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10 Ways to tell if your career is stuck in the ’90s


Hey, we all loved the ’90s, but sadly, we can’t live in the glory days forever. Besides, that decade’s greatest contributions weren’t exactly in the workplace. Here are a few ways to tell if your career is in need of a post-’90s overhaul.


Your work phone is as big as Mr. Belding’s.

Saved by the Bell GIF

Credit: GoSwarmIt

Sure, technology has changed, but there are still some mammoths out there, and nobody wants a mammoth glued to his or her ear. Even worse than having a big new phone? If your boss has managed to hold onto an actual circa 1990 beast. Think rotary dialing, people.


HR is still referred to as “Personnel.”

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead GIF

Credit: Christopher Longoria

Back in the ’90s, the cute little buzzword for HR was “personnel.” Customer service? Not its strong suit. If your company has a cranky receptionist whose sole purpose seems to be rerouting new employees from the front desk to the Personnel Department, chances are good your boss still wears shoulder pads.


Your break room includes a box of these babies.

Snackwell's Devil's Food Cake

Credit: cookmanlives

If the preferred snack of choice in your workplace is SnackWell’s Devil’s Food Cookie Cakes, well, we don’t blame you. As a matter of fact, scoot over and pass us a few. But seriously, these bad boys have been the snack of choice for calorie-counting coworkers since the start of the ’90s.


Printer and/or load jams happen on the daily.

Office Space GIF

Credit: barton fink

While there have been leaps and bounds made in the printing technology department, your workplace may just be holding onto some vintage equipment if you’re still dealing with paper jams and load errors. Do yourself a favor and don’t go all Office Space on it with a baseball bat, though.


You say this when you get your paycheck.

Jerry Maguire GIF

Credit: movieclips

See also: “cha-ching!” Plus, the mere fact that you are still getting a printed check as opposed to direct deposit merely reinforces this point. C’mon, guys. They don’t call it the digital age for nothing.


You often use this expression when talking to coworkers.

Seinfeld GIF

Credit: tranq4096

You’re describing a long-winded business concept to your coworkers, and you want to sum up the tail end of the tedious conversation. You could say “and so on and so forth.” You could say “etc, etc, etc.” But you’re a ’90s gal, so instead you pull an Elaine and give the ol’ “yada, yada, yada.”


You have a pager…

Scrubs GIF

Credit: ScrubScenes

…and you aren’t a doctor.


The days of dial-up are still upon you.

You've Got Mail GIF

Credit: warnervoduk

Your company is holding hard and fast to the dinosaur that is dial-up internet. Sure, it’s a little embarrassing — not to mention painfully slow. But those three little words are still magic.


You became a barista during the Central Perk heyday.

Friends GIF

Credit: wewereonabreak123

And, well, you’re still a barista. However, if you really love coffee and/or the gig is a total dream, don’t give it up just yet. If you became a barista because you, like, totally adored Rachel on Friends, it’s time to give up the ghost. I mean, she wasn’t even good at it.


You’re still rockin’ the shoulder pads.

Pretty Woman GIF

Credit: Fernanda Rabaglio

Oh, honey. If you are still hanging onto even one blazer with shoulder pads, your fate is sealed. Your career is flying the ’90’s flag, sistah. As hard as it might be to say goodbye to your Encarta Encyclopedia discs, always writing URLs out in full, your Rolodex and the days when a pound sign was just a pound sign, it might be time to bring your wardrobe (and everything else) into the current decade.

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