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What Song Plays In Your Head When Career Stuff Goes Badly?

I was on the road late in 2012 and met an old friend who had called me back in the day when some bad stuff was happening at his place of work, specifically to him.  Hadn't talked to him for 3-4 years since that time, and while I remembered talking, being supportive and helping him figure out what to do, he had a perfect memory of what I said.

He clung to one thing specifically that I said in his time of need.  That quote?  "Whatever happens with this situation is not going to define you."

That's what he remembered, clear as day.  It mattered to him that someone said that and focused him on the good stuff to come.  

Flash forward to this week. Some people I like a lot professionally got impacted by a change. They're worried about their career, and what people might think.  My help wasn't as profound as what I gave the previous friend.

This time I said they needed Jay-Z. Or, to be more specific, music in general. Baseball players have music they choose when they walk up to the plate for an at bat. I think you need the same thing for your career, especially when bad stuff happens.

I liked "On to the Next One" by Jay-Z for my friends, specifically the following lyrics:

"I got a million ways to get it...
... Choose one......
Ay, bring it back, bring it back (uh-huh)
Now double your money and make a stack
I'm on to the next one, on to the next one
I'm on to the next one, on to the next one
I'm on to the next one, on to the next one
(Hold up) Freeze! Ay!
Somebody bring me back the money please..."

The rest of the song is a mess of slurs and stuff that HR pros probably shouldn't be quoting, but I like those lines. Every time I hear that song, I think about the future.

I first heard the cut a couple of years ago at spring training in Arizona when Matt Kemp was using it as his walkup music. Videos below of Kemp talking about his scientific process for picking his at bat music ("I like hip-hop" and cuts that have "hits" in them"... Great Matt, who doesn't?) and Jay-Z doing the song on Letterman. I'm giving you Letterman because the bad stuff is bleeped out for the most part (Email subscribers click through for video).

You gotta million ways to get it. Choose one, bring it back, double your money and make a stack.

That's my outplacement program.  Boom.


Sean Conrad

Good choice Kris. Great tune with a great theme and even better knowing what a successful business man Jay-Z is in addition to a rapper.


Bizarre, but mine is 'the farmer in the dell' because of the last line... "and the cheese stands alone.."

Jason Pinto

Great choice on the Jay-Z song! I'd have to choose Neil Young - Long May You Run. I think it has a much-needed positive tone for those "moving on" times.


James Blunt, You Had A Bad Day.

Greatest Fantasy Football commercial ever.

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