How to Use 90s Pop Culture for Career Success

teehage mutant ninja turtles

The 90s were both an obnoxiously colorful bright and a depressingly dark time. We had the upbeat Montell Jordan party anthem “This Is How We Do It,” the Blues Traveler’s “Run Around,” released the same year as gangsta rap AZ’s “Sugar Hill,” and Alice in Chains’ homonymous gritty album. Just so I can get my cliché quota in for the day: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and it was times that can help us better our careers!

Too Much of a Good Thing

We were inundated with family-friendly sitcoms like ‘Blossom,’ ‘Full House,’ ‘Home Improvement’ and ‘Saved by the Bell.’ These sickeningly sweet situation comedies (that’s what sitcom stands for – you’re welcome) ran until their legs broke off; sure, they were chalked full of endearing characters, lovable plots and cheesy, easily digestible laughs, but too much of a good thing can be bad. For example, ‘Full House’ ran from 1987 to 1995, and if it ran any longer, it would start to get creepy, because why would a single father and uncle be living with their young adult daughter and their teenage twin cousins? That’s a little too ‘Flowers in the Attic’ for my taste. So, moral of the story: know when you’ve had a good run and know when to move on; if you feel stuck or see that there isn’t a chance for upwards mobility, take you Dad jokes and walk into the sunset.


The 90s were all about teamwork from boybands to the Spice Girls and rap groups (I mean, the Wu-Tang Clan must’ve had 3.002 members) collaboration was the soup du jour. Not only that, but almost every singer and songwriter was featured in other songs, probably making ‘ft.’ the most used abbreviation of the 90s. Yes, teamwork is a great asset for anyone’s career – that’s exactly what I’m saying, even though I know you like to lock yourself in a dark room illuminated only by the blue glare from your screen. If you do decide to leave the confines of your dark cave, you’ll see that there are people out there that will help compliment your weaknesses (which are many and primarily cognitive), and assist you in getting through many different tasks. I mean, look at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines (which is a super-weird fetish), Raphael is cool but crude, and Michelangelo is a party dude. See, in one team of fictional reptile teenagers, you have almost every task and social need covered. That’s my unpatented TMNT social inclusion theory.

It’s Easy Being Cheesy

Being cheesy was definitely something the 90s was really good at. Think about Steve Urkel, the Power Rangers and Vanilla Ice (oh! He didn’t intend to be cheesy? But he has a song called ‘Ninja Rap’…). Why is cheesy beneficial to a career? It’s beneficial because cheesy never takes itself too seriously, and inherently doesn’t take failures or obstacles to heart, but instead smiles and cracks an awful joke to the effect of ‘I just got lost in thought; it was unfamiliar territory.’ Or ‘I couldn’t quite remember how to throw a boomerang, but then it came to me.’ Ooooor ‘The experienced carpenter had it nailed, but then the new guy screwed everything up.’ OK, I’m getting a sign from the back of the room that my time is up. Thank you, and have a nice evening everyone!

See also: Are Your Ideas Crazy Enough to Actually Work?

Do you have any other 90s icons you use as a professional guide? Then let me know in the comments below! I promised I won’t try to commit you.




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