Where do you see yourself in five years?

It’s been five years since I first answered this question. And from where I’m standing now, I can say that I wasn’t accurate of my prediction.

If my memory serves me right, when the HR interviewer asked me where I see myself in five years, I gave a diplomatic answer. At the time, the words I said were what I thought I needed to speak to land the job.

I told her that I can see myself in a higher position in the company and leading my own team and having more responsibilities. That was the first step I took into the rat race.

Looking back, I gave that answer with only one thing on my mind. I wanted to please my interviewer so that she’ll give me the job – which at that time, I badly needed.

Fast forward to the “five years” since that question. I am nowhere near the position that I expected to be. Heck, I’m not even in the company that I tried my best to give the “right” answer to.

I am now in a job which, on the back of my mind, I will go to, just not as early as my late twenties. Maybe I got sick of my old job, office politics, and the never-ending corporate rat race, so I decided to quit. 

I am now a teacher, and I think this is the profession for me. Looking back, the stresses and challenges that I went through are necessary before I can see what I wanted to be.

If it weren’t for the heartaches and disappointments along the way, I would have been swayed to a different path. Maybe I even went deeper or higher in the corporate world.

It sure is impossible to say what will happen in five years because we can’t see far into the future. But I believe that where I am now is where I should be at this moment in my life. 

I know that God allowed certain things to happen to me to give me the skills, knowledge, and experience that I’ll need.

It is the benefit of hindsight that things become more apparent. And looking back in the last five years, there were significant changes in my life which I’ll never have in any other way.

I was “benched” on the job. 

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For almost three months, I was sent on the bench to do self-paced training while waiting to be assigned to a project.

If not for that experience, I would never have discovered reading. I would never have known the frustration of not doing anything productive day-in and day-out. And I would have never realized the importance of personal development.

I became a part of incredible teams.

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I was privileged to be placed on teams that I have the same vibes with. I made friends and remained friends with most of them. I attended some of their weddings, I became a godfather to some of their children, and I learned a lot about teamwork.

Many of my teammates and managers became my mentors on the job and helped me develop personally and professionally. I will forever be grateful to them.

I was exposed to different technologies. 

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In less than 4 years, I was exposed to several technologies that are still helpful to my current job as a teacher. I learned about virtualization, cloud technology, and administration, robotic process automation, and data migration.

I also witnessed the fast-paced technological advancements, which I usually share with my students like artificial intelligence and machine learning. That’s why I think the academe is lagging far behind the industry, and we need to catch up fast.

I discovered running.

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Because of the company anniversary, I discovered the fun of running and never looked back. I also rediscovered volunteerism through the company corporate citizenship initiative, which I’m very thankful for.

I returned to school to study teaching.

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I was able to return to school and learn the art and science of teaching. I still have a long way from what I aspire to be as a teacher, but I think I’m progressing.

I am grateful to have great teachers who shared their abundant knowledge and guidance for aspiring educators like me. 

I returned to my home province.

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At the beginning of my stay in Metro Manila, I thought that I will grow old there. I never realized the opportunities that I took for granted in my home province. I am now teaching full-time and living with my family and aiming to do other things in the future. 

Final Thought:

If I ever try again to answer where I see myself five years from now, I think I’ll say, I don’t know. Better yet, I don’t want to know. 

I just want to live one day at a time while still picturing some possible scenarios in my life. I will try to be a better version of myself and give the highest honor to God.

I just need to wait and keep faith in God that things will be better, much better than today.

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”

Proverbs 16:9

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