How Honest Can You Be When Asked Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years? 

Is Our Worklife Really Defining Us? And Is That Such a Bad Thing Anyway? 

Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning
Learning Resources From School of WorkLife. Resources to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning.

What do you say when you’re asked that ever-recurring and somewhat annoying question: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” We’ve come to expect it at interviews, but what if it comes up in conversation at a networking event or a cocktail party?

It can be difficult in today’s economy to know where you’re going to be in the next five months, let alone the next five years and even if you do know, it’s a challenge to communicate your worklife goal, and if it comes up in a social setting, it’s up there in the annoying category of questions along with ‘What do you do?’

Is our worklife really defining us? And is that such a bad thing anyway? I suppose not if it’s deemed to be interesting, but what if you find your work uninspiring and you’re not motivated to talk about it.

And just how honest can you be? What if your five-year plan is to be semi-retired and living in the south of France with a little consultancy work to keep your hand in, and your real goal is to spend the next five years building a good network of contacts to facilitate this. Hmmm, perhaps it might not be such a good idea being completely honest in this instance, or you might be suspected of intending to run off with the company clients!

However, all that said, sometimes it does pay to be honest. For example, take a person working in the operations department of an Investment Bank. She’s finding the work completely mundane and goes nowhere to fulfil her creative spirit. Does she share this at appraisal time?

This did actually happen to Moira, and she chose to share in the knowledge that it could be the beginning of the end in terms of her career– but no, her faith in humankind was completely redeemed, if not blown out of the water when her manager suggested setting up a meeting with the head of Marketing and long story short she’s now planning a side step within her organisation. They’re even funding some of her training.

I expect now more than ever; organisations want to keep their good people, and giving them what they want will instil loyalty — the old adage of by giving you’ll receive eh!

It’s also worth noting if you are considering a change into something new and you can effect that change within an organisation where you’re known and respected, it’s a lot easier than getting your foot in another door.

And the moral of the story, well, I guess honesty can be rewarded, and it may even be the best policy!

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POSTSCRIPT

This story was originally published on 6/5/21 I needed to republish it to add updates and also to tell you 

… The Continuing Story …

The pandemic brought about a change in my WorkLife from delivering in-person individual coaching sessions and group workshops to creating resources to help people self direct their WorkLife learning.

In the last three years, I’ve published 30 books and over 200 stories.

Each book and each story is based on real life struggles and successes that people have encountered in their WorkLife. They also detail the exercises that helped navigate through these situations, which are set as assignments for readers to adapt to their WorkLife situations and learning needs.

I believe stories are a powerful mechanism for teaching, a powerful medium to learn through, and a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you stand for.

My inspiration for creating my work comes from a lifelong passion for learning. My work has taught me that the one thing in life that can never be taken away from you is your learning.

School of WorkLife Guiding Statement: To create resources that are helpful, insightful and inspiring in helping people to pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, purpose, passion and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes and resources that are accessible to everyone.

The resources I create will help you take ownership of self directing your learning in your own space and in your own time.

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 School of WorkLife helps you self-direct your WorkLife learning through resources that have been created to help you to take ownership of your learning in your own space and in your own time.

What is Self Directed Learning? 

Self-Directed Learning is when an individual is motivated to take the initiative and responsibility on decisions related to their own learning. It is a series of independent actions and judgements free from external control and constraint.

Resources to Help You Self-Direct Your Learning 

You may find the books below from The School of WorkLife Book Series helpful in meeting your learning needs as a self directed learner. Tap the book title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

How To Plan Effectively: Professionally and Personally  

How To Be Autonomous in Your Development and Growth 

How To Self-Coach, Direct and Lead Effectively 

Tap The School of WorkLife Book Series to view the complete collection of books. From here, you can tap on each individual title to see a preview of what’s inside each book.

Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning
Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning

Founder of School of WorkLife, Carmel O’ Reilly is a learning practitioner and writer. She creates resources to help people self-direct their WorkLife learning.  These include a Collection of Books which originated from her first book, Your WorkLife Your Way and a  Learn Through Reading Series of Case Studies.  which originated from her latest book WorkLife Book Club. 

That’s the power of writing (and reading, which is an integral part of the craft for writers). It helps you find, develop and tell the right story at the right time in all WorkLife situations – in day-to-day communication: WorkLife and feedback conversations, presentations, talks, and negotiations, at interviews, and when socialising and networking in building and maintaining good relationships. The practice of writing helps you to tell the stories that express who you are in an interesting and engaging way.

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of www.schoolofworklife.com My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.