How many times along your journey have you been asked where you want to be in 5 years, 10 years, twenty years, or even what your end goal is. I have written a few other posts regarding goals and vision , where we explore setting goals and having a vision. This question is important this is why you are asked in school and interviews. How do you answer the question? Do you even know the answer?
I am of the belief this changes over time. When I was starting my career I had one idea of what success looked like. As I grew in my career, I realized I set the bar too low initially. Yes, I had two visions, one I was working toward and one I dreamed of (being President), one bar was low and one bar was super high. My plan back then consisted of steps to gain knowledge then grow, I was apt enough to work toward being a well-rounded sought after professional. The most important thing as I look back is that I had a plan, a rough roadmap, but a plan. My advice in my mentoring relationships is to set your sights on something no matter how far off it may seem and raise the bar, challenge yourself to get there.
Along your path, it is important that you are realistic, take time to self reflect. You may be headed down a path that is really not want you thought it was. This is evident in college students changing majors or working in a field they did not obtain a degree. Your plan may also be derailed from time to time, accept these challenges as learning opportunities, advice you can pass along to a mentee later in your journey. While you should have a plan, you cannot be so set on that plan that you miss other opportunities that may be more lucrative or more fulfilling. You may need to veer off of your path as priorities change in your life from a myriad of reasons, don’t allow this to derail you.
For me, I saw myself having a successful career in hospitality that I thought being a General Manager was the pinnacle. As I grew in my career, the idea of the achieved position changed, know I can progress to be a Vice President or Chief Operating Officer. Interesting how things have changed for me along the way, I am now a hotel General Manager and while I want to continue to grow my career, my idea of success is different. Now, I see that I can and will work to do things on my own, a consultant, a mentor, a speaker and I am working toward this.
This is what it looks like for me and where I see myself now, what does it look like for you?