Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?

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The traditional interview question has had many answers over the years but are they truly real or is it just an answer prepared to “wow”? 

If you are looking for a straightforward answer to that question for an interview, you are not going to find it here! However, if you want to really dig deeper into that question, keep reading.

  • “I see myself in your position”.
  • “The CEO of the company”.
  • “I will be in some managerial role”, etc. 

Those are some answers that might show how ambitious you are, a good image for the recruiter about what you want to do in the future. What you might have missed is that they already heard those sentences millions of times. You might have prepared for this well-known question to impress the interviewer but did you get prepared for the questions that follow as well? “How are you planning to get there” and “What did you do until the moment to reach it?”.

Here are a couple of tips to guide you in planning your next 5 years:

Be Specific

A person writing using a pen

If you have a clear image of how you want your life to look like 5 or 10 years later, then, you are in a good place, not so many people reached that level. 

If you haven’t thought about that, you need to start. You can start by brainstorming, write everything down: what you like to do now that you want to keep doing later, your hobbies, hobbies you can get paid for. Do you want to work in a startup, a multi-national company, or in an NGO? Is there a specific topic or case you want to work on and defend? Whatever questions you are going to ask yourself; you need to be specific about what exactly it is that you want. When exactly will you be there? You can use the “SMART” goal-setting strategy to help you.

Know your fears and face them!

Our fears change as we grow. When we were little, we used to fear trivial things like darkness or spiders. Then we became teenagers, we started to fear being alone or having no friends. When we became adults, we started to have fears about our future. So go ahead and list down what you fear the most. Does that fear stop you from reaching your goals and ambitions?

According to Youth Time Magazine, 33% of youth they interviewed fear not achieving success in life. Some of us have the fear of not being accepted by our family or society. Each one of us has different fears, but what is common between those fears is that they are always stopping you from exploring the other side. List your fears down, analyze how they are stopping you, and start working on them.

Explore who you are

Being self-aware, at AIESEC, is a vital stone to pave your way to a better future. 

Young man looking out the window

Self-awareness gives you the capacity to learn from your mistakes as well as your successes. It enables you to keep growing.”

Lawrence Bossidy

Understand your weaknesses, strengths, and what motivates you the most. But also what demotivates you the most. Any experiences or skills you have? Experiences or skills you need? What are your values? What do you truly believe in?

Ready, set, GO!

If you have ever wondered why so many people say they will achieve great things in life but they never do, start analyzing their moves. It is always easier said than done and that is why you need to keep many plans in the niche! If you are going to a place and you have the location and you know the route you are going to take, then the only thing left is to start your engine and go. You must have that belief that you will not go anywhere just by wishing. Start thinking about what actions or steps will help you get to where you want to be. Do I need to study further? Or have practical skills or theoretical ones? Do I need to have a network? Do I need to volunteer in a place or take courses?

As you have noticed, you need to answer some questions to have a true answer to where do you see yourself in 5 years. It is a question that leaves us with so many doubts but with so many ambitions. It is a reflection of who you are and what you want to be. No matter what your goal is, just start from now, even with baby steps, but at least start. Get ready for the future with AIESEC, so next time the interviewer asks you “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, make sure you are already on your way.


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