Beyond the fast lane, OR Why the journey matters

I could not walk past beside the by now infamous McKinsey developer productivity measurement grasp on billable hours without making a note myself.


In today’s fast-paced world (yes, it sounds like written by an AI because of this term – I still love this term), the pressure to climb the career ladder quickly often overshadows the importance of choosing the right direction. Many individuals feel compelled to rush through their career journeys, seeking promotions, raises, and accolades as quickly as possible. While ambition and drive are commendable qualities, it’s equally important to remember that success isn’t solely measured by how fast you reach your goals. Instead, it’s about the direction in which you are headed. In this article, we’ll explore why focusing on the direction, not the speed, is crucial in your career journey, and many of them I touched upon before.

Personal Growth and Development

One of the most significant advantages of prioritizing the direction in your career journey is the opportunity for personal growth and development. When you emphasize speed, you may rush through crucial learning experiences and miss valuable opportunities for skill-building. On the contrary, when you focus on the direction, you can take the time to learn, adapt, and grow. This deliberate approach allows you to become a more well-rounded and capable professional over time.

Building a Strong Foundation

Imagine building a house without a solid foundation. Similarly, in your career, rushing towards success without establishing a strong foundation can lead to instability and setbacks down the road. By focusing on the direction, you can build a robust base of skills, knowledge, and experience that will support your long-term success. This foundation will serve as a stable platform from which you can continue to grow and excel.

Strategic Decision-Making

Focusing on the direction of your career journey enables you to make more strategic decisions. When you’re not fixated on speed, you can take the time to evaluate opportunities carefully. This means considering whether a job aligns with your long-term goals, values, and aspirations. By making well-informed choices, you’re more likely to find satisfaction and fulfillment in your career, rather than simply chasing the next promotion.

Work-Life Balance

An excessive focus on speed in your career can lead to burnout and a lack of work-life balance. Neglecting your personal life and well-being in the pursuit of rapid success can have detrimental effects on your physical and mental health. Prioritizing direction allows you to strike a healthier balance between your career and personal life, leading to greater overall well-being and happiness.

Resilience in the Face of Challenges

Challenges and setbacks are inevitable in any career journey. Those who focus solely on speed may find it difficult to bounce back from disappointments because they haven’t developed the necessary resilience. On the other hand, when you prioritize direction, you build the resilience needed to overcome obstacles. You understand that setbacks are part of the journey and can use them as opportunities for growth and learning.

Long-Term Satisfaction

Ultimately, career success is not just about reaching a specific position or salary level; it’s about long-term satisfaction and fulfillment. When you focus on the direction, you’re more likely to find a career path that aligns with your passions and values. This alignment leads to a deeper sense of satisfaction and contentment in your professional life, making it all the more meaningful.


In your career journey, it’s crucial to remember that success is not solely about how fast you can climb the ladder. Instead, it’s about the direction in which you are headed. By prioritizing the direction, you can experience personal growth, build a strong foundation, make strategic decisions, maintain work-life balance, develop resilience, and ultimately find long-term satisfaction in your career. So, take the time to reflect on your goals and values, and focus on the path that will lead you where you truly want to go.

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