You’ve probably read this article on Mashable about what exactly to call me/most of this generation: not millennials, not hipsters, not yuppies. YUCcies: Young Urban Creatives. In case you didn’t read the article and aren’t trying to right this moment, here are the main takeways:
Getting rich quick would be great. But getting rich quick and preserving creative autonomy? That’s the yuccie dream.
Yuccies are determined to define themselves not by wealth (or the rejection of it), but by the relationship between wealth and their own creativity. In order words, they want to get paid for their own ideas, rather than executing someone else’s.
Yuccies are the cultural offspring of yuppies and hipsters. We’re intent on being successful like yuppies and creative like hipsters.
YES. I was trying to find the right way to describe the fact that I have amazing work ethic as long as I’m working on something I’m passionate about. I was trying to figure out how to say “I am awesome at creating and executing and planning but only if it’s something that aligns with my core values” without it sounding like “I only work when I feel like it and I can’t take direction.”
But we’re the yuccies, man. We’re the ones who don’t attempt the traditional career path – or do, but eventually leave it – for the entrepreneurial world where we try to create and make something meaningful every single day. We’re those guys. We aim for creative and personal fulfillment. We want to create, we want to find monetary success in our ideas, and we don’t mind saying so. And, we know… it sounds yucky.
We do Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs a little awkwardly. Creation is imperative to us. It’s one of the first things we need on our way to Self-Actualization. I mean, I guess it depends on which “block” you put creation in. I’ve seen it under Self-Actualization and under Physiological Needs.
We are actually more Chakra inclined (super Yuccie to say – identifying more with Eastern Philosophy instead of Western): Survival and Safety come first, but Creation is totally 100% next. And since lots of us aren’t having kids yet, our version of creation is “art” and “ideas.” We think. We innovate. We want to turn our passion and our brilliant ideas into our paychecks.
Think about it for a moment: Most of our parents were more or less forced into their professions. They got married younger, had kids younger, and had to work in order to provide for their new families. So while their creation Chakra was fulfilled by creating babies and family and community, ours is not. We’re different. We get married older, we wait to have kids, we focus on our work, and therefore our 9-5s have to be fulfilling. Creation is not babies (not yet anyway). Creation is art: writing, singing or acting. Product development, designing, or wedding planning and cooking. Creating.
But not only do our 9-5s have to be fulfilling: they have to pay, too. We have student loans, man. We have bills. We always find ourselves caught in this predicament: Can we have a fulfilling job that pays well? Can we have it all?
We shop around not only in terms of our jobs, but in terms of our careers. We switch it up a lot. We try very diligently to find our home and our tribe within whatever company we’re at. Some of us are lucky enough to find it and some of us are not. Wherever we end up, we usually don’t define ourselves by one job, either. Most of us freelance, intern, or work part-time on multiple meaningful projects. We have to get our ideas out there, and we don’t mind having to hustle to make it happen. When it’s creating something meaningful, hustling is good for the heart.
Working full time and freelancing (in true Yuccie form) requires lots of lists though.
When I had a corporate 9-5 I felt like a brat for not loving every moment. I felt like a jerk for wishing for something more fulfilling. Older generations try to make us feel this way. Be grateful for what you have. You’ve got to start somewhere. Bank account fulfillment versus personal fulfillment. It’s hard to find the balance, but as a yuccie that is the goal.
Listen: I’m proud to be a Yuccie. I own it. I love donuts and peonies and instagram and graphic designing and going to yoga and feminism. I’m a lot of things. I’m Young. I’m Urban. I’m Creative. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I know I have some pretty good ideas, and I want to be compensated for them. There’s nothing wrong with being an advocate for yourself. I don’t shy away from hard work. But I don’t work for free.
It’s okay to desire a good paycheck to do a job you love and find fulfilling. It’s okay to want it all. Sure, it’s a little against the Hollywood standard: I wouldn’t rather get paid dirt to do something I love than get paid thousands to do something I hate. I’d rather have my artisanal cake and eat it too. Pay me real money to do something I love.
Sure, it’s yucky. But guys…it’s yuccie.