Chasing Dreams Life Rambles My Singapore

5 years on

That dreaded time-related question they keep asking

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Sometimes, when I get this question during an interview (and it always comes along), I brace myself not to roll my eyes, and to be as honest and sincere as I could be. 

Truth to be told, it is one question that I found to be pointless or futile since answers (which may not be true) are usually prepared to maximise one’s success to clinch the job, and as Oliver Burkeman – author of ‘Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals’ said, 

A plan is just a thought”… The truth is that we never really have time at all, at least not in the sense that we have money or physical possessions. We don’t get to control what’s coming next. No one does.” 

Burkeman also pointed out that time wasn’t always an important factor – at least not to humans in the days before time. In mediaeval times, people went about their lives; working for survival and to enjoy life – something that people in developed nations forget. 

The author and her nephew

5 years … … the changes are aplenty. Recently, I came across a video of my nephews that was taken 5 years ago. They were so chubby and their excited high pitch chatterings could coax a smile even from the most grouchy one. 5 years on, they are almost-teens, tall and lanky with hoarse voices. I’m grateful I’ve been around to watch them grow.

5 years ago, I was single. 5 years on, I’m married. I’ve come full circle in my career, having returned to freelancing after a 3-year plus stint in the corporate world. 5 years on, I’m satisfied and grateful for fulfilling my simple life goals of surviving and spending quality time with loved ones. I think life has been very kind. 

I’m aware that my honest answer to the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years, in terms of career?” may portray me as an unambitious person, which I guess I am. However, I only seek work for survival and that sense of personal satisfaction to know that I am good at whatever I am doing. As technology evolves, so does content marketing and I only strive to keep up and be good at it. The rest of the time? Life beckons.

Instead of wondering what lies ahead in 5 years, maybe we should listen to David Bowie’s “5 Years”. If you only have 5 years left, what would you do?

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