An Ode to the Slow-Build Career

Many want it all, and want it fast, but there’s benefits to slowing down

Stephen Moore


Photo: GettyImages

Unsurprisingly, millennials want the same career benefits that other generations enjoyed, namely opportunities for growth, job stability and a competitive salary.

The difference is the speed at which they want them. Over 90% of this generation desire ‘rapid career progression,’ or in other words, we millennials want all the things, and we want them now.

But in reality, it doesn’t always turn out like this.

My career trajectory (read: various attempts to avoid a career entirely) plays out very differently.

I ditched the rapid progress for the slow build.

And I’m glad I did.

10 years of steady progress

Everything I’ve embarked on in my working life has taken years of work to get off the ground.

I started a business fresh out of university. When you throw yourself into entrepreneurship without the slightest idea what you’re doing, you can’t expect it to take off like a rocket. (Of course, I did.) In the end, my quick-rise to fame was neither quick, nor did it end in fame. It took 4 or so years to establish a reputation in our local area, and then Coronavirus turned up and shot it all to hell.

In a similar fashion to my business, I threw myself into the deep end with writing, and the initial results were as expected — pretty rough. But I stuck at it, slow and steady. Since the end of 2016, I’ve written and edited thousands of words and articles, and I’ve slowly transformed into a half-decent writer. More importantly, writing itself has become a sustainable career.

The point is that in total, I’m clocking over 10 years of work spread across a wide range of separate ventures, and only now do I feel like I’m getting somewhere. Even then, I’ve only managed to get my feet onto the bottom few steps of the ladder. I’ve got a long way to climb yet.

Millennials may want fast-moving, give-me-the-money-now careers and retirement at 35 as a millionaire. But for most of us, it isn’t feasible. I’m not even sure it’s beneficial to sprint through your career to retire as fast…