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  • Writer's pictureShannon Winans

Please Drop The “Where Do you see Yourself 5 Years From Now Question”

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

Once you land that in person interview you are faced a lot of times with the lame question of “So, where do you see yourself five years from now?” – the dumbest question I’ve ever heard – when they should be asking about something relevant to the new position and the years of experience a candidate has that qualifies him or her for that role they are interviewing for.

This is why...

I have always been a future thinker. My mind was always focused doing things today so that tomorrow will be a better day. I was a long range planner of my life up until I lost my mother exactly two years ago this very day. I lost my father at 23 years old. I previously always planned my life. I knew since childhood I wanted to be a news reporter and host the national morning news. I would be married to the perfect man by age 30 with 2 kids by 35, a beautiful family home and be well on my way to being somewhat financially on the right path - sharing all this with my wonderful parents. So I thought hahahahaha! Boy my plans were awesome…except none of them have became reality and at 41 years old I am still waiting for every single thing in my long range plans that I thought back then to come true.

Are you where you thought you would be in your life? So many of my friends, colleagues, and family members would say no Shannon, life is hard and I hit some bumps along the way that changed the course of things. So very true of life right? When mom died I was 39, left with no parents in this world, with a marketing career that has its ups and downs and is full of surprise, unfortunate, difficult transition. In my life, I have learned so many valuable things - and not planning long range for my life anymore is one of them. It fills you with disappointment and sets you up for let downs and hard feelings especially for those of us already hard on ourselves – the over achievers and perfectionists of the world.

The gift I have is that I can from experience now share with you all what I have learned is that we are absolutely 100% not in control of our own destiny- God is and once you give everything up to him, all your worries, your desires, your prayers, your dreams and you pray for what you want, He will guide you to where He needs you to be, with whom you are supposed to be with at the time He needs you there. After mom died, I quit planning long range goals. I now focus on smaller goals to see progress, to avoid undue stress on myself and disappointment. I have had to completely change the way I think and how I manage my life. It was a difficult transition and took a great deal of discipline.

So where do I see myself in 5 years? I have no idea, stop asking please….it is not up to me, to any of us - I accept, own that and live by that now.

The jobs networking group that I belong to through church starts each session with the reading of Jeremiah 29: 11-13 and it has become my favorite. I read it daily to help remind me to talk to God and keep reminding him of what I think I want also to remind me that God will not disappoint us. He will prosper us, give us hope and provide for our future.

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