Where do YOU want to be in X years time?

When I was discussing the signing of the new contract with my boss he asked me what my plans are, careerwise, for the next few years. “Well…,” I began, “I would like to stay here for another year at least, maybe two. Definitely finish my Master’s. Try to do increasingly complicated and technical translations and hopefully work on getting into a specialist subject. Beyond that I haven’t really thought about it.””OK,” he replied. “Fair enough. But you should think about it. Two years is not as long as you think, it will soon be here. Ms. K (colleague) has very definite plans for the future. She knows exactly where she wants to be in 2 years, in 5 years…”
My first thought was ‘You mean people actually do that?!’ By that I mean plan every step of their career, actually knowing where they want to be at various points in the future. I certainly don’t. Until about 18 months ago I didn’t even know what I wanted to do with my life. For a while I thought it might be cool to be a teacher, so I tried being a language assistant and, while it was sometimes enjoyable (especially in Austria where the kids were nice), most of them time I hated it. Plus by the end of the first year I had realised I was no good at it. English conversation and playing games I’m fine with, but actually teaching people stuff that they don’t already know? Hopeless doesn’t even begin to cover it. Translation on the other hand I am good at (finally I found something I can do! Yippee!) And it’s something I really enjoy as well. I love the feeling of satisfaction I get when I read through a translation I’ve done and realise that yes, it actually makes sense. I can definitely imagine being a translator for the rest of my life… well, the professional part of it anyway. But making specific goals?? Honestly, I wouldn’t even know where to start…

8 thoughts on “Where do YOU want to be in X years time?

  1. I hate when people ask me that. I DON’T have a plan. The best laid plans and all that…

    It would be fine if the world and everything and everyone remained constant they don’t so anything could change in a second.

    I say don’t but too much pressure on yourself. πŸ™‚ You’ll wind up where you should!

  2. I agree with sleepyjane. Planning out your life? Nonsense! Who knows what’s going to happen next year, next month, even today, that might set you on a completely different course and push you towards doing things you’d never have imagined yourself doing? As the above comment says, you’ll wind up where you should.

    I do, however, see some sense in knowing what you want, even if it’s just a lot of disconnected, seemingly unimportant goals unrelated to the Big Picture. I sincerely recommend a 101 Things in 1001 Days list! While I have NO idea where or what or even who I’m going to be in a few years, I do know that I’ll have been enjoying myself all the way there, and achieving things along the way – things that matter to ME! πŸ™‚ It really motivates you to spend less time flopping around on the sofa feeling sluggish. I think you’d enjoy it!

  3. sleepyjane – thanks! I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    Hails – OH, I definitely plan to enjoy myself along the way no matter where I end up! And it’s not that I don’t have any plans. There are lots of things I want to do over the next few years – travel more, carry on with Spanish, more OU courses – but I don’t want to set specific times by when I want to have done all those things. And most of them are for me personally anyway and have nothing to do with my “career”.

  4. Only freaks set their life out in five year plans. Oh, and totalitarian dictators, possibly. There are far too many imponderables. You’ll get where you want and it will be ok without the grand plan.


  5. My roommate asked me that once. Apparently her boss told her that the surefire way to reach your goals is to know where you want to be in X many years. So i tried to think…and it really is hard. I know, roughly, what I want to do, but not where I want to be or what job i’ll have. There are just too many factors in the way. Plus, I like to be surprised. πŸ™‚

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