Monday, November 15, 2010

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Don't you just love that question? It's favorite of personal departments, motivational speakers, and guidance councilors.

What kind of answers are they looking for? In five years I see myself rising from cashier to assistant weekend night manager? In five years I see myself working 80 hours/week at my own struggling business. In five years I see myself working as a barista to pay off massive college loans for a career that's been outsourced to a foreign country.

Those probably aren't the answers they are looking for, even though they might be what really happens.

If you want to drive those people nuts, say something truthful. I want to be happy, get laid a lot, and have plenty of time for drinks on the beach. Then I want to take a couple years off to grow an epic beard.

Personally, I've really got to laugh at 5 year plans. They didn't work for the old Soviet Union, why should they work any better for people's personal life? As I see it, if you actually get to your 5 year mark, you've either set "truthful" goals for yourself, or have missed opportunities along the way.

At 18, I had some plans. They didn't include getting married. Among my friends, it was thought I'd be the last in the group to tie the knot. There would be no tying me down. So, of course, I was married at 20 after a 4 month courtship. Bad idea? One would think so, except I'm still married 32 years later and consider it the best thing I ever did. Really helped put me on the path to my "truthful" goals.

Within the next 5 years, who knows what opportunities will present themselves? I like to get out of my rut every so often and do something different. Maybe I won't stick with the new path, but it often opens me up to things I never knew about before. My world expands and my life is enriched.

Things don't always turn out 100% positive, but when they don't, it certainly makes for some awesome stories.

In five years, I see myself having interesting experiences, learning new things, having a good time, and maybe some more drinks on the beach.



  1. Heh.. I know my answer to that question helped get me fired once. When asked what my goals were, I said I'd already achieved them (meaning I had no desire to cross over to management). Personally, in 5 years I hope to own a piece of land lock stock and barrel. That is, if the poo poo don't hit the atmosphere accelerator first...

  2. On one of the last opportunities I had to stay in my lifetime profession, before computers totally took over the drafting world I was ask a quite similar question. The only answer I could come up with was to just make it to retirement age. Honesty is always the best answer, I don't think I'd have liked it there and I know they wouldn't have liked me. Few do.

  3. My five year goal is to be doing pretty much what I am now, except less of everything. I'm on a path to self-sufficiency, abandoning most technology, government and the serf economy. Big shift since I had been an engineering technologist for 25 years brawling my way up through the corporate bog.

    I only wish I had this 5 year goal 30 years ago.

  4. going galt in terms of self reliantcy in many areas including alternatives as best managable in a small shop. in 5 years, a world with less people, drastic changed conditions, and better ways to decently cope in daily survivail; nn can tell if this be my real future or not.

    but hey, it could change to something else..

    see ya around the local world , may become that too.

    what a question.... have fun


  5. When you get my age, you just want to HAVE 5 more years. Then you start planning the next 5 months, then the next 5 weeks, then the next 5 days, then. . . .