Difficulty vs Impact

When I first started working, I had a project that was very difficult. It was technologically challenging and only small community of programmers knew how to implement something like it. That was the type of project you would tell a friend about and he would be impressed by how smart you are.

But that project wouldn’t really impact the company’s bottom line. And it was a big time commitment for not much reward. After a few months on the project, my manager decided to move me to a much easier project. This type of project wouldn’t really impress anyone, but it had a larger impact on the bottom line.

But it was the right move, both for the company and my career. It made me a valuable part of the company and helped the company fulfill its long term mission.
Many of us get caught up in working on difficult projects that will impress other people. But difficult isn’t the same as important and difficult won’t make you more valuable if it doesn’t help the company. More of us should focus on projects that will have the biggest impact on improving our companies, communities, and futures regardless of their difficulty.

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