“Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

Ah yes, that dreaded, ridiculous interview question. I’m not sure why this seems to be a requirement for every interview that I’ve had recently.

“So ummm, yeah Marc, can you please tell me where you see yourself in 5 years? What are your dreams and goals?”

The fuck does it matter? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Asking young, hopeful people like myself the same question? What’s the point?

But I want the job, (at least I tell myself I want the job,) so of course I oblige. I lie, I totally lie, but I think I’ve told them what they want to hear.

Internship: “Oh, you know, I’d still like to be with (the company.) I’d love to have my licenses so I can help people with their finances even more. I’d love to have myself established in the community and the business so I can truly make a difference.”

Part-time Teller Position: “I know that the position is currently 30 hours a week. I actually like that because I’m thinking about going back to school to get my MBA. I’d see myself at least being a Personal Banker and maybe even an Assistant Manager in 5 years. I’d like to go as far up the corporate ladder as I can.”

Coming back to the company I worked for: “I tried and I found out that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. I’ve realized that it’s a great company to work for and I hope to build a career here. I’d love to get a couple of promotions in the mean time and still be with the company.”

Investment Firm: “I’d love to still be a part of the firm. I’d love to go as far up the corporate ladder as possible. I want to contribute to the success of the company.”

Other Investment Firm: “I’d like to grow with the company and be in more of a sales role. I’d like to move up as far as I can.”

Mortgage Processor: “I’d love to be an underwriter. I’d love to help clients with such a huge milestone in their lives. I got my first house this time last year and it was a great time in my life. I want to be on the other end of the phone to help them achieve their dreams of home ownership.”


Every. Single. One. Of. Them.

This is what I wish I could have told them: “I don’t want your shit job. I don’t want to deal with your bullshit corporate politics. I don’t want to “move up the corporate ladder.” All what I want is your money. Where do I really see myself in 5 years? I want to use your money to become as close to debt-free as possible. Car loans and student loans are over and done with. I’d love to save the rest of my money and get out of the financial industry completely. It’s just a pile of bullshit and all that matters is how much money you can take from your clients’ pockets and put it onto the company’s books. Profit is king. Doing the right thing isn’t.

I’d love to stop selling my soul for a paycheck. I’d love to be a writer and/or a business owner. I’d love to open a bed and breakfast in Costa Rica or somewhere else that is completely foreign to me. I’d love to live a life full of adventure. I’d love to actually make a difference in the lives of my readers. I want to inspire them to be better and lead a better live by doing something that they actually enjoy. I hope to be semi-retired in 5 years or at the very least, doing something that I actually feel good about doing.”

My second favorite interview question comes after I tell my interviewer that I dropped out of college to pursue a professional soccer career and help my dad start a business and they ask me, “knowing what you know now, do you think that was a good idea?”

The interviewer has the dumbest fuckin’ look on their face when I give them a smirk and a firm “Yes. Absolutely yes. I experienced things that I wouldn’t have experienced if I didn’t. I would have gone the rest of my life wondering “what if?” I met some incredible people and have been to great places while my friends were studying for finals. That was the time in my life when I felt the most alive. I regret nothing. Can you say the same with your choices?”


So what about you? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What are you doing to get to where you want to be?