Maybe we just ran out of things to write about millennials (false), but another socioeconomic 20-something stereotype has emerged and it’s called the muppie. Not too long ago, we introduced you to the Yummy — the HSBC-coined term for young urban males with money. The metrosexual 2.0, who like its predecessor the yuppie, has created a period of economic growth and potential within the luxury market.
However, unlike the Yummy, which allegedly had market research study results and numbers to back its existence, the muppie is more or less a career and ego-driven classification developed through social commentary. The muppie was introduced by Michelle Miller, author of e-series The Underwriting on the Huffington Post. She writes:
She wears Lululemon to Soul Cycle each morning before heading to the office of her Big Name consulting/banking/law firm, a role she started after completing her liberal arts degree at a prestigious university and moving to NY/SF/LA with two sorority sisters to replicate a lifestyle she learned about from “Sex and the City.” She spends an hour of each workday on blogs, 30 minutes online shopping, 40 minutes thinking about finding a new job and a cumulative hour considering in equal parts what she’s going to eat for lunch, her next vacation and how much her job is a waste of her talent. She will shortly leave said name-brand firm for a start-up or company run by someone under the age of 40, but will take a month off beforehand to go travel abroad and find herself.
Obnoxiously specific — but does it sound like someone you know? Does it sound like you?
While Miller primarily links the term to female millenials, the muppie is described as generally gender-less, deemed a “swath of highly-educated, social, outspoken 22-35 year olds that might, in a previous era, have been called ‘yuppies.’”
Now does it sound more familiar?
Miller says the recession is to blame for unevolved muppie types, as they “might very well have uneventfully followed their yuppie predecessors up the corporate ladder and out to the country clubs in the suburbs.” The demographic emerged when the yuppies of yore saw darker times following the economic crash (“when Lehman collapsed”), leaving 20-somethings and new grads to follow a new, more sustainable path to success.
The priorities of the muppie are fairly transparent — and pretty predictable if you’re already familiar with your average 20-something in America. For example, Klout outranks cashflow, because “Why pay for a private jet when you can convince a private jet company to give you one for free in exchange for exposing their brand to your 10,000 Instagram followers?” Networking hangouts (Summit Series, SXSW) and professional ambitions (acquiring venture funding, building a strong personal brand) are superficial and vain in a way that screams “Look at me! Look at me!” in true millennial fashion. They share a common goal of “changing the world,” which is both refreshing and self-benefiting. Think of it as the Blake Mycoskie effect.
Urban Dictionary even has its own definitions of the muppie — that are not quite the same — the first hilarious entry reading:
Middle-age urban professionals, aging yuppies, aging metrosexuals...typical preppy or conservative attire, Starbuck consumers, iPhone owners, luxury car drivers, town house or condo in the city, and regularly posting selfies on FaceBook while on vacation.
George Clooney, Steve Carell, Brian Williams, Barak Obama are examples of high end muppies.
Meanwhile, Miller’s muppies are actually finding themselves not seeing eye-to-eye with their Baby Boomer bosses. No matter how fundamentally similar, there’s a lapse in belief systems between muppies and the Boomers/Former yuppies — the newer expressing concern that following the priorities and paths taken by their elders will lead them to their own version of the 2008 recession.
Doesn’t sound so good, does it? It really fulfills the much-debated 2013 Time story of “The Next Greatest Generation” of highly-intelligent, self-entitled employees who can’t respect authority. But here’s the thing — it’s not a bad thing either. Miller encourages Boomers to recognize and embrace these differences to create a more harmonious relationship. But how? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. In addition to dissecting millennials in every shape, way, and form — the market for teaching (fed up) bosses how to navigate this profession-driven portion of the generation (who were clearly muppies all along) in the workplace is aplenty.
Back in 2012, Forbes released a guide on how to understand and engage millenials in the workplace (lol), putting a focus on a reward-based system that recognizes young employees by name and trains them to succeed. A revisted version came in 2014.USA Today studied the “pushback” of millennials who, unlike their elders, seek an engaging, team-based workplace earlier this year. And just yesterday, Entreprenur.com published an article entitled “7 Must-Know Tips for Managing Your Millennial Sales Team,” encourgaging similar tactics.
While these are all well and good, we suppose the key may be for the elder to remember that they were once the muppies of their own generation. While the paths taken and what’s considered to be payoff have changed, the ideals and goals remain the same. As it seems: