, but hosting a client at a snappy jazz lounge or art gallery opening sets alphas apart from asses.
The new breed of young leaders shake their heads and turn their backs on the self-inflating egos of corporate bullies. They’ve grown up in environments that give back to the community, have positive mentors and shun aggressive tactics. Throwing off that cloak of materialism and learning to embrace experiential pursuits will assure the people whom once asked, “What do you do?” will instead ask, “What are you doing this week?” That’s the true sign of being a Young Urban Professional full of hope and inexhaustible vigor. And the possibilities are limitless.