Derek Tillotson

Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?

During job interviews, the question I dread the most is: "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

I don't know where I see myself in five weeks.

I understand the question. It's not asking me to accurately predict what I'll be doing on February 2, 2025--that would be witchcraft. It's asking me what path I currently see myself going down and what I'm doing to influence it.

Five years ago, I wouldn't have guessed I'd still be in retail. In fact, five years ago, I was on the cusp of quitting and trying my luck at a temp agency. But a few months later, I stumbled upon an opportunity that's been a more positive influence on my life. It's still retail. It's still not where I hope to be in five years. But I can imagine worse situations.

As time progresses, I try to think less about what I'm going to be doing in the future. Five years ago, I blogged somewhat regularly. I'm doing the same again lately (and I've been doing it in spurts off-and-on for the past seven years). Five years ago, I was eating meat. Now I'm over a year vegan, and am never giving up. Five years ago, I spent a lot of time on social media complaining about pro wrestling. Now, I've almost entirely cut off my social media usage and I only watch wrestling I adore (quality over quantity).

Five years from now? I have no idea what things will look like from a professional standpoint. I don't place much value in thinking about it, because there is too much influence from gatekeepers to know what will happen for sure. But the foundation I'm setting in my personal life matters much more than whatever happens later.

Written February 2, 2020


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