Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
So, here we are – it’s 2017. Wow. Time really flies sometimes, which is why even though 2022 might seem somewhere far, far away in the future, it’ll probably come creeping up on you before you know it. Where do you see yourself in five years? It’s okay if you don’t know the answer. But this is the time of year where you can really start thinking about your goals and where you’d like to be, both physically and mentally.
I once went to a job interview where I was asked this exact question. I’d been having a hard time around that point with general life, and when the woman asked me, I was a bit caught off guard. I giggled nervously before saying wryly “honestly? I just want to be happy!” She told me my response was refreshing, and that most people reel off their goals and aspirations based on what they thought she’d like to hear, whether they really wanted them or not. She said she could see the truth in what I said, though, which lead me to thinking.
What did I want to do? Where did I want to be? Where did I see my personal life? This was a few years ago now, but the realisation that I wanted my wellbeing to guide me as opposed to just doing what society expected of me was a revelation. I stopped feeling bad for wanting to carve my own path, freelance, travel or dabble in new industries, and I decided I could be anything I wanted to be – within my remit, of course!
If you don’t want to work 9-5, you don’t have to. I don’t anymore! But if you do, that’s awesome; just remember to not simply panic and fall into a job you hate. An interview isn’t just for them to screen you, it’s for you to screen them, as well. You want your career culture to be the right ‘fit’.
University is a great time to decide your future, but it’s not the only time. Use your time wisely, and do a little bit of everything. You’ll be surprised at the doors you can open for yourself. In University, my main aims were basically “get a graduate job” and “try to write for a living”, without having really explored any avenues.
However, the time I spent there was great for getting work experience, although I really wish I’d spent more time on networking. They don’t really go through that enough with you, and I’d say that’s been one of the most important things for me. I also wish I’d gotten started on blogging earlier, but then I do wonder to myself if maybe things happened exactly as they were supposed to be – no one’s perfect.
You see, you learn along the way, and no two people are the same. What worked for me will not necessarily work for you. I’m not telling you what to do, but when you’re considering where you see yourself in five years, perhaps start by taking the technicalities out of the equation. What do you want to feel when you wake up in the morning? How do you want to look at yourself in the mirror? What do you want to have achieved? When you’re honest with yourself about those things, you may well find it easier to go after exactly what it is you do want – even if you’ve never considered it before.
I’m happy now, but I know I can still push myself for more. Part of me wants to move into the music industry. Part of me wants to get into teaching. But you know what? There’s time. There’s always time. And the most important thing is to make sure that you’re working in a job where you can at least be happy!