The term young professional generally refers to a young person not in school, usually in his/her late teens or early-mid 20's, who is employed in a profession or white-collar occupation. The meaning may be ambiguous and has evolved from its original narrow meaning of a young person in a professional field. Although derivative of the term 'yuppie', it has grown into its own set of meanings.
Stereotypically, they can also be viewed as having an "obsession with success" and "plagued with loneliness." Alternatively, young professionals can be seen as highly spiritual and "seeking a spiritual outlet to balance their hectic working lives."
Impact and connections with larger entities
Young professionals can provide a welcome increase in a local area's tax base and can also create a snowball effect of attracting and infusing young energy and talent into an area. Young professionals can also organize themselves and bring energy to shape communities and alter local or ethnic politics.
In the workplace, young professionals can be viewed as talented and energetic individuals who present special management challenges or as "cannon fodder" to be cast aside once they are no longer profitable to a business.
As euphemism for "single"
The stigma that developed in the 1970s around singles functions and singles groups led some organizations to switch the name of their singles events to "young professionals events". However, other organizations specifically for young professionals insist that they are not "singles groups".
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- Ryan Kohnen, Young Professional's Guide to Success, 2009, pp. 1, 103
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- Engaging Generation Aleph: A Resource for Young Adults in the Synagogue, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, ed., 1997, p. 81
- Engaging Generation Aleph: A Resource for Young Adults in the Synagogue, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, ed., 1997, p. 96