The five-year plan

The five year plan / Once upon a chai

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” she asked.

I remember being really excited about working and taking on responsibility. I knew I wasn’t ready to study further just yet. I was keen on gaining some experience and making money in the hope that this would guide and streamline my future choices. Quite honestly, at 20, I had no idea where I wanted to be or whom I wanted to work for. I had interests and I had ideas. Did I have a plan? Not even close.

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” she asked again.

“I want to work in Marketing. Marketing and media are the need of the hour and they are going to stay at this peak for a while now – across industries and scales of business. I see myself here, enhancing my skills and expertise, and growing with the organisation.” I said.

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” I asked myself again.

People and markets have changed drastically over the years. Through boom and recession periods, everything is complex and the options are endless. Over the last five years, every product and service have moved online. From personal care to premium brands to various professional services. With every new product, there is a new player in the market – far too many even. With the ever-changing consumer insights and buying patterns, brands are constantly evolving to create demands and finally, meet them. Technology too is dynamic and constantly developing. I am constantly evolving.

Should we then think of just the “correct” answer to give during interviews or, something that deserves serious thought?

Two months away from my Master’s programme, I don’t know what “marketing” will be like by the time I graduate. Trends are changing, with new technology and innovation types of media are advancing, and expectations are increasing. More so, people’s attitude towards life is changing – the focus is shifting from goal-oriented checklists to dream fulfilling bucket lists. However, organisations are recognising this and laying more emphasis to creating a more all-inclusive environment. There is this shift towards creating a culture pro people versus a culture that focuses solely on business and returns. If anything, there is opportunity and optimism for those focused and interested.

Should we then be driven by interest versus checklists and targets?

Two years from now I will be in the hot seat again across interviewers, and be asked the same question – “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

This is what I know –
Considering my strengths and interests, I see myself working in a job that I enjoy and am good at. Over time, I’ve come to realise that these aspects are most important – they maximise effectiveness and productivity, warrant job satisfaction and above all, help you check off your bucket list while at work instead of post your retirement.