The 5 Year Question…

The 5 Year Question…

by Marianne Stephens
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

“Where do you think you’ll be in five years?” We’ve all heard variations of this question, from various people; from friends to teachers, guidance counselors and magazine articles. But what you might not know is that it’s actually a great start to planning and time management – specifically in regards to your career. These thoughts and questions can be useful and productive while you’re planning for your post-secondary education. The 5 year question gets you thinking about what you want to do with your life; how to get there, and the goals that you may have to set in order to move closer (think baby steps) towards your ultimate goal. Getting There… In high school, for instance, you think broadly: what career you want to be in (and other related occupations because it will change), and what level of education you will need to get there. If it’s a science career, you’re going to be taking science classes: but that can be split off into chemistry, physics, or biology. If it’s working with computers, you’re going to want to know the kind of computing classes (programming as compared to graphic design) you need, which can expand into mathematics classes. If it’s history and English that interests you, you’ll be focusing on the humanities. Are you getting the grades that you need in order to get the career that you want? How can you manage your time in order to get the grades you need? How do you really know wat you want to do? There are so many questions to ponder. In this case – getting help early will help you make a decision in the longer run. If you’re in college or university ( or have been accepted into either), you’ve already taken the 1st or 2nd step to deciding what you want to do- but if you aren’t in school yet, don’t fret. People change their career trajectories all the time. I can name ten friends who have added, subtracted or changed career paths completely. In my own case, I went from a three year general History degree to a four year History and Classical Studies honours degree after my first year in school; one that I don’t regret even after writing fifty page thesis papers. This is where your planning for the next 5 years will be useful. Ask yourself: Is this school right for me for what I want to achieve? Is this degree/specialization related to the career that I want to be working in after I graduate? Is this degree/specialization something that employers are looking for? Answering the 5 year question no matter where you are in life is tricky. Being in high school, that question may seem odd and uncertain; that is OK. However, not thinking about it may inflict damage on your future, preventing you from taking opportunities that come your way. Planning and time management will help you figure things out, conquer and divide. When you are in college or university and the same question comes up, you may be more afraid to answer it than anything. College and university can be a place where you can change your mind, and ultimately, change yourself if you feel the urge. It is never too late to experiment, trying different paths (just be aware of your finances!). All in all, this 5 year question can be quite arbitrary in all truth- you never know what is going to happen, but you can always move forward to what you feel is right for you. If you try something for 5 years and it doesn’t work out, pick yourself up and try again while asking the same question: Where will I be 5 years from now?

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