Genres for the Job (Part I)

By Deanna Bonaparte

Isn't it extremely empowering to submit to your music of choice at the workplace while you’re wading through an endless to-do list? Even if it’s the peak hour commute, revving it up at the gym after work or soothing your nerves thanks to an overbearing boss, music has become more than just a soundtrack – it is an integral part of our lives.

You might imagine that your aural bubble would, at best, make you look like a passive introvert – but you could also be seen as an anti-social hermit with blithe indifference to the world (very bad if your boss can’t get your attention). Nevertheless, music does lift one’s morale in the workplace and accentuates your creativity and happiness – after all, a happy worker makes for a productive one.

With headphones in check, your fellow colleagues are not only less likely to bug you with unimportant office trivia, you will also find that your space narrows to a small shell surrounding you and you alone, and this will keep your attention straight and narrow on the tasks at hand.

Having said that, different job roles arguably require different types of music. We’ve artfully scoured through some dusty playlists and have come up with certain genres to tune in to for certain jobs when you need that boost of motivation. There are different genres catered for different jobs, and this week we narrow our attention on…

Program This!
As a programmer, you’ll be doing very repetitive, tedious work that will require you to wade through mountains of code just to look for a single mathematical error. As such, you’d want to listen to songs that will fine-tune your focus level while you work on this debugging.

Some programmers like instrumental tunes sans lyrics, lest these be distracting. For some odd reason, a dark and melancholic soundtrack might work better than a Backstreet Boys album would, as a moderate amount of aural stimulation has been scientifically proven to raise your brain’s mental functioning and thus keep your mental juices flowing, even as you let your fingers run on autopilot.

What might work: Jazz, Rock, Techno/Trance (Not too loud though!), Piano solos, Electronica

What would NOT work: Heavy Metal, Punk

Recommended Songs:
Dido – Life For Rent
Charlie Parker – All The Things You Are
Dire Straits – Love Over Gold / Telegraph Road

Note: One man’s death metal alarm ring is another’s undisputed wallow song. Find what works best for you!

Tune in to Part II next week as we aim our arrow at yet another profession. Meanwhile, time to polish up that playlist!

What's your favourite music genre/track to listen to at work? Share with us in the comment box below!

The JobsCentral Group, a CareerBuilder company, is the owner of, one of Singapore's largest job and learning portals. Get a free career personality test and more career- and education-related articles at JobsCentral and JobsCentral Community. Alternatively, Like us on JobsCentral Facebook Page or Follow JobsCentral on Twitter for more career-centric content!

Career Central Tags: