8 Ways Being A '90s Kid Made You A Better Boss
Despite my unfortunate proclivity for hammer pants and butterfly clips back in the day, I'll be the first to tell you that growing up in the '90s deserves every bit of nostalgia thrown its way. I'm a firm believer that, in many ways, being a '90s kid made you a better boss, friend, sibling, and parent. In fact, I'm fully convinced that growing up during that decade just all-around gave us a better leg up on life.
Don't get me wrong — the '90s weren't without fault. (Did I mention my hammer pants? How about the coordinating "Can't Touch This" baby T?") But now that the self-importance of youth has passed, we can see those things for what they were: Learning experiences. Moments that made us more well-rounded human beings who, yes, make mistakes but aren't afraid to fess up to our fallibility. And it's precisely that blend of humor. humility, and humanity that makes us pretty fantastic bosses, if you ask me.
As with most things in life, everyone is different. But if you grew up in the '90s like I did, you're likely a composite of the following traits and characteristics. Imprinted on you growing up, you're bringing 'em into the board room these days — and doing a stellar job of it, too.
1. You Aren't Afraid to Take Risks
I don't think I need to mention my particular breed of fashion faux pas again, but suffice it to say the '90s was a time when people weren't afraid to go out on a limb. Our lives were ensconced in day-glo, acid wash, and overalls. We wore scrunchy socks with Birkenstocks, for heaven's sake. Happily, we've ditched some of our more egregious fashion risks, but what we carried with us is the courage to make bold choices — a trait all great leaders share.
2. You Are, Like, Really Patient
Anyone who grew up in the '90s knows what it means to suffer through inconveniences. Who knows how many minutes of our lives were spent in passive immobility waiting for dial-up to connect? Because we didn't grow up in the age of instant gratification, we understand that sometimes good things really do come to those who wait — and sometimes that includes giving a new hire a hot minute to find their footing instead of writing them off after the first office flub.
3. You Believe in the Unbelievable
While we didn't exactly enjoy the modern conveniences kids today do, what we did enjoy was the idea of seemingly endless possibility. We lived on the brink of so many huge advancements in technology and science, shaping us to become people who truly believe in potential. Are we still waiting on those flying cars and virtual reality worlds we were certain were right around the corner? Sure. But that sort of idealism certainly works in the favor of pitch-making employees, given '90s kids-turned-bosses still tend to believe anything is possible.
4. You Aren't Afraid to Show How You Feel
I'm a hugger. Always have been, always will be. And while I don't necessarily go around hugging people at work, I do sort of wear my heart on my sleeve. We '90s kids were raised in a time when it was cool to emote, and I've found that translates well in the workplace. In my former capacity as editor of a home magazine, I was happy to be the boss employees felt comfortable talking to and who, at times, even acted as a shoulder to cry on. What's so wrong with forming authentic connections? There is a way to balance being professional with embracing your humanity, and '90s kids have nailed it.
5. You're a Team Player
We've all had those bosses who seem to live by the mantra "do as I say, not as I do." However, '90s kids had to work hard growing up. We didn't just pay our dues — we keep on paying them every single day. Maybe it was all the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Saved By The Bell we watched in our formative years, but teamwork is something we value. And, really, who doesn't want a boss who doesn't mind rolling up her sleeves and making tangible contributions?
6. You Hold Yourself Accountable
I know I made some seriously questionable decisions in the '90s and, after reading this article, you do too. While '90s kids are all about waxing nostalgic over every little thing that happened during our favorite decade, we're also quick to point out the things we did wrong. As a boss, there are few things more important than being able to hold yourself accountable. No one wants to work for someone who throws her employees under the bus to save themselves.
7. You're a "Fixer"
Looking back now, '90s kids often joke we're not entirely sure how we even made it through the decade without all of the digital amenities we use (read: cannot function without) today. Back then, though, we didn't have the option of Googling an instruction manual or IM'ing a friend to ask for help — we just had to figure out a way to get sh*t done. Nintendo 64 stopped working? Blow into that cartridge, baby. Computer ran out of memory? Take that sucker apart and add more. In the office place, this equals an employer who doesn't freak out when you hit a bump in the road but, instead, troubleshoots the problem and comes up with a viable solution. Like a boss, as they say.
8. Decision Making Is Your Jam
Decision marking is paramount to being a good manager — you won't even make it through your morning emails if you can't decide which direction to go on something. Luckily for '90s kids, we grew up during a decade where tough decisions had to be made on the daily. Was your allegiance to Backstreet Boys or *NSync? Should you rock Mary Janes or Doc Martens? Pager of flip-phone? Trapper Keepers or Tabs? JanSport vs. L.L. Bean? Nintendo over Sega? Trust me, we know how to make the tough calls.