An eye on the future

An eye on the future

It’s the classic interview question employers have been asking candidates for decades: “where do you see yourself in five years time?” For many people embroiled in a hectic working and family life, it can be difficult to think ahead a week, let alone many years. Yet as the years tick by, keeping an eye on longer-term career and life goals should be an important consideration for any professional. Attitudes to work are changing irrevocably, with the notion of a ‘job for life’ or ‘being married to the company’ becoming increasingly outdated. Today’s generation y workers, while highly ambitious and keen to achieve, value work life balance highly and are increasingly factoring this in to their decision making process about their career trajectory. So how do you go about reaching your goals?

The first, perhaps obvious step is to identify exactly what they are. Are you set on becoming a high-flyer destined for senior management and prepared to take on all the responsibilities that entails? Or is balancing a stimulating family life with a career more important to you? Perhaps you may want to start your own business over the longer term or you may value the security of a role in a bigger organisation and the associated perks? Once you have a long-term vision in mind, the next step is to start making it a reality. Planning can leave even the most organised jobseeker cold at the best of times, but having a career and life plan in place is a great way of having at least a framework for getting where you want to be. Consider enhancing your skills to put you in the best position to succeed, develop a strong working knowledge of the key issues in your chosen field and network, network, network, be it face to face with decision makers or enhancing your profile on LinkedIn. Be prepared to take a chance if that dream role comes up and always be mindful of your worth. All too often, candidates can end up selling themselves short. Focussing on the now is of course a key tactic to succeeding in employment and in life but by being mindful of longer term goals and planning accordingly, you can be one step closer to achieving the work life balance we’ve always wanted.