Trends | Young professionals in Silicon Valley and Beyond

Silicon Valley companies continue to prevail at hiring the most sought-after talent into unique startup cultures and thus at creating the world’s most innovative technologies.

In a recent conversation I had with one engineer working for a hot Silicon Valley startup company, he shared that employees are encouraged to, and actually rewarded financially if they, live closer to the office.

What then happens is that a bunch of the tech engineers at this company choose to live anywhere from one to six blocks max from their work. It’s a brilliant concept for a company to offer to pay an employee an additional 25K annually (I am purely speculating about the amount) and to reap the benefits probably tenfold by having that person essentially never leave a 1 mile radius from headquarters. Work and personal life become completely intertwined and indistinguishable.

Our selection for this entry is Nine Inch Nails Head Like a Hole. I remember listening to this eons ago. Doesn’t he have the sexiest voice? On the Trent Reznor kick, I have a dear girlfriend who once picked me up for a hike in her Mercedes convertible blasting Closer. It was around 7:00am. Awkward to say the least! Her hubbie is an uber successful Silicon Valley engineer. She thinks Trent is king. Maybe she was influenced by her match? What do you think? 

A trend I see time and time again is that a lot of Bay Area based female professionals (typically 20 and 30-somethings) will bear the burden and ungodly extra miles and wear and tear on their car to have the purported “city life” of living in San Francisco while still trying to reap the benefits of a great career in the Silicon Valley. In other words, they would rather be in their car for up to 4 hours a day down to the valley and back to the city in order to have the city options of close proximity to cool restaurants and quick bites, bars and hip spots, and the trendy gym. But beyond the cute cupcake joints and Bi-Rite, I find that it goes deeper… Women are very reliant on living inside their social network of city friends. The dense population of city living compounded by knowing a ton of friends equates to being more at ease socially when there is a large rolodex to call upon for last minute social engagements and, frankly, even just basic things to do on the weekend.  

Conversely, although I am generalizing a bit, Silicon Valley techie types could care less about city living and having close access to their best guy friends or late-night snacks at hipster locals like Delarosa or Nopa. Instead, I find that these guys are willing to completely forgo their popularity and replace it with living and working in the exact same vicinity.

Delarosa and Nopa are quickly replaced with In-N-Out Burger, Chick-Fil-A, and Barracuda Sushi – where meals are about extending work conversations with colleagues outside of the office environment and into simple, quick, casual envionments. There is not necessarily a right or wrong here, just mere observations about the culture in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

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