Visualizing My Future: A Reflection on Where I See Myself in Five Years

Investing the time to visualize our future can be a powerful tool to bring us closer to achieving our aspirations. Taking stock of where we are now, and where we want to be in five years, allows us to create a tangible plan with achievable goals and milestones. This self-reflection practice can help identify any potential roadblocks or detours that might be encountered along the way, so that these issues can be addressed before they become hindrances.

According to this, writing an essay on how do you see yourself after college is an essential exercise for college students. It allows you to reflect on your goals, identify the skills and knowledge you need to acquire, develop critical thinking and writing skills, and demonstrate your ambition to potential employers or graduate schools.

By the way, in case you are facing challenges in composing an essay about where do you see yourself in 5 years essay, a professional custom essay writing service can provide you with the assistance you require.

What Do I Envision for Myself Five Years From Now

As I sit down to write this essay, I am filled with a sense of excitement and anticipation. The topic at hand is “Where do I see myself in 5 years?” It’s a question that has been asked of me numerous times, and one that I have often pondered over myself. After careful consideration and introspection, I have come to a few conclusions about where I see myself in the next five years.

In five years, I see myself as a successful professional in my field. I have always been driven to achieve my goals and have worked tirelessly towards that end. Over the next few years, I plan to continue working hard and expanding my knowledge and skills. I believe that with dedication and hard work, I will be able to climb the ladder of success in my chosen field.

Balancing Personal Interests with Professional Goals

In addition to my professional goals, I also see myself as a more well-rounded individual. I plan to continue pursuing my interests outside of college, including traveling, photography, and volunteering. I believe that these activities will not only bring me personal fulfillment but also help me to develop valuable skills that will benefit me in my professional life.

Finding a balance between personal interests and professional goals can be challenging, but it is essential for achieving long-term success and personal fulfillment. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in work and neglect our personal lives, but doing so can lead to burnout and dissatisfaction.

For example, travelling can help us develop a global perspective and improve our communication and adaptability skills. Photography can enhance our attention to detail, creativity, and visual storytelling abilities, which can be beneficial in various professional fields. Volunteering can improve our teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving skills, which are highly valued by employers.

Prioritizing Personal Relationships

Investing in personal relationships is often overlooked in the pursuit of professional success, but it is just as essential for achieving overall success and personal fulfillment. Building and maintaining strong relationships with family, friends, and colleagues can bring a sense of fulfillment, happiness, and emotional support, which are essential for personal well-being.

Moreover, personal relationships can also have a significant impact on our professional lives. Strong connections with colleagues can foster a positive work environment, increase job satisfaction, and improve teamwork and collaboration. Good relationships with clients and customers can also lead to increased loyalty, repeat business, and referrals.

Embracing Change and Growth

As we travel through life, our aspirations and goals may shift, alter or even transform drastically. It is essential to stay open to new possibilities and adventures as well as being prepared to adjust and develop as we navigate life’s path. In the next five years, I aim to have a clearer idea of my ambitions for the future while also staying alert to changes and growth in myself.

I believe that personal development and ongoing education are pivotal for achieving long-term success and gratification. I intend to dedicate time and energy into my individual and skilled progress, whether it be via taking classes, participating in workshops, or engaging in introspection. By continuously learning and developing, I can master new methods, extend my outlooks as well as enhance my ability to solve issues and make decisions.

So, where do I see myself in five years? I see myself as a successful professional, a well-rounded individual, and a person with strong personal relationships. I also see myself as someone who is open to new experiences and who is committed to continued growth and self-improvement. While the future is uncertain, I am excited to see where my journey takes me over the next five years and beyond.

Tips on Writing an Opinion Essay on “Where I See Myself in Five Years”

Even if students have a clear idea of their dream board five years after college graduation, they may struggle to express these ideas compellingly and coherently. Writing about oneself can be challenging, especially when it comes to discussing personal goals and aspirations. Practicing writing opinion essay and articulating your ideas can help you feel more confident and comfortable discussing your future aspirations. Do not forget about the following tips:

Be realistic

While it’s essential to aim high and have ambitious goals, it’s also important to be realistic about what you can achieve in five years. Consider your current experience, qualifications, and opportunities when setting your goals. Make sure that your goals are achievable and realistic, given your current circumstances.

Explain your reasoning

In a 5 years from now I see myself essay, explaining why you have chosen certain goals for yourself is important. What motivates you? What experiences have led you to these goals? Providing context and rationale for your goals can help the reader understand your perspective and reasoning.

Consider challenges

Anticipate challenges that you may face in achieving your goals and explain how you plan to overcome them. This shows that you have thought through the potential obstacles and are prepared to tackle them.

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Where Do I See Myself in 5 Years

Table of contents, 5 years from now: a glimpse into the future, navigating the path to achievement, balancing ambition with adaptability, conclusion: embracing the journey with anticipation.

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20 Smart Answers: “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

By Editorial Team on April 10, 2023 — 10 minutes to read

Why Do They Ask This Question?

When you’re asked “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?,” the interviewer wants to gain insight into your career aspirations, personal goals, and how you envision growing within the company or industry. This question also helps interviewers understand whether your long-term goals align with the opportunities that the company or job may provide.

Before you go into the interview, take some time to reflect on what you genuinely want to achieve in the next five years. Consider the following aspects:

  • Areas you wish to specialize in or skills you want to refine
  • Leadership opportunities you’d like to explore
  • Professional certifications or training programs you plan to complete
  • Any goals related to the company’s values or industry trends

Understanding your own goals will help you create a truthful and thoughtful response that showcases your ambition and commitment to personal growth. Moreover, demonstrating how you plan to utilize and develop the skills gained in this role will show the interviewer that you’re a good fit for the company.

It’s important to remember that your answer should be tailored to the specific position or industry you’re interviewing for. You want to show the interviewer that your long-term goals are a natural progression from the job you’re applying for. Feel free to express enthusiasm for the company, industry, or role, but avoid making unrealistic claims or commitments.

Tips for Structuring Your Answer

Being honest in your response means sharing your true career aspirations, while still trying to keep your goals realistic and attainable within the company. Your response might include the following aspects:

  • Specific job titles or roles you aspire to reach
  • Skills you plan to develop or improve
  • Any certifications, trainings, or educational goals you intend to achieve

Be Adaptable

Show flexibility in your answer by acknowledging that change is inevitable and that you’re willing to adapt to the company’s needs as well as your own professional growth. You can tell your interviewer that you’re open to new opportunities within the organization.

  • Highlight your ability to learn new skills and take on new challenges
  • Discuss how you can grow within the company and contribute to its success
  • Emphasize your willingness to embrace change and adapt as needed

Show Your Commitment

  • Express how you see your professional growth aligned with the company’s goals
  • Discuss the ways you intend to contribute meaningfully to the organization
  • Reiterate your excitement to be part of the company’s future

Addressing Uncertainty

It’s natural to feel uncertain about your future, especially when asked to predict where you will be in five years. However, using some strategies, you can form a thoughtful response that communicates your aspirations and adaptability.

Firstly, consider discussing your long-term goals in broad terms. Even if you’re unsure about the specifics, try to focus on the direction you’d like your career to move. For example, mention professional growth opportunities or attribute you’d like to develop. This approach demonstrates ambition without being too rigid.

Example: “In five years, I hope to have built on my skills and gained more responsibility within this company. I’m eager to learn from experienced team members and eventually take on leadership roles.”

Secondly, when you are not entirely sure about the exact positions or steps, you can emphasize a growth mindset. Talk about continuously improving and adapting to changing situations, which would show that you’re flexible and resilient.

  • Constant learning
  • Embrace challenges
  • Adapt to change

Example: “I’m committed to continually expanding my knowledge and improving, which is why I’m enthusiastic about your company’s focus on innovation. Wherever I see myself in five years, I’ll be ready to adapt and grow.”

If future possibilities are vague, mention that you’re open to exploring various paths or contributing to different projects. Clarify that you’re excited to work with the company and discover opportunities to make a meaningful impact.

Example: “I’m excited about the wide range of projects your company is involved in. While I may not know the precise role I’ll fill in five years, I’m eager to contribute to a company like yours and find my unique path.”

Setting Realistic Goals

When crafting your answer to the oft-dreaded question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, it’s crucial to set realistic goals. Establishing achievable objectives demonstrates not only your ambition but also your clarity about what it takes to advance your career and thrive in the company.

One way to set realistic goals is to consider the job role and how it aligns with your long-term aspirations. Analyze the job description and requirements, and think about how they fit with your personal growth plans. Start by identifying the necessary steps to progress in the company or your field, and incorporate them into your answer. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Reflect on the skills or experience you need to acquire in the next five years. For example, perhaps you’ll need to complete a specific certification or training to advance in your industry. Mention this in your response, acknowledging the importance of self-development and continuous learning.
  • Consider potential career paths within the company. Research and identify possible roles you might transition into, ensuring your answer aligns with the organization’s structure and growth opportunities. This demonstrates a commitment to the company and its future.
  • Think about your personal life and how it may impact your career trajectory. It’s essential to recognize that your personal circumstances could play a role in determining your career path over the next five years. By balancing work and personal life, you can set realistic expectations for yourself and your employer.

As you formulate your response, keep in mind that it’s perfectly normal to not have an exact plan for the next five years. However, it’s crucial to demonstrate a strong work ethic, flexibility, and willingness to learn and grow within your role and the company.

Aligning with Company Vision

It’s also useful to consider the company’s vision and values. Doing so shows interviewers that you have done your research and genuinely care about the potential role you might play in the organization’s future.

Take some time to familiarize yourself with the company’s mission statement and objectives. Visit their website, read up on any press releases, and research the history and recent accomplishments. This information will give you a solid foundation to align your long-term career goals with the organization’s vision.

Next, reflect on your personal values and career aspirations to find a meaningful connection with the company’s ethos. Use your research to identify opportunities for growth within the organization and emphasize how your contribution can serve as a catalyst for furthering their mission.

  • Review the job description thoroughly and understand the key responsibilities and required skills.
  • Reflect on your unique strengths and how they can contribute to the role and the company’s success.
  • Think about possible career milestones within the role and how they align with your long-term goals.
  • Consider the company’s projects or initiatives you would like to be involved in or lead, helping the organization grow and evolve in the future.
  • Prepare to communicate these points with confidence and enthusiasm during the interview.

An example of a well-aligned response could be:

“In five years, I see myself holding a leadership role within your company’s marketing department, where I can contribute to the development and execution of successful marketing strategies. I’m especially excited about the potential opportunity to work on your company’s sustainability initiatives, as I believe strongly in environmentally-conscious business practices.”

Focusing on Skills and Growth

When answering the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, focusing on skills and growth is an excellent approach. This shows employers that you’re dedicated to improving yourself professionally and highlights your commitment to the role you’re applying for.

Improving Current Skillset

Identify the key skills relevant to the job you’re seeking, and consider how you can enhance these skills over time: this can include further training, mentorship, or hands-on experience.

For example, you might say something like:

“In the next five years, I plan to hone my expertise in project management. I would like to collaborate on more complex projects and learn from experienced professionals in the field. I also plan to pursue a certification in Agile methodologies to streamline processes and deliver higher-quality results.”

This answer demonstrates your ambition, as well as a desire to contribute positively to the organization.

Acquiring New Skills

Besides improving your current skillset, it’s important to consider acquiring new skills. Employers appreciate candidates who are adaptable and committed to their professional development. Think about which additional skills could help you be more effective in your role or support the company’s goals.

“I am eager to learn more about data analysis tools like SQL and Python to inform and optimize our marketing strategies. I believe this will allow me to contribute more effectively to data-driven decision-making within the team and help the company achieve its larger objectives.”

“In the next five years, I plan to become an expert in Python programming and machine learning. I’m committed to taking courses and attending workshops to expand my skillset, which I believe will be an asset to your company’s tech team.”

“My goal is to develop my skills and expertise in this field, and in five years, I hope to have become an expert in my area of work and be recognized as a thought leader in the industry.”

Leadership-Focused Examples

Discussing your aspirations for a leadership role demonstrates your interest in taking on responsibility and driving teams to succeed. Emphasize your ability to guide others and create a positive work environment:

“As someone with a passion for teamwork and collaboration, I see myself in a leadership position in the next five years. I’m eager to mentor junior colleagues and help foster their professional growth, while also contributing to the overall success of the company.”

“In five years, I see myself as a senior member of this organization, having taken on more leadership responsibilities and contributing to the growth of the company.”

Career-Focused Examples

“In five years, I see myself in a mid-level management position within the marketing department. I plan on using the next few years to further develop my skills in marketing strategy and data analysis, and I truly believe this company is the perfect place to grow and achieve those goals.”

“I am excited about the opportunity to learn and grow in this role, and in five years, I hope to have taken on new challenges and responsibilities within the company.”

“I am passionate about making a positive impact in the world, and in five years, I see myself working on projects that have a tangible impact on people’s lives and the environment.”

“In five years, I hope to have built strong relationships with my colleagues and clients, and have a reputation for being a reliable and trustworthy partner in business.”

“I am committed to continuous learning and personal growth, and in five years, I hope to have completed additional training and certifications that will help me progress in my career.”

“I am excited about the potential for innovation and new technologies in this field, and in five years, I hope to have contributed to the development of new products or services that can benefit our customers.”

“In five years, I see myself in a leadership role within the company, mentoring and coaching others to help them achieve their full potential.”

“In five years, I hope to have made a significant impact in this company and have grown both professionally and personally. I see myself taking on more responsibility and leadership roles, while continuing to develop my skills and expertise in my field. Ultimately, I would like to be seen as a valuable asset to the company and contribute to its continued success.”

“In five years, I see myself having made a meaningful impact in this industry and having established myself as a thought leader and expert in my field. I am someone who is constantly looking for ways to innovate and improve, and I hope to have brought new ideas and approaches to the table that have helped move the industry forward. I also hope to have built a strong network of contacts and collaborators who share my passion for this work.”

“In five years, I see myself having built a successful and fulfilling career in this industry, while also maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I believe that it’s important to have a sense of purpose and meaning in one’s work, but also to prioritize personal relationships and hobbies outside of work. I hope to have found that balance and to be living a life that feels both rewarding and fulfilling.”

Your answer doesn’t need to be set in stone or overly specific; instead, focus on showcasing your skills, growth potential, and flexibility in the ever-evolving professional landscape.

To summarize:

  • Align your goals with the company’s objectives
  • Emphasize your desire for growth and development

Crafting the perfect response takes time, so give yourself an opportunity to reflect and practice before your interview.

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Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years? Sample Answers

By Biron Clark

Published: November 19, 2023

One of the most common interview questions you’ll hear is: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? (or 2 years, 3 years, etc.) The problem: Who honestly knows where they’ll be in that amount of time?  The trick is: Hiring managers don’t actually expect you to know when answering this question. They’re just looking to hear a few key things in your response.

So in this article, I’m going to share:

  • Why hiring managers ask this interview question and what they’re really looking for
  • How to answer the question in 3 steps to show employers you’re a good fit for their job
  • The mistakes to avoid when answering where you see yourself in 5 years
  • Word-for-word sample answers

Why Employers Ask Where You See Yourself in 5 Years

When the interviewer asks you this question, they aren’t expecting you to really know where your career or life will be in five years. Nobody’s going to check on you. In fact, you might not even be with the same employer. So it doesn’t matter if your prediction of your long term goals is accurate.

All that matters is you give a good answer that gets you the job offer , and you can do that by highlighting certain traits that the interviewer wants to see, and traits that show the employer you’re a good fit for their position and company.

What hiring managers want to hear when they ask this question:

  • They want to hear that you’ve thought about your long term goals and future, and that you care about your career path and growth (because this means you’ll work harder, have a better attitude, and be more motivated in their company).
  • They want to make sure you’re ambitious and goal-oriented in general.
  • They want to know that you’re interested in the specific type of job they’re hiring for, and that you aren’t just applying because you’re desperate to find any position you can land (this is also why they ask, “Why are you applying for this position?” )

If you don’t show employers that you’ve put thought into what direction your career is going and/or if you can’t show that your goals align with the job you’ve applied for, it’s going to cost you job offers . And if you seem like you don’t really  want their specific position , they won’t hire you either. Employers have a LOT of applicants to choose from and almost always pick a candidate who has specific reasons for wanting  their  job.

This means  researching the company before your interview  and being ready to name a few things that excite you about their job description, their company’s overall mission, their industry, etc.

Watch: How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

How to give the perfect answer to where you see yourself in 5 years.

First, here’s the WORST thing you can do: Respond in a way that makes you sound like you haven’t put any thought into it this all, or that you don’t have career goals or long-term aspirations. Remember – employers want to know that they’re hiring someone who is goal-oriented, motivated, and cares about their long term career and future.

So that’s step one…

1. Think about where you’d actually like to be in 5 years in your career

Nothing sounds worse than saying, “Wow, I haven’t thought about that. I have no idea.” And you also don’t want to draw a blank and say “Um, let me think.” So thinking about this ahead of time will prepare you to talk confidently about the topic.

2. Make sure you sound slightly ambitious

You don’t want to say, “I see myself in the same position doing the same work five years from now.” Remember – nobody’s going to tap you on the shoulder in 5 years and check on you! If you do want to stay in your next job for five years without trying to get any promotions, that’s your choice. But saying that won’t help you get hired for most of the high-quality jobs out there.

So for the interview, you just need to say something that’s a bit challenging but still reasonable.

3. Tailor your answer to the company & job

As a final step, make sure that with whatever five-year goal you share, you can explain how the job you’re interviewing for fits into that goal. Otherwise, they’re going to be wondering whether you really want their job and whether you’ll stay long-term. For example, if you’re applying for your first Supervisor position, and you want to be a Manager in the next five years, you could explain that you think you’d really enjoy leading people and your big career goal is to break into management. Then you could easily explain how this Supervisor role is a great first step to get into leadership, and how you would excel in this job and enjoy the opportunity.

This is also true when answering, “ what’s your dream job? ” – you don’t need to say this is your exact dream position, but it should have some similarities to what you want to be doing long-term!

Now that we’ve looked at why employers hiring managers ask where you see yourself in five years and how to answer,  let’s take a look at word-for-word example answers.

Example answer #1

“It’s only been two years since I graduated and began working, but I’d say that my goal in five years is to see significant growth in my sales skills. One of my longer-term career goals is to be involved in sales training and mentoring, maybe as a Manager or corporate trainer, but I know the first step is to master the day-to-day work. So in the next five years, I look forward to continuing to build my sales skills, both in-person and over the phone, and continuing on my current career path as a salesperson. I reviewed your job posting and it seems like this position would offer some great challenges and learning opportunities for someone relatively new in their sales career like myself.”

Example answer #2

“In the next 5-10 years, I hope to be leading a team or department. I’ve always enjoyed leadership in my career, so growing as a leader is one of my core career goals right now. Your job posting looked exciting and mentions some great leadership opportunities, so I was eager to have a job interview and learn more about this opportunity.”

Example answer #3

“Since becoming a Project Lead in my last job, I’ve found I really like project management. In five years, I hope to be leading larger projects, or maybe managing multiple project teams. I thought your Senior Project Manager position was a great step in that direction and would provide a nice challenge, while also making use of my 2+ years of prior project leadership experience in this same industry.”

Example answer #4:

“I’ve actually been developing my five year plan recently. Since I’m looking for an entry level position in social media and content marketing right now, in five years I would like to be a manager or supervisor in this area, or possibly a project manager. So that means that in the next few years, I need to master the fundamentals and hands-on aspects of the role to advance in the future. And then in the very long term outlook for my career, I’d love to branch out into other areas of digital marketing and lead an entire marketing department for my company. This position seems like a great fit for my five-year goal, based on what I saw on the job description, so I was eager to come have an interview to learn more.”

The example answers above are effective for a few reasons. They’re doing the following:

  • Showing the hiring manager that you’ve clearly thought about this topic
  • Making sure to sound slightly ambitious
  • Explaining not only where you want to be in 5 years, but also how their specific job fits into your longer-term goals, and why you applied for their position!

If you do these three things and keep your answer concise and direct, you’ll put a smile on the interviewer’s face and move one step closer to getting the job offer. These are the types of responses that the interviewer wants to hear when deciding whether job seekers are a fit for the company. You can use this same style of answer if a hiring manager asks about your career goals for 2 years, 10 years, or any other time period. And you can also use this if they ask a similar interview question like, “What are your career goals?” Just adjust the beginning of your answer and say, “In 5 years, I hope to be doing….”

Tailoring Your Answer for Different Job Levels and Industries

When responding to the question, you’ll want to consider the status of the role in the department’s hierarchy. 

If you’re applying for an entry-level role, it’s okay to express your ambition to graduate to the organization’s next level within five years. For instance, if the position is for a bookkeeper but you’re working on a bachelor’s degree in accounting , it’s reasonable to expect to move up to a staff accountant position after graduation. 

Be careful in your response if you’re applying for a mid-level position. Employees in these roles often spend some time there until senior-level executives retire or move into other roles. Consider who is holding the position you’re hoping for in the next five years and whether they are following a career trajectory. 

Rather than telling the hiring manager you’re hoping for the top-dog role, express an interest in learning new skills that will benefit you in the job you’re applying for. You could also mention lateral movements within the department to expand your skill set.

Individuals applying for a senior-level position should talk about goals they hope to achieve for the company, such as growing sales or introducing a new product. If they’re successful, they’ll bring additional value to the organization.

Industry-Specific Example Answers


“I envision myself as an experienced nurse practitioner , having gained extensive knowledge in patient care and cutting-edge treatments. I hope to lead a team of dedicated healthcare professionals as a charge nurse, where we work together to provide exceptional care while implementing innovative solutions that improve health outcomes. Additionally, I aim to actively participate in research and continuous learning to stay updated with the latest advancements in the field.”
“Five years from now, I see myself as a senior software engineer, leading a talented team of developers and contributing to high-impact projects that solve complex problems. I aim to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration within my team, where we constantly challenge ourselves to learn and grow. I also hope to mentor junior developers, sharing my knowledge and passion for technology to help them thrive in their careers. By staying updated with the latest industry trends, I plan to develop cutting-edge solutions that drive growth for the company.”
“In five years, I aim to become a financial analyst , leveraging my expertise to optimize investment portfolios and help clients achieve their financial goals. I hope to have developed a strong understanding of market trends and financial models, enabling me to provide insightful recommendations that contribute to the firm’s overall success in the industry. By staying ahead of emerging investment opportunities and engaging in continuous learning, I plan to become a trusted advisor to clients, colleagues, and the company.”

What to Avoid When Answering

If a hiring manager asks where you see yourself in five years, avoid the following mistakes in your answer:

Not Expressing Yourself Clearly

Sometimes, job candidates simply don’t know how to answer this question. They don’t want the hiring manager to think they’ll leave the job as soon as they find something better, so to avoid appearing overly ambitious, they’ll give a generic answer that doesn’t give the interviewer any sense of their aspirations.

Interviewers want to know that you’re goal-oriented. Be prepared with a specific answer that shows you have given real thought to your future and your desired career trajectory.

Expressing a Desire to Leave the Company or Industry

Here’s a secret: telling the interviewer what you plan to accomplish in the next five years is okay. Just ensure it’s not wildly different from the role you’re interviewing for. 

For instance, if you’re applying for a job as a financial reporting manager and you tell the hiring manager you plan to open an accounting business in the next five years, they may decide on another candidate. They know you’re not thinking long-term about their organization.

Make sure your answer relates to the company and your profession. You can also include personal goals. Just ensure those objectives don’t require you to leave the company or enter a new field of work. Otherwise, the hiring manager will choose a different applicant who genuinely aspires to stay with the organization long-term.

Only Focusing on Personal Ambition

We all have personal goals we’re working toward. Perhaps you’re writing a book you hope to publish soon or waking up at the break of dawn to exercise and lose weight. Those are great goals to have, and you should continue progressing.

While you can convey personal goals in your response, you should also find a way to incorporate career goals that apply to the position. 

For instance, if you’re working on an advanced degree or certification that applies to the role or your profession, that’s something you’ll want to share with the hiring manager. They’ll see that you’re taking the initiative to improve yourself, which will benefit you and them.

Conclusion: How to Determine Where You See Yourself in 5 Years, and How to Answer

If you read everything above, you know know what employers look for when asking this interview question, and how to explain where you see yourself in five years to impress them.

The first step to take is to think about a general idea of where you’d hope to be in five years. Remember: Nobody’s going to be following up and checking on you! Just take a rough guess at what direction you’d like to go in with your career, and pick something that sounds ambitious… (something that’s 1-2 steps ahead of where you’re currently at in your career). If you do this, you’ll show the interviewer that you’re goal-oriented in your career and have taken the time to think about where you see yourself in five years or more.

And if you can explain how their job fits in with your long-term goals (Step 3/3 in the instructions earlier in the article), then they’ll be even more impressed with your response to this interview question.

That’s how to answer where you see yourself in five years in a job interview.

Biron Clark

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This was extremely helpful. now I have more confidence in answering the question like this

Can you please provide an example answer to this question say for a project manager position.

Great potential, career experience, and strong academic qualifications, but no job interviews.

Hi Victor, then it’s definitely your resume that needs work.

Comments are closed.

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10 Sample Answers to “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

where do you see yourself in 5 years essay introduction

Ever wondered how to ace the ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ question in job interviews?

At MatchBuilt, we’ve seen over 70% of employers ask this, making it a crucial pivot point for your career narrative. It’s not just about ambition; it’s a litmus test for your alignment with the company’s vision.

In this post, we’ll unlock the secrets behind this question, drawing on insights from top industry recruiters. Expect to find expertly crafted sample answers tailored to various career paths, equipping you with the right tools to articulate your future goals in sync with potential employers. Let’s dive in and transform your interview responses into compelling career stories.

how to answer where do you see yourself in 5 years

Why Employers Ask This Question and What They Are Looking For

Unraveling the intent behind the classic interview question, ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’, reveals much about an employer’s priorities. It’s not just a query; it’s a strategic probe into your career ambitions and fit with the company’s future.

Here, employers are gauging your long-term vision, seeking signs of ambition, motivation, and dedication to career growth.

A well-crafted answer showcasing your alignment with the company’s values and objectives isn’t just informative—it’s a testament to your commitment and potential growth within the organization. Let’s dive into how a strategic response can significantly impact your career trajectory.

How To Answer ‘Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?’

Now that we grasp the reasons behind the question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” and what employers are seeking in your response, let’s delve into crafting a compelling answer. Follow these clear and direct steps to excel in your response:

  • Be Honest and Realistic: When answering this question, be honest and realistic about your career goals and aspirations . Avoid being vague or unrealistic, as this can give the impression that you haven’t thought much about your future plans.
  • Show Your Ambition: Employers seek ambitious and motivated candidates to grow within the company. Show your ambition by sharing your long-term career goals and how they align with the company’s mission and values.
  • Highlight Your Skills: Take the opportunity to showcase your skills and how you plan to develop them further. This demonstrates your commitment to your career growth and potential value to the company.
  • Be Flexible: While having a clear vision for your future is important, being flexible and adaptable is also essential. Show that you are open to new opportunities and challenges within the company and are willing to adjust your plans if necessary.

When answering this question, avoiding being vague or unrealistic is essential. For example, saying that you see yourself as the company’s CEO within five years may be unrealistic and may not align with the company’s needs. Instead, focus on realistic and achievable goals that demonstrate your ambition and commitment to your career growth within the company.

By following these simple steps, you can provide a thoughtful and strategic answer that impresses your interviewer and showcases your potential as a candidate.

best answer to where you see yourself in five years

Avoid Common Mistakes When Discussing Your 5-Year Vision

When answering the question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” it’s important to avoid common mistakes that could send red flags to the hiring manager and hinder your chances of landing your dream job. Here are some tips on how to avoid these mistakes:

  • Don’t be too vague: Avoid giving generic or unclear answers that don’t align with your career aspirations. For example, saying that you see yourself “growing with the company” may not demonstrate enough ambition or a clear plan for your long-term career goals.
  • Don’t be too unrealistic: While showcasing your ambition and career growth aspirations is important, keeping them realistic is equally important. Saying that you want to be the company’s CEO within five years while starting at an entry-level position may come across as unrealistic.
  • Don’t be too short-sighted: Employers are looking for candidates with a long-term vision for their career growth, not just short-term goals. Ensure your answer includes how you plan to develop your skills and progress in your career beyond the five-year mark.
  • Don’t be too focused on the specific position: While showing enthusiasm for the role you’re interviewing for is excellent, showcasing your broader career goals and aspirations is vital. Don’t limit yourself to just one specific position within the company.
  • Don’t give the same example answer as everyone else: Employers have repeatedly heard the same “example answers” to this common job interview question. It’s important to stand out by providing a unique and personalized response that showcases your strengths and aspirations.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can correctly answer the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” and increase your chances of receiving a job offer. It’s a great way to show your ambition and commitment to long-term career growth while demonstrating that you are a good fit for the company.

Now that you’ve learned what to avoid when answering ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’, let’s take it a step further. Below is a special video to visually guide you through the nuances of crafting an impactful answer. This video will illustrate, with real examples, how to articulate your 5-year vision effectively, ensuring you stand out in your interview. Get ready to transform your answer from good to exceptional, and confidently express your career aspirations.

10 Example Answers to “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

Dive into the heart of your next interview with our curated selection of ten sample answers to the pivotal question, ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ This section is crafted to arm you with strategies that not only answer the question but also align your ambitions with the company’s vision.

From aspiring leaders to technical experts, each example is tailored to showcase different career paths and goals. Let’s enhance your interview preparation and ensure you leave a memorable impression, well-equipped to articulate your future plans with confidence.

Sample Answer 1: Career Growth

In five years, I see myself as an integral part of the company’s vision, contributing to its growth and success. As the company expands into new markets and adopts new technologies, I would love to take on more responsibilities and advance within my role . To achieve this, I plan to proactively seek out professional development opportunities and mentorship from senior team members. I also aim to leverage my skills and experience to support the company’s goals and work collaboratively with my colleagues towards achieving shared objectives.

The response reflects the candidate’s eagerness to advance their company career and unwavering dedication to growth. It exhibits a thorough understanding of the company’s objectives and reveals the candidate’s determination to succeed through proactivity. By prioritizing their professional progression and seeking opportunities to hone their skills, the candidate aligns with the qualities that employers look for in a driven and committed candidate.

Sample Answer 2: Leadership Development

In the next five years, I envision myself growing within the company by taking on new challenges and expanding my skill set. As I understand from my research, the company is expanding its market share and introducing new products to its portfolio. I would like to be a part of this growth and contribute to the success of the company by taking on leadership roles in these new projects. To achieve this, I plan to actively seek out opportunities to learn and develop my skills, take on new responsibilities, and work closely with senior leaders to gain mentorship and guidance. I believe that by growing my leadership skills and contributing to the company’s vision, I can make a meaningful impact and help drive the company’s success in the future.

This answer demonstrates the candidate’s ambition and commitment to developing their leadership skills, a highly valued trait by employers. It also shows that the candidate has a clear plan for achieving their goals and is willing to take proactive steps to develop their skills.

Sample Answer 3: Cross-Functional Experience

In the next five years, I see myself growing within the company by taking on new challenges and expanding my skillset. I am impressed with the company’s vision for innovation and growth, and I would love to be a part of that journey. Specifically, I am interested in learning more about [specific department or project] and how I can contribute to its success. I plan to seek out opportunities to collaborate with those teams and gain a deeper understanding of their operations. By doing so, I believe I can bring added value to the company and achieve my own professional goals.

This response highlights the candidate’s eagerness to enhance their knowledge and expertise beyond their current position, showcasing a valuable attribute for any employee. Moreover, it indicates that the candidate is proactive in their approach and actively seeks out avenues for progress and advancement within the organization.

Sample Answer 4: Contribution to Company Goals

I see myself growing with the company and taking on new challenges over the next five years. I am excited about the company’s focus on expanding into new markets and developing innovative products, and I would love to be a part of that vision. Specifically, I hope to take on leadership roles within my department and contribute to the company’s success through my skills and expertise. I plan to continually improve myself by seeking out opportunities for training and development and staying up-to-date with industry trends. Ultimately, my goal is to make a significant impact on the company’s growth and success while also advancing my own career.

This answer demonstrates the candidate’s commitment to the company’s goals and values, a highly valued trait by employers. It also shows that the candidate has a clear plan for achieving their goals and is willing to seek feedback and mentorship to ensure their success.

Sample Answer 5: Technical Expertise

In the next five years, I see myself growing within the company and becoming an integral part of its future. I am excited about the company’s vision to expand its digital offerings, and I would love to be a part of that growth. Specifically, I am passionate about developing my technical expertise and becoming a subject matter expert within my field. To achieve this goal, I plan to attend technical training or workshops, seek mentorship or guidance from technical experts within the company, and actively seek out challenging technical projects. My objective is to become a valuable resource for the company and a go-to person for technical questions or projects that contribute to the company’s growth and success.

The candidate’s response indicates a strong drive to improve their technical abilities , reflecting a desirable quality sought by employers. Additionally, the candidate’s clear and well-thought-out plan for skill development showcases their dedication to achieving their objectives and their proactive approach toward seeking opportunities for growth and advancement.

candidate talking about professional development plan

Sample Answer 6: Leadership and Management

I see myself taking on a leadership role within the company over the next five years and managing a team. I have been actively developing my leadership skills, and I believe that I will be ready to take on this responsibility in five years. I plan to continue to grow my skills by taking leadership courses and working closely with my current manager to learn as much as possible.

This answer demonstrates that the candidate has ambition and is committed to growing their skills within the company. It also shows that they have a specific career path in mind and are actively working towards achieving their goals.

Sample Answer 7: Industry Expertise

In five years, I see myself as a vital member of the team, contributing to the company’s growth and success. As I understand the company’s vision, it aims to expand into new markets and develop innovative products to stay ahead of the competition. I am excited about the opportunity to grow alongside the company and be part of this vision. I plan to take on challenging projects, seek out learning opportunities, and continuously improve my skills to contribute to the company’s progress. Additionally, I look forward to mentoring new team members and sharing my knowledge and expertise to contribute to the team’s overall success.

The candidate’s response shows a strong commitment to staying current with the latest industry trends and a drive to enhance their expertise. Moreover, it highlights their proactive attitude and willingness to take on new challenges to advance their objectives.

Sample Answer 8: Making an Impact

In five years, I envision myself as a key player in the company’s growth and success. As the company expands into new markets and takes on more complex projects, I would like to take on a leadership role in these endeavors. I am excited about the company’s focus on innovation and sustainability, and I hope to contribute to these initiatives by developing new strategies and implementing best practices. By seeking out mentorship opportunities and continuously improving my skills, I am confident that I can help the company achieve its long-term goals.

This answer shows that the candidate is focused on making a meaningful impact within the company and is committed to finding ways to contribute to the team’s success. It also demonstrates that they are eager to develop their skills and become a more valuable team member.

Sample Answer 9: Entrepreneurship

In five years, I see myself starting my own business within the industry. I plan to continue learning as much as possible while working at this company and develop a network of industry professionals who can support me when the time comes. I believe that my experience working here will be invaluable when starting my own business.

This answer demonstrates that the candidate is ambitious and has a long-term career plan in mind. It also shows they are committed to developing their skills and network while working at the company. They see their experience there as an asset to their future entrepreneurial endeavors.

Sample Answer 10: Company Loyalty

In five years, I see myself still working at this company and contributing to its growth and success. I plan to continue developing my skills and taking on new challenges as they arise. I believe that this company is the best place for me to achieve my career goals, and I am committed to its success.

The candidate’s response exemplifies their loyalty to the company and their intention to stay for the long haul. It also highlights their unwavering commitment to improving their skills and tackling fresh challenges to propel the company’s growth and prosperity further.

Actionable Tips for the 5-Year Vision Interview Question

When responding to the question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” in an interview, it’s beneficial to focus on one or two key areas that align closely with your career aspirations and the company’s objectives. This section offers actionable tips derived from various focus areas to help you articulate a clear and strategic vision. Tailoring your response by combining aspects of these tips can make your answer more impactful and aligned with your individual goals.

Focus Area Actionable Tip
Career Growth Demonstrate commitment to long-term career goals
Leadership Skills Articulate aspirations for leadership roles
Skill Development Express eagerness to acquire specific skills
Company Alignment Align personal goals with the company’s vision
Professional Growth Discuss steps for career progression
Team Contribution Highlight the importance of contributing to a team
Personal Development Emphasize ongoing personal improvement
Innovation Showcase a desire to bring innovative ideas
Industry Knowledge Display a deep understanding of the industry
Work-Life Balance Balance professional ambitions with personal life

Enhance your understanding of ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ another video guide. This visual complements the actionable tips provided, offering a dynamic way to understand how to effectively incorporate these strategies into your answer. The video will bring these tips to life, demonstrating how to blend your career aspirations with the company’s goals in a compelling and personalized way. Get ready to refine your response and make a memorable impact in your next interview.

More Frequently Asked Interview Questions

Preparing for an interview can be nerve-wracking, especially when unsure of what to expect. While every interview differs, hiring managers tend to ask several common questions. Knowing how to answer these questions can help you feel more confident and prepared for your interview. This section will review some of the most common interview questions, tips, and example answers to help you nail your next interview.

The best answer to "What is your long-term goal?" will vary depending on the individual and the specific job opportunity. However, a good answer should demonstrate ambition, a clear vision for the future, and alignment with the company's values and goals. Here is an example of a strong answer: "My long-term goal is to continue to grow and develop in my career while making meaningful contributions to the company. Specifically, I aim to take on increasingly challenging roles and responsibilities that allow me to leverage my skills and experience while also expanding my knowledge and expertise. I see myself as a valuable member of the team, working collaboratively with my colleagues to drive the company's success and achieve our shared goals."

One example answer to the question "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" could be: "In 10 years, I see myself in a leadership role within the company, working closely with the executive team to drive business strategy and innovation. I hope to have developed a strong team of professionals who share my vision and commitment to excellence. Additionally, I plan to have pursued further education and training to expand my skills and knowledge, ultimately positioning myself as an expert in my field." This answer demonstrates ambition, strategic thinking, and a long-term commitment to the company's success. It also shows a willingness to invest in personal and professional growth, which is highly valued by employers. It's important to note that this answer should be tailored to the specific position and company you are interviewing for, showcasing how your long-term goals align with their needs and objectives.

One example answer to the question "What can you bring to the company?" could be: "One of my strengths is my ability to problem-solve and think creatively. In my previous job, I identified a bottleneck in the production process and developed a new strategy that increased efficiency by 30%. I believe this kind of innovative thinking can be applied to any company, and I am excited to bring it to your team." The answer provided showcases a clear understanding of the company's needs and a strong alignment with them. The candidate has also demonstrated how their skills and experience can benefit the company by providing a specific example.

A great example answer to "How do you handle stress and pressure?" would be: "I handle stress and pressure by prioritizing my tasks and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable tasks. I also make sure to take breaks and step away from my work when necessary to clear my mind and refocus. In my previous job, I had a deadline for a project, and there was a lot of pressure to finish it on time. I took the initiative to organize a meeting with my team to discuss our progress and delegate tasks effectively, which helped us meet our deadline without compromising the quality of our work." This answer demonstrates a proactive approach to stress and pressure, emphasizing problem-solving skills, time management, and teamwork. The candidate shows the ability to take charge of the situation and manage their workload effectively while maintaining high quality in their work. Providing a specific example also adds credibility to the candidate's answer, showing their ability to handle stressful situations in the past.

A great way to answer the question, "What can you contribute to the team?" is to provide specific examples of your skills, experiences, and accomplishments related to the job and the team's needs. "I believe my strong communication and collaboration skills, as well as my ability to think creatively and solve problems, would make a valuable contribution to the team. In my previous job, I collaborated with a team of designers and developers to create a new website for our client. My ability to communicate effectively and work well with others helped us meet our deadlines and deliver a high-quality product. I also came up with a creative solution to a technical problem that saved the project time and money. I am confident that I can bring these skills and experiences to this team and contribute to its success." This answer shows that the candidate has specific skills and experiences that are relevant to the job and the team's needs. The example also demonstrates the candidate's ability to work well with others, think creatively, and solve problems, all of which are valuable traits in a team environment. By providing a concrete example, the candidate shows that they have a track record of contributing to a team's success, which can give the hiring manager confidence in their ability to do the same in the new job.

Moving Up the Ladder: Using the “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?” Question to Your Advantage

Answering the question about where you see yourself in 5 years requires a certain amount of crystal ball-gazing. However, by considering your long-term personal goals and creating a five-year plan, you can position yourself for success over the long haul. Whether you’re aiming for a specific management position or simply looking to build your skills and experience as an entry-level employee, having a clear sense of your ultimate goal is a good idea.

At MatchBuilt executive search, we understand that the coming years may hold many opportunities and challenges for job seekers like you. That’s why we’ve provided ten sample answers to one of the most common interview questions, along with advice on how to craft the best response for your potential employers. By following our tips and tailoring your answer to the specific position you’re seeking, you’ll make a great first impression on new employees and increase your chances of landing the job.

where do you see yourself in 5 years essay introduction

About Mark Matyanowski

As the founder of MatchBuilt, with over 18 years of recruiting and coaching experience and 8+ years in executive roles at a leading Fortune 100 company, I am deeply committed to guiding professionals in their career paths.

Our team at MatchBuilt offers expert support in enhancing resumes, optimizing LinkedIn profiles, and preparing for interviews. Our blog, drawing on our rich experience and industry insights, is a valuable resource for job seekers.

We take pride in successfully guiding job candidates to top-tier company roles while empowering individuals to achieve their career ambitions, irrespective of their background or educational level.

Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years? (Sample Answers Included)

Mike Simpson 0 Comments

where do you see yourself in 5 years

By Mike Simpson

Updated 4/30/2022

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? It’s one of those interview questions that seems so simple, but it’s surprisingly tricky to answer. Doesn’t the hiring manager know you can’t predict the future? Yes, they do. But that doesn’t mean they won’t ask you to try.

So, how do you answer a question well if it’s based mainly on guesswork? We’re about to tell you. 

Here’s what you can expect from us in this article:

  • Why do Hiring Managers ask this question?

Communicating Your 5 Year Goals

  • Mistakes to Avoid When Answering This Question
  • How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”
  • 3 Great “Where Do you see Yourself in 5 Years” Examples

Why Do Hiring Managers Ask This Question

Alright, before we hop into any “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” sample answers, let’s talk about why Hiring Managers ask this question.

Do hiring managers think you can tell them with 100 percent certainty where you’ll be five years down the road? No, they don’t. Instead, this question is sort of a test (and not necessarily a great one).

There’s a lot of debate regarding whether hiring managers should ask this question. Some people consider it one of the most ineffective interview questions around because it’s asking you to provide an answer based on a theoretical future no one can actually predict. Others dislike it because it’s essentially requiring candidates to provide lip service to the company.

Still, whether it’s a great way to just a candidate’s chances of success, you may need to answer it. So, it’s vital to know what the hiring manager is actually trying to find out.

Essentially, the hiring manager wants to see whether your answers line up with the company’s goals and the hiring manager’s vision for the position. In the end, hiring a new employee costs around $4,000 to hire, but that’s just part of the equation. Companies also invest in onboarding and training.

Since that’s the case, they want to make sure the incoming hire stays put long enough for them to get a sufficient amount of value out of them. If this job is a fit for your long-term plan, that increases the likelihood that you’ll stay in the role long enough to make hiring you worthwhile. If it isn’t a match for your goals, they may assume that investing in you isn’t a wise choice. Yes, it’s that simple.

In some cases, hiring managers can learn a bit more, too. Depending on how you answer, they can assess aspects of your personality. Are you methodical or free-spirited? Ambitious or cautious? Metered or bold? How you answer may tell them.

By knowing what hiring managers are trying to find out, you can create an answer that speaks to those points. That way, you can increase your chances of standing out for the right reasons.

FREE BONUS PDF "CHEAT SHEET" Get our Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years cheat sheet that gives you   3 more word-for-word example answers to this interview question and more. 

Click Here To Get Your Cheat Sheet

Regardless of the reasons for the Hiring Manager to ask this question, the fact of the matter is, there is a good chance you’re going to be asked it. And this has been made more relevant during the post-Covid world, as the Great Resignation continues and companies become more and more paranoid about losing workers. They want to know if you’re going to stick with them after they’ve invested in you.

So how do you communicate your 5 year plan? How do you let them know that you’ve walked into the interview with a firm grasp of your short term, medium term and long term career goals?

For starters, you need to have put some thought into this before your interview. According to the Wall Street Journal , “Don’t wait for a manager or mentor to ask you what your goals are. Get ahead by brainstorming and crafting your professional goals independently.”

There are many goal-setting resources out there that can assist you with building a goal profile that you can feel confident about heading into your interview.

Once you’ve flushed out your goal profile, get comfortable with it. Read it over several times. Ask a friend to sit down with you and ask you questions about your goals; anything from short- to long-term, financial or growth related or anything else that an interviewer might ask you.

And finally, study how your goals might align with what the company is expecting from the person they hire for the job:

Common Mistakes People Make When Answering the Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years Interview Question

So, can you make mistakes when answering the “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” interview question? Yes, you can.

Usually, the biggest misstep is discussing a goal that has nothing to do with the job or company. If you don’t line up your career path with the opportunity, you’ll seem like a poor fit, even if you could thrive in the role.

Outlining an unrealistic target is also a big mistake. While saying you’ll be CEO in 5 years might seem daring and passionate, if getting into that role in the next half-decade isn’t actually plausible, it’s a bad answer.

Undershooting works against you, too. If you don’t discuss any kind of growth or advancement, it makes you seem complacent about your career. The hiring manager may also worry that you lack confidence or that your abilities don’t actually line up with what they need. In any of those cases, that works against you.

Saying you want to end up in the hiring manager’s job is also a terrible choice. It doesn’t seem ambitious. Instead, it comes across as a threat.

How To Answer Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years

Creating a fantastic answer for this interview question usually seems tricky. However, with the right strategy, you can get the ball rolling. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are three tips that can get you moving in the proper direction.

1) Research the Role and Company

Since your answer needs to show that the position you want to land fits into your 5-year plan, it’s time for some research. Learn as much as you can about the job and the company, especially when it comes to missions, values, and goals. That way, you can fit the right details into the answer, making you seem like a strong fit.

Additionally, spend time researching the next job in the career path. That could give you a reasonable 5-year target, giving you a reference point to discuss how you see that time potentially unfolding.

2) Let Your Enthusiasm Shine Through

Talking about the future should be fun and exciting. If you deliver an answer to the “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” interview question that seems hesitant or uninspired, the hiring manager might assume that you don’t have much passion for the field or the opportunity.

Instead, you need to ensure that your enthusiasm shines through. Show that the path ahead is genuinely motivating to you. That way, you increase your odds of impressing.

3) Embrace Genericness (To a Degree)

Generally speaking, being generic when you answer a job interview question is a poor choice; this is the exception. Since you’re talking about a moment far in the future and there’s no way to know exactly what’ll end up on the horizon, it’s okay to be a little vague. Embrace that idea.

By being a bit generic, you can tailor your answer to the job without making your plan seem too rigid. Additionally, with a broad answer, the hiring manager may fill in some of the gaps themselves. They might figure out how the role could potentially work for you in ways you wouldn’t think of, causing them to relate their ideas to you in their minds. In some cases, that can work in your favor.

Step-By-Step Guide for Answering This Question

As with most interview questions, a strategic approach is your ally. Here’s how to answer “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

1. Do Your Research

As mentioned above, you need to spend time learning about the job and company. That way, you’ll have an easier time designing a response that’s relevant in the eyes of the hiring manager.

2. Check Out the Career Path

After you dig into the role and employer, spend a little time reviewing your potential career path. Determine what jobs come next and how long it usually takes to land them. That way, you can find a solid target for your answer.

3. Have a Compelling Value Proposition

In the end, you should always strive to showcase your value during your interview. Consider how any goals you outline can benefit the company, allowing you to show why your growth and advancement is ultimately a win-win.

4. Embrace Brevity and Be Generic

Generally, this is an interview question where the answer should be short, sweet, and free of any overly limiting detail. Provide a quick overview with somewhat generic targets, ensuring it’s easy for the hiring manager to see how the job can fit into your 5-year plan.

But what if they ask you where you see yourself in 10 years? Don’t worry, we’ve written a separate article for that which you can read here .

Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years Examples

How you answer “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” largely depends on where you are in your career. Since that’s the case, it’s helpful to see a couple of examples. Fortunately, we have your back.

Here are three “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” sample answers, with each one targeting a different moment in a person’s career.

Entry-Level Recent Graduate

As a recent graduate, I’m excited to take my first steps into my chosen field. Over the next five years, my main goal is to continue learning and growing. That’s what initially attracted me to the position and your company, as you have a reputation for supporting your employee’s development.
Ideally, I’d also like to take move from an entry-level role into one that’s a bit more advanced within the next five years if the opportunity arises. Along the way, I also want to explore emerging trends in the field, including on my own time. That way, I can provide an employer with value beyond my current role, hopefully putting me on the track to a rewarding career.

Mid-Career Individual Contributor

During my career, I’ve mainly focused on honing my capabilities, ensuring I can exceed expectations in every role I’ve held. One of those opportunities involved overseeing a critical project. It was my first chance to lead a team, and it ignited my passion for coaching others toward success. Due to that, my main goal for the next five years is to work toward a management role.
To make that a possibility, I’m already taking extra steps. For instance, I’m signing up for project management and leadership courses, allowing me to boost those capabilities. I also feel this role helps me continue down this path, as overseeing projects is a major component of the position.

Manager, Leader, or Executive

During the next five years, my top priority is to support the growth and development of a team while supporting my employer’s overall mission and vision. I’d also like to keep my career moving forward.
In my current position, I’ve had the opportunity to guide and coach an outstanding team, leading to a variety of individual and team successes. For my next step, I’m seeking out opportunities to expand my responsibilities.
That’s why I feel like this role is an exceptional fit for my goals, as it allows me to oversee a department. Ultimately, I’d like to take my knowledge of leadership and coaching and apply it at that level. That way, I can provide exceptional value, all while expanding into new strategic areas that allow me to give even more.

Putting It All Together

By now, you like have a good idea of how to answer, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Use all of the tips above to your advantage. That way, when it’s time to speak with a hiring manager, you’ll have a plan in place, making it easier to impress.

FREE : Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years PDF "Cheat Sheet"

Ok the next thing you should do is Download our PDF Answer "Cheat Sheet" that gives you "word for word" example answers to this dreaded question.

In it you'll find answers to fit a variety of scenarios including: if you are applying for an entry level position , mid management and more!


where do you see yourself in 5 years essay introduction

Co-Founder and CEO of Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at

His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others.

Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

About The Author

Mike simpson.

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Co-Founder and CEO of Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

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Best Answers: Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years (Job Interview)

  • Noel Rojo , 
  • Updated November 13, 2023 8 min read

“ Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”  is a much hated question at job interviews. And I’m not surprised.

It can be hard to articulate your future goals when you don’t even know what you’ll have for dinner tomorrow.

But don’t worry. The interviewers don’t expect you to tell them exactly where you’ll be in five year’s time. They only want to hear about your motivations and career goals and see if they match with theirs.

Something relatively general like “ I see myself in a position where I have progressed up the career ladder, feel fulfilled, and am making a meaningful contribution to the company” usually does the trick.

But if you want to make sure you have prepared a good answer for all kinds of different interview situations or specifically for your position, keep on reading!

Table of Contents

Click on a section to skip

  • What do employers look for in your answer?

How to answer “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” 

  • Best answer examples for "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

Career Goal Examples

Other similar questions to “where do you see yourself in 5 years”, other common job interview questions, what do employers look for in your answer .

This seemingly simple question is actually loaded. Your answer will provide the hiring manager with the information (good or bad) he needs to decide if you’re the right person for the job. 

Hence, why it’s so important to truly understand this question.

Why do they ask?

In short, when asked “Where do you see yourself in years?”  your hiring manager wants to know if you’re someone who can commit long-term to the company . It's asked to weed out those who can’t, which lowers their company’s turnover rate. That in turn saves them time and money that would be spent in retraining. 

What do they want to know? 

Your interviewer is able to know if you're capable of long-term commitment once he evaluates several layers of your answer. He wants to know if:

  • You’re someone with self-knowledge : If you have dedicated the time to know who you are, chances are you know what you want. Such a quality can be very valuable to the company because you won’t just up and leave one day because you suddenly found a new calling. 
  • You’re ambitious:  Hiring managers look for individuals with this trait because they’re usually enthusiastic and driven, constantly reaching for the next goal. 
  • You sincerely want the job: Having passion for the tasks that come with the job increases the probability that the job you're applying for will fulfil your needs. This will also increase your productivity as it’s easier to get in a state of flow when doing something you enjoy.
  • Y our goals align with the company’s goals:  Aligning goals gets you and the company pushing in the same direction. This benefits both sides as you will feel you’re doing something meaningful, which means you will work with intention and thus provide better work.

Since you now know why the question is asked, you can put away your “I see myself with a spouse, a kid and a house” response. 

Instead, we have the kind of answers that will get you the job.  

We can help!

Get a new job fast with a stunning resume.

This question is a good reason why you should always say yes when they offer you water. 

Take a sip, soak in the question, and respond once your mind is collected.  

Here’s how to respond: 

Keep it broad . Although it’s often recommended to answer job interview questions as precisely as you can, this is one time you can bend that rule and keep the answer on the general side. Especially, if you’re still searching for your vocation. For example:

“In 5 years time, I see myself in a role that continues to challenge me and that provides me opportunities to grow my skill-set.”

Be enthusiastic by what the job could bring to you. Tell your interviewer how you want to expand your skill-set.  

“I saw on the company’s website you’re looking for someone good at social media. I actually have 80,000 followers on my instagram. I would love to continue learning about it and think I could help with growing your social media reach.”

Talk long-term , let them know you’re someone who is looking at the job as a long-term investment. 

“The truth is I’ve always wanted to be a communication’s manager and learning more about social media can help me get there.”

(You would only say something like this if there’s a possibility of becoming a communication manager in the company, otherwise it can be counterintuitive.)

Now, these were examples for a social media guru and we know not everyone is one. So, we prepared a few more answer examples for you.

Best answer examples for "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

Apart from properly researching the company you’re being interviewed for or going through a job interview guide , learning from examples is one of the best ways to prepare an amazing response. 

Here are some short answer examples for different careers to “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” .

Best answer for the nurse (example):

Every position offers opportunities that can change your life trajectory. However, it’s important to be realistic in your expectations. If you attend an interview to become a nurse, don't expect to be a doctor in five years. Just because it's not possible without a further degree. Instead, as a future nurse, your answer could be:

“I would like to gain clinical skills and assume more responsibilities with time. I think I would enjoy being a team leader so becoming a supervisor or even a nurse manager later on would allow me to grow – professionally and personally, too.”

Best answer for the software developer (example):

If applying for a position as a software developer, stress your area of interest. Let’s say, you want to work for a company that leads in cyber security. Your response to “Where do you want to be in five years?” could be as follows: 

”One of my passions has been researching cyber security and looking for solutions in this field. Working for a company with such an outstanding record in this area, I see myself learning new approaches and applying them to the development of new technologies in the future.”

Best answer for the administrative assistant (example):

Do you want to get that administrative assistant job? Tell the interviewer about your determination this way:

”In five years, I see myself as an executive assistant. I believe I can gain enough experience to grow into such a position. I am planning to learn some more soft skills, such as, for example, delivering presentations or communication techniques, which could be valuable assets for myself as well as the company I will be working for.”

Best answer for the accountant (example):

Ready to get that accountant job of your dreams? This response will persuade your interviewer that you are the right person for it:

”There is always something new to learn and I am a passionate learner. Apart from getting better at working with various accounting softwares, I am planning to learn coding in Python, which could open up new possibilities for me at work. I want to keep on improving my communication skills to apply them in contact with clients.”

Best answer for the internship (example):

Dreaming of an internship at your favourite media organization? Apart from telling them why you admire their work, mention where you'd like to grow as a journalist and how this internship will help you do so:

”In today’s world, independent journalism is key in fighting desinformation. Therefore, I want to become a part of a media organization which produces high-quality journalism. I consider investigative journalism my main area of interest and I am planning on developing all skills necessary to become an investigative reporter that can disclose important cases to contribute to the change in our societies. For that I need to become an expert in research and analysing data.”

Or is your internship opportunity in an advertising company ? 

”My biggest strength is that I am an idea maker and can come up with effective campaigns on social media. In the future, I see myself as a leader of the marketing team of a company whose work contributes to solving societal issues and/or whose products are socially responsible. It is important to me to put my skills in use for the cause I believe in. For that, I need to keep up with all the changes that are happening in the marketing world and always find new ways to enforce my creativity.

If you still can’t find inspiration in the answers above or we didn’t cover your career, you can use these career goal examples to help you formulate a perfect response: 

As there are thousands of career goals out there, we’re going to break them down into 3 types.

1.) Leadership Goals:

One of the best ways to proceed in your career is to aim towards a leadership role. Here are some examples to shoot for: 

  • Team leader
  • Supervisor 
  • Consultant 
  • Coach 

2.) Education Goals :

Furthering your professional education shows you're willing to go above and beyond. By mentioning your education goals for the next five years you will let your employer know you're someone who will stay relevant within your field. Here are some examples of ways to educate yourself further:

  • Getting a degree 
  • Getting a certificate
  • Getting an accreditation 
  • Learning to use new software 
  • Learning a new language 
  • Learning to code

3.) Personal development goals:

Another way to advance in your career is by bettering yourself. Here’s a few ways you could do that:  

  • Aiming for an award
  • Becoming an expert in a topic or field 
  • Expanding your network
  • Working on your soft skills 

See! There’s many ways to show your interviewer you’re the right person for the job.

This question comes in many variations (though with the same intent):

  • What are your long-term objectives? 
  • What is most important in your career?
  • What’s your definition of success? 
  • What are your career goals in the next five years? 
  • What are you looking for in a company?
  • Describe your professional goals
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 
  • What are your career objectives? 
  • Where do you want to be in 5 years? 
  • What are your future goals? 

Christy's word of advice

This is a popular interview question, but it’s not a particularly imaginative or useful one. You could always jokingly reply  “At your desk!” , but unless your potential boss has a great sense of humour, a more diplomatic  “In a position where I have progressed up the career ladder, feel fulfilled, and am making a meaningful contribution to the company and its customers”  might be a better response!

Christy Morgan, Resident HR Expert

Do you have any questions for me?

The answer is always yes.

You could ask: “What problem has the company been trying to resolve or what issue do you need this position to tackle?"

You could use this opportunity to shine. Tell them how you would solve their problem. 

What are your strengths?  

Use the job description as your guide when you select your strengths. A good rule of thumb is to follow the formula of strength + context + story . When providing context for your strengths, address the specific qualities that qualify you for the job and distinguish you as a candidate . 

Can you tell me about one of your weaknesses? 

Like with the question about your strengths, you can use the formula of weakness + context + story . We advise talking about a real weakness, but that is not a big part of the job at hand. Talk about a weakness that you’ve overcome, that made you better or even an expert. 

Why does our company appeal to you?

A good way to answer this question is by adding the company’s values to your response (most companies have them listed in their websites). However, try not to force them into the conversation as you will not sound authentic. Instead, be subtle and use them in moderation.  

What’s a challenging situation you’ve faced? 

When answering this question is good to reflect the skills the employer is searching for. Try tailoring your examples to the job description.

Why should we hire you?

There's a simple three step formula you can use to answer the question " Why should we hire you ? ".

  • Statement : Start by briefly stating you understand what they’re searching for in an employee (skills, experience, and character).
  • Experience :  Pick 2 to 3 things that stand out to you from the job listing and restate how your experience can fulfil those requirements
  • Benefit : Try not to only list the skills you possess (features). Instead, talk about how your these skills, experience and personality traits can bring improvements into the job, team, or company (benefits).

To sum it up

Keep your answer brief, work related, and a bit on the general side (especially if you still don’t know your vocation).

Let your hiring manager know that you’re someone who is able to commit to long- term goals.

Talk about your goals, skills, and values and have them align with what they're searching for.

Your future starts here.

With a stunning resume that gets you a job.

Prepared to tackle the "Where do you see yourself in 5 years" question with confidence? Let's take it up a notch. Have a look at our wealth of resume samples to ensure your resume also communicates your forward-thinking career vision.

A documentary photographer and writer. Noel has worked for International publications like Deutsche Welle in Germany to News Deeply in New York. He also co-founded the global multimedia project Women Who Stay and collaborated as a journalist fellow with the University of Southern California. He went from traveling around the world to sitting on a couch thanks to the pandemic, but he got a nice job working for Kickresume thanks to that, so he won't complain.

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How to Answer "Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?"

Why Interviewers Ask This Question?

Final thoughts, how to answer "where do you see yourself in 5 years".

Updated May 13, 2024

Edward Melett

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The much-used interview question " where do you see yourself in 5 years? " is often dismissed as a waste of time. No one can see that far into the future; particularly graduates who may not have a set career path in mind and are still exploring their career options.

In fact, your interviewer is asking this question for an important reason. And it’s not because they are trying to test your psychic abilities.

Your interviewer doesn’t expect you to wield a crystal ball and tell them exactly where you will be in five years from now. The question is used to weed out weak and unsuitable candidates.

Employers want to recruit people who are motivated, self-aware, engaged in their job and who share similar goals and values. Recruitment is expensive and time-consuming, and potential employers want to be sure that you intend to stay.

where do you see yourself in 5 years sample answers

Your interviewer will ask "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" to understand:

  • Your long-term career objectives
  • How you are striving towards your goals
  • How this particular role will contribute towards your success.

Other Versions of the "Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years Interview Question"

Other variations of the "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" career objectives question may also crop up in your interview. At first glance, these questions might appear to be asking the same thing. Sometimes they are – but sometimes they can be subtly different, and it's important to know how.

Variations of this question which ask the same thing include:

  • What are your long-term career goals?
  • Where do you want to be in five/ten years’ time?
  • Do you have a long-term career goal?
  • How will this job help you achieve your long-term career goals?

Similar variations of the ‘five years’ time’ question which are subtly different include:

“How Will You Achieve Your Career Goals?”

This is often a supplemental question to the 'five years from now' question. However, it focuses more on how you will achieve your goals. You should mention your past achievements , those you are close to obtaining, and any relevant skills.

My goal is to achieve chartered tax adviser status. I have the required qualifications and am seeking to obtain the practical experience necessary to apply my skills.

“What Does Success Mean to You?”

In contrast to the where do you see yourself in five years' question, this one scrutinizes both your long- and short-term career goals , plus your overall work ethic. Make sure you give specific examples to help your answer stand out.

To me, success is going above and beyond what is expected. For example, last summer I interned at a commercial law firm. My main responsibility was to carry an independent caseload. However, I also volunteered to compile a client report detailing our work on 150 cases. I delivered the report before the deadline and received positive client feedback.

“What Do You Want for Your Next Job?”

The interviewer is trying to gauge whether your personal goals and values align with those of the company. Focus less on your long-term development and more on how you can apply your skills to further the company’s objectives.

My previous experience in a customer-facing capacity means I am confident and proficient at sales. I am looking for a position at a larger company where I can apply my customer service skills and boost sales.

where do you see yourself in 5 years examples

Things You Should Never Say When Asked ‘Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?’

1. trying to be humorous.

Some employers might appreciate humour, but many will not. The best option is to avoid it altogether. Humorous answers run the risk of making you sound insincere or that you are avoiding the question.

An example of a bad answer:

I’ll be running this company in five years’ time_” or “_I’ll be sitting in your seat.

2. Being Too Honest if You Don’t Know Where Your Career Is Going Yet

Vague answers are OK. However, your interviewer wants to know whether you are serious about the job concerned. If you tell the interviewer that you don’t intend to stay in the position, then it is unlikely they will want to invest in hiring you.

I don’t know if I’ll still be working in marketing in five years’ time. I might return to university and retrain as a nurse.

3. Being Too Specific

Unless you are familiar with the exact responsibilities of the job, there is a risk you will talk yourself out of it.

The interviewer only wants to assess whether you will be a good fit for this particular role. Your answer of “In five years I will be head of the customer services co-ordination team” is all fine and dandy until you realise the company you are applying for does not have a customer services coordination team and the role you are applying for is a data analyst position.

Keep your answers fairly general and always link the job at hand to the furthering of your career goals.

4. Being Too General or Mentioning Pipe Dreams

Although you should not be too specific, you should also avoid giving a non-answer. The example below tells the interviewer nothing about whether you will be suitable for the job.

I will probably be CEO of some company, or maybe I’ll finally write that book.

5. Getting Too Personal

Put simply, answering too emotionally is unprofessional. Keep your answer focused on career goals and do not mention any fear of failure.

If I turn 30 without achieving [this] and [this], I’ll have failed at life.

6. ‘Um-ing and Ah-ing’ Your Way Through a Question or Saying You Do Not Know

This shows a lack of introspection and engagement and will not impress your interviewer.

where do you see yourself in 5 years essay introduction

‘Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years – Sample Answers and Tips

The best answers to ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ fall within that narrow range of ‘generally specific’. To respond well, you need to structure your answer in two parts:

  • Outline your long-term goals.
  • Demonstrate why the job you are applying for will help you achieve those goals.

Bearing this in mind, here are some tips and sample answers to help you:

Consider Why the Job Interests You

Before your interview, take some time to note down what intrigues you about the vacancy. This lays the foundation for explaining how the job will help you get to where you want to be in five years' time.

Potential points of interest:

  • Passion for the sector concerned
  • Opportunities for advancement within the company (e.g. internal qualifications, support for external qualifications, networking opportunities or management training schemes)
  • Specific responsibilities of the job (e.g. using particular software, engaging with clients or organising marketing events)

Example answer:

Through my degree in computer science and personal research, I have discovered a passion for testing and finding practical solutions to technical problems. I was therefore drawn to this position of Software Test Analyst, due to its focus on quality assurance and dedication to producing faultless systems and applications. Your internal training and mentoring scheme is something I am interested in pursuing to develop my skills.

Why this answer is good to the where do you see yourself in 5 years interview question

You have outlined why the position is of interest, and your reference to developing your skills within the role leads to a discussion about your long-term career goals.

Research the Business

Never go into an interview unprepared. Always take time to research the organisation’s values and its long-term objectives. Then think about how your personal career goals coincide. If you share the same goals, it is more likely you will be suitable for the job.

I am passionate about research and development within the cybersecurity sector. I admire the business’s significant role in creating robust security systems for the prevention of cyber-crime. In five years' time, I want to have made my own contributions to the development of security technologies. I am therefore excited about the opportunity this position presents for developing my expertise.

You have researched the business's role within its sector of expertise, acknowledged the importance of the work it does and demonstrated how your long-term goals coincide.

Don't Worry If You Don't Know What Kind of Career You Want to Pursue

Just emphasise your drive to succeed and dedication to self-development. The best employees are driven, confident and self-motivated. Even if you don’t know exactly where you will be in five years’ time, say to your interviewer that you are dedicated to furthering your career. Keep your answer focused on progression.

Over the next few years, I want to explore and develop skills in project management. In five years, I want to have gained experience in leading projects for major clients. I will be looking for opportunities to expand my responsibilities within this role to work towards my goal.

Why this answer is good to the where do you see yourself in 5 years interview question.

It outlines a career path without being too specific. It indicates that you are motivated. It also describes a valid career goal – obtaining experience in project management.

Be Enthusiastic

This will indicate that you will engage with the job and are more likely to stay in the role for some time.

Be Realistic

Ultimately, whatever your answer to the question, you need to sound realistic and believable. For example:

  • Only outline goals which can be achieved within five years
  • Ensure your goals are related to the job description
  • Emphasise that you will achieve your goals through hard work, not luck

Therefore, don't tell the interviewer that you want to be a billionaire in five years' time and that this position as Business Sales Associate will help you achieve that.

where do you see yourself in 5 years essay introduction

Keep your answers focused on achievable goals.

Some ‘What If’ Scenarios

What if i don’t envisage myself at this company in 5 years from now.

Under no circumstances should you tell the interviewer that you won’t be working for them in five years’ time (even if you know it is likely true). Ensure you present yourself as:

  • Interested in the job
  • Driven and motivated
  • Dedicated to success.

These are all indicators that you may stay with the company for a long time, without you having to lie.

What If This Job Is Just a Temporary Stopgap?

For example, if you intend on returning to university in the near future.

If this is the case, sidestep the issue by outlining career goals which do not depend on you remaining at the company for five years. For example:

  • “One of my goals is to develop leadership skills and take on a managerial role.”
  • “I want to build strong, reliable relationships with high-profile clients.”
  • “I want to learn [skill or technology] to a high level of expertise.”

Remember, you need to link your goals to the job for which you are applying. For example, only say you want to develop a skill if it is something you can learn within the role.

What If I Am Planning a Career Switch?

You might have no idea whatsoever where you will be in five years’ time, since you are in the process of switching career.

As with point two above, be general in your answer but remember to link your goals to the job for which you are applying.

What If the Business Is Small?

The question "Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?" can be particularly relevant to small organisations and start-ups because the impact of each employee tends to be bigger than at a larger company.

However, the size of the company can also make it harder to answer the question for the following reasons:

  • A start-up may have fast-evolving company objectives.
  • The job role may be new and the responsibilities not yet fully defined.
  • There may not be any guaranteed internal progression.

As above, you can avoid any pitfalls by keeping your answer vague. Research the business thoroughly and pinpoint its strategies and objectives.

If the business’s goal is growth, then use this to your advantage:

Over the next five years I would love to help further your objective of bringing on board more non-profits and building close client relationships.

As you can see, what appears to be a simple question can tell an interviewer a lot about you as a potential employee.

So do not underestimate the "where do you see yourself in 5 years" question; instead, make sure you prepare for it appropriately.

Here are some final tips to round off:

Remember to structure your answer – Outline why the job interests you, what your long-term career goals are and how this job will help you achieve them.

Demonstrate a commitment to the business – Show that you are motivated and enthusiastic.

Research the company – Learn its objectives and how your long-term goals coincide.

And finally, be confident – The interviewer knows you cannot see the future. However, confidence in your chosen career path will make your narrative more believable.

You might also be interested in these other Wikijob articles:

10 Best Sample Answers to "Why Do You Want to Work in Our Company?"

Or explore the Interview Advice / Interview Questions sections.

The Best Way to Answer ‘Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?’

Demonstrate that your career goals align with the job at hand.

Hal Koss

Items you should bring to a job interview : notepad, copy of your resume, crystal ball.

Joking aside, that last one might come in handy, thanks to a particular question that’s loved by  hiring managers :  “Where do you see yourself in five years?” (They may also ask it in another form: “What are your short- and long-term goals ?”)

Tips for Answering ‘Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?’

  • Show how your professional goals and the job you’re applying for align.
  • Focus on the skills you want to learn and get better at.
  • Don’t get too specific with job titles or time frames.
  • Never say “I want your job,” “I don’t know” or “Not here!”

It’s a tricky question, and if you don’t start thinking about it ahead of time, the answer is easy to flub.

Why Interviewers Ask This Question

1. to ensure a candidate is a good fit for a role.

Interviewers ask this question because they want to see if your professional goals align with the job for which you’re interviewing. If the two don’t match, the hiring manager might doubt that you’ll be motivated to develop in your role or stick around long enough to make a difference — which makes you a risky investment, from their point of view.

“A lot of managers ask that question to feel safe,” Mike Manoske, career coach and co-author of the book  The Job Search Manifesto , told Built In. “Typically, what they’re looking for is stability.”

Such caution is warranted. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that people usually stay at their jobs for  around four years . When it comes to tech startups, employee tenure is often  shorter than that .

2. To Avoid a Flight-Risk Candidate

Considering how expensive it is to hire and onboard new employees, interviewers want to feel confident that people they hire have ambition to excel and potential for growth but who aren’t already plotting for how to land their next jobs.

Hiring managers want to know that the candidate will be a fit for the company in both the short and long term, according to Roxy Phothirath-Burke, director of customer success at Resident .

“Are they looking for this role to be long term for them?” Phothirath-Burke told Built In, describing her thought process. “Or are they trying to really just find a placeholder while they’re still searching for something else?”

3. To See If Candidates Have a Growth Mindset

Hiring managers also ask this question because they’re trying to uncover how the candidates see themselves growing , Phothirath-Burke added, and how that growth may or may not align with the vision of the company.

Things change fast in the startup world. You never really know what that next role is going to be for somebody — but hiring managers “still want them to be able to work the hardest in the role that you’re trying to hire them for in the current moment,” Phothirath-Burke said.

More on Job Interview Questions How to Answer ‘Why Should We Hire You?’

1. Answer This Question for Yourself First

Even before candidates field this question from hiring managers, they’ll want to prepare by thinking through what their short- and long-term career goals are.

Hilary Malecha, director of business development at Cogo Labs , said it might help to think of one’s career as a narrative. She recommends that job seekers ask themselves: What is the climax of my plot ? Where do I want to end up? What skills do I need to get there?

If people need help figuring this out, Malecha recommends finding someone, like a mentor , who’s more experienced and doing the sort of job they want to be doing one day. Ask them what their various roles were that gave them the skills they needed to land that job. After doing this, job seekers should have a better understanding of how to prepare their answers.

2. Show You’re Interested in This Job

When Rick Wolf interviews candidates for a job, he looks for intentionality.

“If you’re kind of just drifting along, or you’re here because I asked you to be, I don’t think you’re going to be particularly happy in a role I have to offer,” Wolf, a data science manager at Grand Rounds , told Built In. “And moreover, I won’t be a good manager for you, because I won’t be able to figure out what to offer to help you grow.”

Hiring managers want to know that candidates are looking for something more than “just a job,” that the role for which they are applying fits in with their larger professional goals. This question helps uncover that.

For example, if you’re interviewing for a social media marketing position, and you say, “I want to eventually be a UX designer,” that signals you might not be excited about the idea of this particular job. 

Same goes if you’re applying for a customer success role with a fintech company but you say you’re not really interested in the financial services industry.

Stephen Jensen, former director of mid market at  Motive , put it this way: If he’s interviewing a candidate for a sales position, and they say they want to be a fisherman in five years, he’d think, “You might be able to do the sales job, but how motivated are you going to be ... to really understand and grow within this company and be successful at your job if you have no interest at building a career within our industry, or within this specific skill set?”

3. Keep It General

Kirsten Nelson, a career coach , typically encourages job seekers to be very specific when answering interview questions. Not with this one.

“I think with this question it’s actually OK to be a little bit more general in your response,” Nelson said. She suggests candidates avoid sharing too much detail when it comes to timelines and job titles.

Instead of saying, “I want to be a senior marketing director within three years,” discuss more generally the  skills you hope to accrue , the experiences you hope to have and the impact you hope to make. For example, say, “I plan on expanding my knowledge about different marketing channels, especially around experimenting with paid search and social ads, and finding ways to get more involved in campaign strategy.”

Catalina Peña, a career coach and founder of  Catalyst Creation , offers similar advice: “A bad way to answer is saying, ‘I want to be a manager of this team, and have this many people, and I want to work on this particular project — and I want to do it all from my house,’” Peña said.

The more specific a candidate’s answer, the more they box themselves in, she added. The more detailed a five-year plan, the less likely it is the job will be able to accommodate it.

Hiring managers aren’t looking for candidates who want something from a job that the job doesn’t provide. The best way to respond is to show intentionality with direction , but flexibility on the details.

4. Focus on Skills

When an interviewer asks, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” emphasize the competencies you hope to learn and improve upon.

For example, you might say something like, “In the next few years I want to get better at designing, running and optimizing marketing campaigns. I look forward to deepening those skills and taking my knowledge base to the next level so I can contribute even more.”

Or you could offer a response that runs along these lines: “I’ve enjoyed managing a direct report in my current role. So in the next few years, I see myself enhancing my leadership and management skills, developing as a mentor and supervisor, and putting myself in a position where I can lead a growing team.”

Another answer might begin like this: “In my current role, I’ve been able to progressively get more involved in driving the strategy behind our product roadmap. And that’s something I want to continue to do. I see myself making an impact in that way.”

Shwetha Shankar, vice president of customer success at , also thinks job seekers ought to center their responses on the skills they hope to learn .

If a candidate doesn’t know what skills to discuss, Shankar recommends they start by taking their long-term vision and breaking it down into the skills required to get there.

Additionally, candidates may want to incorporate some language from the actual job description into their answers.

As for particular phrasing, Shankar recommends a few jumping-off points: “I’m looking to become an expert in XYZ,” or “I’m looking to deepen my skills in such and such area,” maybe even, “I see myself in a leadership role in this particular space, and for me to get there, I’m hoping to learn A, B and C skills along the way.”

“It’s a mix of humility combined with ambition that makes for an excellent answer to that question,” Shankar added.

5. Connect Short-Term Goals With Long-Term Ambitions

Malecha recalls asking a candidate what his goals were and being impressed by his answer.

The candidate said in the next five to 10 years he hoped to work in venture capital directly. But in order to get there, he first needed to better understand the inner workings of successful companies — how they acquire customers, monetize, things like that — so he could best advise them.

“That was sort of an amazing answer and culture fit for Cogo [Labs] because we are building companies [and going] in the weeds. But we also have a venture capital company that invests in them,” Malecha said.

She said a colleague of hers, a senior analytics manager, also handled this question well when it was posed to her in an interview.

The candidate basically said that, long term, she saw herself bringing a woman’s view to leadership , whether that would be with Cogo Labs or at another company. But first she wanted to learn all of the skills she needed to get there — by coming into this role and driving impact and growth for the companies it’s currently incubating.

Malecha liked this answer because it struck the right balance “between realism and tactical versus [an] optimistic, long term approach.”

Example Answers for ‘Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?’

Answering the five-year-plan question is a balancing act. A good answer demonstrates that you are motivated and driven while still making it clear you are excited about the job for which you’re interviewing. For help formulating an answer, here are a few starting points:

  • “I see myself eventually developing into a leader in the [industry vertical] space. To get there, I hope to learn even more about [skills and experiences] along the way.”
  • “I want to continue to deepen my [example] skills.”
  • “I want to learn how to [skills] even better, so that I can make even more of an impact, including [impacts you wish to make] .”
  • “My favorite part of my job right now is [ways you’re contributing] . I hope to continue to do that, but I also hope to challenge myself to grow in new ways, including [examples] .”
  • “I’m interested in applying my love of [broader themes of your skills] to help make a difference, especially with organizations that value [company’s value you align most with] .”
  • “I’m really excited about the [industry vertical] space right now. I hope that in five years, I’m continuing to get better at [skills] and learning more about how to become an expert in [skills] so that I can ultimately [goal that aligns with job description] .”

Things You Should Never Say When Asked ‘Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?’

‘i don’t know.’.

Malecha doesn’t really like it when candidates answer the question by saying “I don’t know.”

To her, it indicates they haven’t given much thought to their long-term career goals , if any at all. (With one exception — she thinks it’s just fine when recent grads say “I don’t know.” But even then, she’ll rephrase the question to try to get a sense of what general direction the candidate hopes to go in.)

For someone who’s already a few years into their career , though, not having any idea of what they want their future to look like is in “a little bit of the red flag category,” Malecha said. It might indicate a lack of vision or ambition .

‘In a More-Senior Role Than the One I’m Applying For.’

It may raise concerns from hiring managers when a candidate answers the question by saying they want to quickly get promoted into a senior role. It shows focus is a bit too far down the road, rather than the job right in front of them.

“That’s something that tells me they’re already, potentially, not going to be [around] long term in the role we’re looking for,” Phothirath-Burke said.

‘In a Different Department.’

A candidate whom Phothirath-Burke recently interviewed said their five-year goal was to work their way up to a leadership role — in a different department.

“That to me is a red flag,” Phothirath-Burke said. “I’m not going to be able to meet this person’s expectations for what they’re looking for — either I’m not going to be able to give them the resources, or they’re going to get bored and uninterested because this isn’t in their goal for the future.”

‘I’m Coming for Your Job.’

Pro of answering this way: it exudes confidence .

Con: “It makes me a little nervous,” Phothirath-Burke said. “But I am more than happy to hear their thought process behind it.” 

Part of the reason this brash response puts Phothirath-Burke off is that the candidate doesn’t know enough about her job to make such a statement.

“I think that shows somebody wanting to run before they’ve learned to walk,” she said.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to answer, "where do you see yourself in five years".

Discuss how you want to learn new skills and grow professionally, especially in ways that align with the job description and the company’s goals. Don’t mention specific job titles you want or timelines for promotions.

Why is 'where do you see yourself in five years' a popular question?

Employers want to know what candidates’ goals are and whether those goals align with the position and the company’s goals. This way, employers can reduce employee turnover and ensure new hires have opportunities to grow and develop at their company.

Recent Job Interviews Articles

22 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Job Offer

How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

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When you get asked an interview question like, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” you might think, “Does five years from now matter? I have rent to pay this month!” Or, “I haven’t gotten that far. I’m about to turn 26 and need health insurance.”

It’s easy to become laser-focused on your next job and your next job only—especially if you’re unemployed or seeking to leave a toxic workplace . Or maybe you do have a clear vision of your future goals, but you're not sure if they align with what the interviewer wants to hear.

Regardless, this question is crucial, and how you respond can make or break your chances of being hired. Learn what interviewers want to know, how to put your answer together, and what to avoid—plus read a few example answers.

Land more interviews by looking for open jobs on The Muse »

Why do employers ask “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Even if it's not immediately clear, there's typically a logical reason behind the questions an interviewer chooses to ask. Here's why the interview question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” is an important one:

To measure if you're a good fit for the role

This question is “an attempt to measure a candidate's motivation and future goals,” says Muse career coach Tara Goodfellow , owner of Athena Consultants —and gauge how well they match up with the role you’re interviewing for.

Have you thought about your career path and how this role and company would fit into it? What are you looking to accomplish in this position, and how are you hoping to grow beyond it? Your answer should match with what the company has to offer; otherwise, the hiring manager might assume you won't stick around for long, or question your genuine interest in the position.

To understand your values and career aspirations

Employers are looking to understand what value you’ll bring to their organization on your way to achieving your goals, says Muse career coach Eloise Eonnet , founder of Eloquence Coaching . “They also want to know what kind of person you are and will become,” she says.

What matters most to you: Being proud of the work you do? Becoming a great team member? Learning how to be an awesome manager? Nowadays, fitting in with the company culture and sharing its values is just as important as having the skills required to perform your daily tasks.

To assess your potential for growth within the company

Hiring managers also pose this question to uncover whether you have a growth mindset. Ambitious people are often highly motivated, open to learning, willing to take risks, and embrace additional responsibilities. In certain companies and industries, these traits are deemed essential in an employee.

Even if you're not the most ambitious person ever, having a clear goal is important to show that you're not just going with the flow and aren't comfortable with staying stagnant.

Do's for answering “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

When preparing your response to "Where do you see yourself five years from now?" consider the company's values and how your goals align with the role. To make things easier, follow these tips to craft an answer that will impress your next interviewer:

1. Connect the job to your career goals

Think about your medium- and long-term career goals: maybe the type of job you want, the kind of company or team you’d like to work for, or the sort of work environment you’d like to be in. Or perhaps your goal is about how you’ll be seen by the people you work with—for example, as a great manager or as an expert on saving at-risk accounts.

Then, figure out how this position will help you reach your goals. Is this role a common step on the way to your dream job? For example, maybe you’re interviewing for a sales development representative role because you want to be an account executive down the line.

Or maybe you’re hoping to gain experience with a certain task or grow a skill that will help you in your career. For instance, you might want to work on a website redesign or learn how to manage databases.

2. Know that it’s OK if you don’t have it all figured out yet

You might have no idea where you want to be in five years, particularly if you’re applying for an entry-level position—and that’s totally fine. (Check out this worksheet on how to set long-term career goals.) “Most folks just don't know the scope of potential opportunities until they get some true experience,” Goodfellow says.

In this case, do some research about the career paths and professional opportunities that might follow from the position you’re interviewing for and learn a bit about related departments. See what might interest you and then be ready to explain why you’re interested, Goodfellow says.

For example, imagine you’re interviewing for a sales role. You might be interested in gaining experience selling to different types of clients to identify the industry or niche that best suits you in the long run. Or maybe you’d like to learn more about how marketing and sales interact and collaborate.

Just “showing in your answer that you understand the role helps,” Goodfellow says, so even if you don’t know where exactly your career is headed, make sure you’re clear on what opportunities this job will provide you and demonstrate that you’re excited to explore them.

Read more: How to Set Ambitious Career Goals You Can Realistically Accomplish

3. Be honest

Ultimately, while you want to connect your answer to the role, “you have to answer with what feels right to you,” Goodfellow says. So be honest—but tactful. Even if you think this is going to be a short-term gig for you, you don’t need to say that. Instead, focus on your potential.

Talk about the “value you will have created in a few years’ time. No need to mention a specific company name or exact position,” Eonnet says—e.g., “In five years, I will have managed a few multi-channel marketing campaigns and I will have become an expert on social media data reporting.”

4. Be realistic

Make sure you’re talking about goals you can accomplish in the next five years. If you’re an entry-level candidate, telling a department head that you’ll have their job in five years doesn’t make you seem ambitious, it makes you seem naive (and arrogant). Talk about moving up one or two levels max in your career or about learning skills and gaining experiences you’ll be exposed to in this position.

5. Follow this formula

So, how do you put this together as an answer? Eonnet suggests following this formula:

  • Step 1: Start your answer with one or two key goals and consider connecting them with some of the qualities you want to convey to the interviewer. For example:

“I’m someone who loves learning about new tech and trends, so in the next five years, I see myself as having established strong knowledge on what’s new and emerging in digital marketing.”

  • Step 2: Dive into how and why you will have done these things—interviewers want to see that you’ve thought through your plan. So continuing with the example you might say:

“By working as an analyst, I will have gained experience in analyzing the results of a range of marketing tactics, and I’ll have stayed on top of new developments by becoming active in one or more professional marketing groups.

I will have also used my analysis and knowledge to contribute to the conception of marketing campaigns and gained some experience running campaigns myself. This will give me a good foundation in marketing practices and help me leverage new trends effectively to create marketing campaigns that never feel stale.”

  • Step 3: Finish with your ambitions beyond the next five years (if you’d like).

“From there, I’m hoping to decide if I’d like to become a marketing specialist or continue as a generalist, but regardless, I’m hoping to eventually move into a marketing manager or strategist position where I’m making bigger-picture choices regarding campaigns and branding.”

Don'ts for answering “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

While certain answers can really impress a recruiter, others might totally ruin your chances of getting the job. Here’s what not to do (no matter how tempting it might be):

1. Imply haven’t thought about your goals (or tell a joke)

For example, “I'm just trying to make it to Friday.” No matter how true it feels, this is definitely a no.

You should also steer clear of other joke answers like “retired on a beach” or “as a rich widow.” Even if you don’t know exactly what’s in store for you down the line, use your response to show that you have a plan to figure it out.

2. Imply that you’re leaving this job the first chance you get

Not every company is expecting you to still be working for them in five years, but unless they state otherwise, it’s best to assume that they do, Eonnet says.

Goodfellow (who was formerly a recruiter) adds, “It’s very expensive to train, and expensive to recruit, so I do want to hear you intend to stick around.”

You don’t need to explicitly state, “I’ll still be working for you,” if it’s not true, but avoid saying anything that would be impossible if you still worked for the company. So if you’re interviewing for a software development job at a startup, don’t say that you’re hoping to have landed your dream job at Google by then.

3. Be too generic

“I remember being asked this question early in my career and wanted to blurt out, ‘I have no idea! I just need a job to pay my bills,’” Goodfellow says. She didn’t, but she ended up saying something “semi-honest and equally vague about wanting to do my best, learn more about the role and company, and apply my strengths to help the company achieve its goals.”

She doesn’t recommend being this bland. Use this question as an opportunity to highlight why you’re a good fit. Perhaps you’re excited to get hands-on experience producing professional videos after producing a number of successful student films with little to no budget, for example.

“Be honest, direct, and succinct,” Goodfellow says. Hiring managers will likely have other candidates to interview on the same day—so they don't want you to talk forever, and you don't need to. It's possible to give a good response in just 2 to 3 minutes.

If getting lost in your own thoughts is common for you, our tip is to practice with a time clock before the interview. If you're taking too long, try jotting down your answer, reading it, and then trimming away any non-essential details. Keep practicing until you can deliver your response within a reasonable amount of time.

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Answer examples

Now, let's see how all these tips come together for a winning response. Here are three example answers tailored to different job titles and career stages. Read on to get inspired and use these samples as a guide to craft your own answer.

#1 Sample answer for a mid-level candidate

So, you're not quite senior yet, but you definitely want to get there. One possible answer to this question might sound like:

“I’m someone who loves solving problems, so in five years, I’d love to be seen as the go-to financial analyst when departments or projects need to save money and achieve their business goals. I will have worked with senior financial analysts to learn from their approaches before taking on a few smaller budgets myself and slowly building up from there.

But I will have also completed a few courses on business operations using XYZ Co’s professional development allowance since I want to make sure that any suggestions I make go toward not just saving money, but increasing efficiency and achieving company goals.”

#2 Sample answer for an entry-level candidate

Let’s say you’re an entry-level candidate who doesn’t quite know where you want to be in five years. You might answer with:

“In five years, I’d like to be in a position where I know more about my longer-term career aspirations as a designer. I will have gotten experience working for a design agency and know more about the industry overall.

I’ll have grown my technical skills and learned how to take feedback from clients and incorporate it. And the way your agency is set up, I’ll also have gotten the opportunity to design different kinds of deliverables—including websites, branding, and ad campaigns—for different kinds of clients to see where I really feel at home before settling on a focus.”

#3 Sample answer for a senior candidate

A a couple of years into your career, you might say something like:

“I’ve found that the most rewarding part of working in HR has been when I get to be part of putting together a training or development session—it’s so satisfying to help my coworkers learn new skills.

So in five years I’d like to be more of an expert in learning and development. I’ll have learned more about what goes into putting together career development opportunities for employees and have hopefully coordinated or run some training sessions myself.

In a training and development coordinator role like this, I’ll also learn more about how to work with individual employees or teams to identify prime opportunities to upskill and find the best form of training available so I’m delivering programs that are useful to individuals and the org overall. Hopefully, in five years I’ll be helping make decisions about what kinds of programs a business will offer and how to make sure employees are benefitting and growing.”

Key takeaways

See a pattern in all these examples? They clearly articulate their goals for the future and show how they'll get there in the next five years. These are key elements for crafting an answer that will leave a lasting positive impression. Nail this question, and you're one step closer to acing your job interview.

where do you see yourself in 5 years essay introduction

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Where Do I See Myself In Five Years (Essay Sample)

Table of Contents


The question about where one sees him or herself in the next five or so years is quite common during a job interview, and it normally give people problems to answer. It can be an uphill task to articulate where you can see yourself even within one year leave alone five years. Even if one was aware, it is important for one to exercise some restraints when responding to this kind of question during the job interview. It would be important for one to tailor his or her answer for the job that one is being interviewed for.

A period of five years is too long for one to foresee where he or she would be not only in terms of career, but also in his or her entire life. The question concerning where one sees him or herself in the next five years is quite important mainly to the interviewers and the hiring managers for many reasons. This question helps them to know your career goals aligns with the organization’s and also if you are likely to stay there for long or would probably leave just after a few years or months. However, it would be important to remember that answering this question requires one to be very knowledgeable and wise enough when answering. This paper will be providing some of the tips for answering such a question.

Tips for Answering Question about Future Plan

Questions concerning future plans of an individual can be a tricky one to answer and one ought to be honest when responding to this question, however, the answer should be relevant to the job being applying for and the organization. For instance, one should not say that his or her plan in the next five years is to publish a book, when being interviewed for accountancy job is irrelevant. Being vague or responding poorly to such a question could make it possible for interviewers believe that one has not invested in his or her career; this is not good for the organization or it would mean that one is covering up something. The following are some of the tips that would be enable one to answer a question about where one sees him or herself in the next five years. Remember that when answering such a question one should be wise and at the same time re-affirming his or her own interest or role.

The first tip for answering such a question is by outlining a career path that would show where you would be in the next five years. For one to prepare well for this question, one would research on a reasonably about his or her career path that will flow from the position for which one is applying for. Researching could entail approaching professionals in the field through family, friends, alumni and/ or professional associations to get the right picture about the career path.

The other tip that one can use to answer such a question is by beginning with an individual’s interest in the job. The experts have pointed out that it is advantageous for one to emphasize thoroughly on the interest that you have for the position that you are applying for. If an individual’s interest seems to be in the first job, the possible employer might be prompted to question how motivated you are in carrying the expected duties. Furthermore, the manager that hires would probably want someone that will be enthusiastic and competent for the job for at least two years or more. Generally, when showing the career path, it should show if the organization would benefit from the investment that they have put on you.

where do you see yourself in 5 years essay introduction

Where do i See myself in 5 Years

This essay will provide guidance on envisioning and planning for one’s future, specifically looking at a five-year timeframe. It will discuss the importance of setting personal and professional goals, considering potential changes and opportunities, and preparing for unforeseen challenges. The piece will offer tips on goal-setting, self-assessment, and creating a realistic yet ambitious plan for personal growth and achievement. At PapersOwl too, you can discover numerous free essay illustrations related to Myself.

How it works

The world is changing so quickly that it is very difficult to predict exactly where I will be in 5 years. Therefore, I decided for myself that I would use the following rules in order to live the most successful and balanced life. Of course, I am sure that my career will be successful, but in what direction it will go I cannot predict because I trust life. Over the semester we have discussed many informative and valuable information that I will continue to use throughout my college career.

Although I have enjoyed every topic that we went over, there were three main topics that I think hold the most value to me. These three topics are strategies that I can still see myself using two to three years from now, and still holding up to their value. These strategies are from a book called “Teach Yourself How to Learn” by Saundra Yancy McGuire with Stephanie McGuire. This book was highly recommended and was truly a great book.

The first strategy that I enjoyed during the semester was The Study cycle. The Study Cycle is a five-step guide on how to prepare for a class and an exam. The five steps of the study cycle are: preview, attend the class, review, do the intense study session, and assess. This study cycle is my favorite strategy because this is so helpful in so many ways. I used to do step one, preview before class, in high school but I was not doing it correctly. Now after reading the Dr.McGuire book, I have a better understanding on how to properly preview before class with extra steps added on. After learning the steps to the study cycle, I have been using it to help me prepare for my classes, and I am using the intense study session to help me study for my final exams. This strategy has added great value to my studying, and I believe that it will help me stay on top of my classes in the future.

The next strategy I want to discuss is a Growth mindset. A growth mindset is when a person believes that their intelligence can be enhanced and grow over time; that they are not born with all the knowledge that they can have, but that they can always achieve at learning new things with the right effort. Having a growth mindset is a great thing to have when you want to achieve something, and finishing college is something I want to achieve. If I continue to have a growth mindset, then I know personally that everything I want to accomplish in life I can do it. That I know if I struggle with something, I can get better if I just work harder and not feel the feeling of defeat. Learning about growth mindset was by far my favorite, and I have been using growth mindset with some of the classes that I want to get better at over time. This is a strategy I know I can use throughout college and after college. This was my first time learning about growth mindset, and I am glad that I learned about this my freshman year in college because I know that the next three years of my academic career is going to be challenging, and I am going to need to have a growth mindset to push through.

The last strategy is the peer-to-peer teaching. The concept of peer-to-peer teaching is to know a material so well that you can fully teach it to someone else. This strategy is so helpful because you might think that you really understand a topic, but when you try to explain it to someone else you, realize that you do not know it as well as you thought you did. Using peer-to-peer strategy in the future will be very helpful for me because I will know that if I can’t talk out how to do something, then I really do not understand the material. With learning that I do not truly know the material, I know that I probably need to study more on that certain subject. Also doing the peer-to-peer teaching in class was kind of fun to do. It was something new, and I enjoyed teaching different topics to my classmates.

Overall, I have learned many strategies that can help lead me to success. I have many tips and resources to help me along the way of my college career, and I plan to take full advantage of everything I learned from the course. At first, I was not really looking forward to taking this class, but now I am glad that did because I have really enjoyed every part of this class, and I have gained so much knowledge. I know that I have a lot of schooling ahead of me, but with these strategies, I feel more prepared than I felt coming into college. Now that I have these amazing strategies, it’s all up to me now to apply everything that I learned and be the best I can be. 


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How to Answer "Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?" (With Sample Answers)

November 29, 2023 by Fang Mei

where do you see yourself in 5 years essay introduction

During job interviews, the question "Where do you see yourself in five years?" offers you the opportunity to showcase your ambition, career orientation, and alignment with the company's vision.

This is not just about outlining your future but about demonstrating your self-awareness, understanding of the industry, and commitment to personal growth that benefits both you and the potential employer.

Crafting a thoughtful response requires reflection on your career goals, aspirations, and how the position you're interviewing for fits into those plans. Whether you're aiming for leadership positions, hoping to acquire new skills, or desire to contribute meaningfully to your field, your answer should reflect a balance between your professional objectives and the realities of the career path ahead.

Why Employers Ask This?

When interviewers pose the question, "Where do you see yourself in five years?", they're examining several key aspects of your professional outlook. Their primary goal is to assess if your career trajectory aligns with the company's long-term objectives and the specific role you've applied for.

Alignment with Company Goals : Employers want to ensure that your professional aspirations support the company's future and the potential for growth within the organization.

Commitment : Your answer helps employers gauge your willingness to commit and contribute over a prolonged period. A well-thought-out response indicates that you're looking to build a lasting relationship with the employer.

Career Ambition : Your projected professional development should reflect both realistic expectations and ambition. It shows interviewers that you are someone who sets goals and strives to achieve them.

Personal Fit : Employers are not just hiring for skill sets, but also for how you will fit into the company culture. Your five-year outlook may provide insights into how you see yourself growing with the company's team and work ethos.

How To Answer This Question?

When responding to the question of where you see yourself in five years, it's essential to convey your aspirations while demonstrating alignment with the company's vision. Articulate your anticipated career trajectory, emphasizing dedication and a growth-oriented attitude.

Aligning with Company Goals

Understand the Company's Vision : To effectively align with the company's goals, start by researching the organization's mission and any public long-term objectives. Your answer should reflect an understanding that your career goals complement the company's direction, showing that you plan to be a part of its future success.

Expressing Your Career Path

Define Your Professional Aspirations : Clearly outline a plausible career path that positions you as a candidate planning for the long-term. For instance, if you aim for leadership, articulate how you plan to acquire the necessary skills and experiences, mentioning specific roles that could serve as stepping stones within the company.

Highlighting Personal Growth

Showcase a Growth Mindset : Employers look for candidates who are proactive about personal and professional development. Illustrate your growth mindset by explaining how you will seek new challenges, learn from experiences, and take advantage of opportunities for advancement that the company offers. Your narrative should demonstrate a commitment to evolving as a professional within the organization.

Mistakes to Avoid While Answering This Question

When answering "Where do you see yourself in five years?" , avoid making these common mistakes:

  • Being too vague : Saying "I don't know" or giving a non-specific answer doesn't demonstrate ambition or planning. Instead, offer a broad trajectory that aligns with the role.
  • Overcommitting : Avoid stating that you'll be in a specific role or position. Circumstances change, and you may explore different interests within the company.
  • Not relating to the job : Your answer should reflect how this position fits into your career path. Don't mention goals unrelated to the company.
  • Being unrealistic : Aim for a balanced response that shows both ambition and a realistic understanding of your career progression.
  • Forgetting personal development : Include aspects like skills you wish to develop or experiences you hope to gain.

Sample Answers

Transitioning smoothly into career-oriented responses, it's crucial to tailor your answer to your experience level. Whether you're just starting out or have a wealth of experience under your belt, crafting a response that aligns your career path with your personal drive and goals is key to conveying a forward-thinking attitude that employers seek.

Entry-Level Position Answer

As an entry-level candidate, emphasize your eagerness to learn and grow within the company. For instance:

"I am excited to start my career in this industry and, within five years, I aspire to have progressed to a role where I've not only honed my existing skills but have also taken on projects that challenge me to grow professionally. I am keen on taking advantage of learning opportunities and have a strong drive to contribute meaningfully to my team's success."

Mid-Career Professional Answer

For mid-career professionals, the focus should be on deepening expertise and adding value:

"In five years, I see myself as a seasoned professional having made significant contributions to the company. My goal is to take on larger projects and possibly step into a leadership role. I plan to leverage my expertise for the benefit of the team, working towards collective goals and driving results."

Management-Level Answer

If you're aiming for a management-level position, highlight strategic thinking and leadership:

"Looking ahead, I aim to be in a leadership position, ideally in a management role, where I can use my experience to mentor others and help steer the department towards its strategic objectives. Success to me involves building and guiding a high-performing team aligned with the organization's long-term vision."

Bad Answer Examples

When asked, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" in a job interview, you want to avoid giving an answer that suggests you haven't considered your professional future or that your career goals do not align with the company's path. Here are some examples of what not to say:

  • Vague Ambition : " I don't know, probably in a senior position? "This response lacks specificity and fails to demonstrate genuine interest or planning.
  • Non-Professional Focus : " Well, I hope to be traveling the world or living on a beach. "It's great to have personal goals, but this doesn't showcase your career aspirations or relevance to the job.
  • No Ambition : " I just want to be doing the same thing I am now. "While stability is valuable, this might indicate a lack of drive for growth or improvement.
  • Unrealistic Goals : " I see myself as your CEO. "Aiming high is excellent, but unrealistic leaps can come off as naive or insincere.
  • Off-Track Aspirations : " I aim to switch careers entirely, maybe go back to school for zoology. "This tells the employer that you are not committed to the industry or the role long-term.

Remember, the best way to approach this question is to tailor your answer to align with the potential career path of the role, showing both ambition and realism. Your response can be a deciding factor in the hiring process. Reflect on your answer to align it with both your goals and the potential employer's objectives.

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7 sample responses to "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" for students

Frances chan.

"Where do you see yourself in five years?" Your first response to this might be "I'm just trying to get through this semester's exams!" And let's be real, what student has a detailed career plan laid out while still in school?!

Luckily, this question isn't a trap. It's not about having a crystal-clear five-year plan. (In fact, you don't even have to answer with five years if you don't want to!)

To help you navigate this, we've prepared seven sample responses that will guide you in creating an answer that's authentic and shows you're thinking about your future without the pressure of plotting out every detail. Let's dive in!

But first, what are interviewers really asking?

  • How to answer "Where do you see yourself in five years?" (7 sample responses)

How NOT to answer "What are your weaknesses?"

#1 whether you're actually interested in the role.

For full-time roles, companies ask this question to avoid the headache of hiring someone who bounces out fast. Imagine this: they hire someone, turn down dozens of people, and then, one hour into the job, this person realizes it's not their thing. This is every hiring manager's worst nightmare.  So this question is one way companies filter for people who will really commit.

Now, with internships, companies understand that you're still exploring and figuring things out. That said, they still want to see that spark of commitment. So if you’ve got a clearer idea of what you’re interested in, and that lines up with what the company does, you’ll be ahead of the game.

#2 Whether you're right for the team or company

Remember, you're not being hired in a vacuum. You're being considered for a spot on an existing team. So hiring managers will ask about your goals to see if you'll fit into the team.

They're typically looking for a range of goals and personalities to create a well-balanced team. Picture this: if you say you want to be a manager in five years, but the team is already full of people eyeing that same spot, it’s a recipe for future disappointment. This question is about finding that sweet spot where your career goals and the team's requirements align perfectly.

#3 Whether the role is right for you

This question is a two-way street. It's not just about whether you fit the team – it’s also about figuring out if the role fits you in terms of your preferences for career development.

Think about it this way: if you're the type who's gunning for rapid career advancement, not every company will be equipped to handle that pace. This question essentially helps the company assess if they can support your ambitions.

Sample responses to "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

#1 "i want to be doing x, y, and z".

The first (and most universal) way to answer this question is to bring up the type of responsibilities you'd like to have. 

For example: 

  • If your goal is to become a manager eventually, it’s a great idea to mention your interest in leadership responsibilities. You could talk about leading a team, overseeing projects, or developing strategies.
  • If your goal is to level up as an individual contributor, you might talk about deepening your technical knowledge, becoming a specialist in a certain area, or taking on more complex projects.

Or you could say you'll start off as an individual contributor and then transition into management long-term!

Starting off, I want to dive deep into video editing here at your agency. I want to get really good at crafting videos that grab attention and tell a story. Over time, I'd want to learn more about how these videos fit into the bigger picture, for instance, how they drive a campaign and deliver maximal results for clients. Down the line, I see myself stepping up into a strategy role. I’d love to lead a team where we mix creativity with strategy, making videos that aren’t just cool but really make an impact.  So I see myself starting with the nitty-gritty of video editing and growing into a role where I help shape the strategy behind what we make.

✅ This response works because:

It outlines a well-thought-out path , starting from a hands-on role in video editing and gradually transitioning into a strategic leadership position. This shows foresight and planning in your career development.

It shows you're grounded: While you express aspirations for a leadership role in the future, you also emphasize your willingness and eagerness to engage in the detailed, hands-on work at the beginning. This balance ensures you don't come across as someone who is only interested in managerial positions and avoids the groundwork.

#2 "I want to be at [a higher position]."

If the company has a clear career path for your role, you can mention the exact position you aim to be in after five years. For example, if they have a ladder from Junior to Senior roles, look up which role you'd likely hit at 5-7 years and mention that as your goal.

So as a junior in college right now, I'm not super certain where I'll be but if I get to start out as an intern with your company, here's how I see things ideally playing out: First off, the internship. I'm ready to jump in, get my hands dirty with real-world coding, absorbing as much as I can and learning collaboratively with my teammates. Assuming I perform during the internship, I'd secure a return offer here for a Junior Software Engineer role. Fast forward a few years from there, and I see myself as a Senior Software Engineer. I'd get to tackle the really juicy challenges – diving into complex coding projects, debugging tricky issues that really test my skills, and working more independently. 

It shows you've really looked into the company. Big companies often share their job levels on their website. By using their job titles like 'Junior Software Engineer' and 'Senior Software Engineer,' you show that you’ve checked out what they offer and are serious about fitting in.

You talk about more than just job titles. It’s good that you're excited about the actual work, like coding and debugging, not just getting a fancy job title. This shows you're really into the work itself, not just looking to climb up the ladder fast.

#3 "I see myself as X or Y or Z"

If there's more than one role you could grow into, you can say that you can see yourself in multiple roles, depending on how your skills and interests evolve.

Well, I’m considering a few paths in public relations. During the internship and the rotation program, I'll get a feel for different roles, which should help clarify which direction is the best fit for me. One option is becoming a Senior PR Manager. I like the idea of diving into strategy and working with the media. Or, I might go for an Event Planning Manager role – I’m really drawn to the creativity of organizing big events. There’s also the Corporate Communications Manager path, where I’d focus on the messaging side of things. Honestly, all these roles sound great to me right now. This internship is the first step to see which one clicks. I’m excited to start the journey and find the best fit for both myself and whatever firm I end up in.
  • It's open-ended but not vague. Instead of just saying “I’m not sure, anything in PR sounds good,” you've given a response that's open-ended but still shows you've thought about specific roles. Saying you're not sure shows you're honest but providing specific roles shows you've still given it some thought and are thinking about staying at the company for a while.
  • It explores different options but isn't all over the place. Notice that all three roles mentioned are in PR. You didn't mention roles in IT, sales, and customer support – that would be a red flag.
  • It shows you're flexible.  Flexibility is a big plus for employers because it means you can fit into various positions as the company evolves or as your interests and skills develop.

#4 "I'll be skilled in X and knowledgeable in Y"

Besides bringing up future roles and responsibilities, you can also focus on the skills and industry knowledge you want to develop. For example, here's a response a student might give if they're aiming for a tax accounting role.

Where do I see myself in five years? Honestly, I'm not 100% certain about specializing in tax just yet, so this internship is going to be a big decider for me. If I find that I enjoy the tax service line, then here’s the plan: In five years, I want to be super knowledgeable about tax regulations and how they play out in real life. I wouldn't just want to be familiar with the tax code, but also be well-read on tax-related lawsuits to understand where clients might be exposed and how to protect them. So, if I discover a passion for tax in this internship, five years into this path, I'd hope to be an expert in the field. Not just someone who works on tax issues, but someone who understands the deeper legal and financial implications and can offer top-notch advice to clients.

Explain that the role offers you great opportunities to both learn more about the industry and grow within your own career path. Hiring managers are looking for high-potential candidates. 

  • You're honest about not being completely sure of your career path. At the intern level, it’s quite normal and even refreshing to meet someone who isn’t claiming to be 200% certain about their future. This honesty makes you come across as more realistic and thoughtful.
  • You emphasize continuous learning. You don’t need to know everything from the get-go, but you clearly express a strong desire to learn, develop your skills, and expand your expertise on the job. This approach shows potential employers that you’re someone capable of growth and that you can offer long-term value to their team.

#5 "I'd like to be in a position where I can mentor others"

If you're aiming for a management role down the line, expressing your interest in mentoring others is a great way to indicate this. Managers are often expected not only to oversee projects and manage resources but also to guide and develop their team members.

When you express a desire to mentor, you're showing that you're not just looking to advance in terms of job title or salary. You're  committed to improving the team, not just yourself.

In five years? I see myself as someone who’s not just doing engineering work, but also helping guide junior engineers just starting out. At school, I've enjoyed helping my classmates, whether it's tutoring them in challenging courses or collaborating on group projects.  Helping them made me realize I love teaching and leading just as much as I love engineering. So five to ten years down the line, after I’ve tackled all kinds of cool engineering challenges, I'd hope to be in a position where mentoring new engineers is part of my day-to-day – where I'd help them work through a tough problem or share tips on managing project stress.
  • It provides tangible examples of mentorship. You didn't just say "I want to be a mentor" and leave it at that. You brought up specific examples of how you've mentored others at school, making your story more convincing.
  • It shows you know what it's like to mentor in a professional setting : For example, you brought up helping junior engineers with tricky problems or stress. This shows you're not just throwing around the idea of mentorship as a buzzword. You actually know what it means in  a professional environment.

#6 "I'll be making the most of what the company offers."

If you're applying to a company that provides plenty of opportunities to its interns and early career hires, you can also mention this in your five year plan.

In five years, I really see myself making the most of what this company offers. The global opportunities here are a big draw for me. I actually talked to a friend who works here and got sent abroad. Hearing about their experiences really opened my eyes to the possibilities. I can picture myself working in different countries, soaking up new cultures and business practices, and bringing that global perspective back to my team. And the rotational program is exactly the kind of thing I’m looking for. It’s a chance to learn different parts of the company, pick up a bunch of skills, and really see where I fit best. So, in five years, I want to be someone who’s not just experienced in one area, but has a broad, global perspective of the company. I'm excited about growing in a place that puts so much into developing its people.
  • It shows you've done your homework.  By mentioning a conversation with a current employee and specific programs the company offers, it shows you've done your homework and are genuinely interested in the company. 
  • It likely shows you align with company values. If the company provides a rotational program as well as opportunities to work abroad, it's most likely because they value global exposure and internal development. Your response therefore shows you’re a good fit for their culture and long-term goals.

#7 "In 2-3 years, I'd like to be doing X and I'll have a better idea after that."

At your stage in life, interviewers totally understand if you don't have a clear idea where you'll be in five years. They're mainly looking to understand your approach to career growth and your long-term thinking so feel free to just pick a shorter time frame if it helps you discuss your thinking more concretely.

At this point, as I'm still in school, it's hard to say where I'll be in five years. But I can say for sure that I'll devote the first 2-3 years of my career to deep diving into [specific role or field] and becoming proficient in [specific skills or tools relevant to the role]. Another specific goal is to understand the company’s position in the industry better. I want to learn about our key competitors, market trends, and how we can stand out. I mean, it's one thing to read about your company and its competitors from the outside, but I know that the true insights come from being on the inside. Once I'm actually working in the industry, I'll have a much clearer and more nuanced perspective. So these are the concrete steps I plan to take in the next few years to grow in my role and I'm sure I'll have a better idea after 2-3 years of real, hands-on work experience.
  • It demonstrates a growth mindset.  Everything you said relates to learning and employers like to see that as it shows you'll learn, grow, and bring them more value over time.
  • It shows that you’re thinking strategically about your career , without getting caught up in the uncertainty of a longer-term prediction.

#1 "I have no idea"

It's OK to not know exactly where you'll be in five years. Employers will understand if you don't have everything figured out or if you think your plans might change. But they do want to see that you've put some effort into your future – especially if they might be involved!

#2 "I want to go back to school"

It's okay to have plans for further education, but the limited time you have during an interview probably isn't when you want to bring this up.

So even if going back to school is part of your plan, it’s better to show how you're excited about and committed to the opportunity at hand. Focus on how the job aligns with your current career goals. You can talk about the skills you want to develop or how you hope to contribute to the company in the next few years.

#3 "I want to work in a totally different field"

If you're interviewing for a job in one industry but say you want to work in a completely different industry in five years, it can be a red flag for employers.

Here's why: companies invest a lot of time and resources in training their employees. If you express an interest in a different field, it signals to them that you might leave the job as soon as you get a better opportunity ... which means they may not see a return on their investment!

#4 "I want to start my own business"

This one is tricky. At a start-up like ours, we'd probably understand if you said you wanted to start your own business and that joining a start-up is part of getting the experience you need to do that. However, if you're applying for a corporate job, it's generally safer to avoid mentioning that you plan to start your own business.

Here’s why: Big corporations invest a lot  in their junior staff. So when you express a desire to start your own business, it can suggest that your focus and commitment might shift away from your role in the company sooner rather than later, which could make employers hesitant to invest in your professional development.

#5 "I want to do [something that doesn't exist at the company]"

If you're applying for a role in corporate finance and respond to the "Where do you see yourself in five years?" question with an aspiration to move into wealth management, this could be problematic if the company doesn't have a wealth management department. 

In this scenario, mentioning your interest in wealth management could signal to the interviewer that your long-term career goals don’t align with what the company can offer. This might lead them to believe that you won’t find the career fulfillment you're seeking in their company and may eventually leave for opportunities elsewhere.

As a result, the recruiter might favor candidates whose future career plans are more closely aligned with the company’s services and departments, ensuring a better long-term fit.

#6 "I want your job"

Worse yet: "I want to be your boss" or "I want to be CEO in five years!"

OK, probably no student in their right mind would say that last one. But the point is, responses like these risk coming across as too rushed. While it's great to have high aspirations, such statements can be off-putting.

For one, climbing the corporate ladder typically takes time and experience. Claiming that you aim to reach the top so quickly can seem unrealistic and naïve about the work and dedication required. It also can suggest that you don't value teamwork or the process of learning and growing within a role or team.

It's generally better to express your ambition in terms of the skills you want to develop, the contributions you want to make, and your eagerness to learn and grow within the company over a realistic timeframe.

#7 "I want to own a house"

While personal goals are important, a job interview is primarily an opportunity to discuss your professional aspirations and how they align with what the company is looking for in a candidate.

Sharing your dreams of home ownership won't help a company determine whether they should give you a job, which is the whole point of an interview!

We hope you've gained some clarity about what this question is actually about so you can nail it at your next interview.

In the meantime, if you're still shopping for opportunities, remember to check out the thousands of internships on our jobs board !

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  • Interview Question

How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years”

Introduction, why do interviewers ask “where do you see yourself in 5 years”, how to give the perfect answer to “where do you see yourself in 5 years”, 1. setting the career goals: , 2. interconnect job description and job role: , 3. organizational support: , where do you see yourself in 5 years sample answer, answers to “where do you see yourself in 5 years” that you should avoid , 1. answers that show you haven’t thought about your future yet:, 2. answers that show you’ll be leaving the company soon for a better opportunity: , 3. answers that are too generic:, important resources.

Human aspirations are a direct result of growing needs and the ability to sustain themselves in the changing world. Technology has emerged as a prime employer for new generation employees. The motivation for the job change is driven by the long-term goals of stability and higher profitability. Employees often were faced with the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” whenever they try shifting jobs. 

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being asked this question, then you know how difficult it can be to answer this. You’re expected to envision your future in a single sentence without making it sound totally false, right? Well, don’t worry. This post will walk you through a method for answering this question, complete with an example answer.

Interviews are often conducted in a group setting wherein more than one interviewer was involved. The interview panel depicts the organizational strength by placing experts in the position of the job vacancies. When an interviewer asks “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” from the applicant, it signifies the aspiration of the interviewer to know about the dedication of the employee to the new organization. 

Confused about your next job?

The interviewer gauges the applicability, versatility, and relevancy of the new applicant for the desired role. Based on the answer given, the interviewer can gauge the dedication of the applicant regarding the career goals by giving a specific period of 5 years to help the interviewer understand the immediate priorities of the applicant. Applicants’ answer to the question reveals the satisfaction level of the applicant for the job role and helps the interviewer inspect the level of hard work the applicant will be able to put in to stay as long as possible with the new organization. 

The aim of the interviewer here is to seek the acceptability of the applicant for the job role resulting in the maximum benefit from the work the employee will put in for the organization. The interviewer’s aim to ask the question of the applicant is to fill the job role with the most dedicated and mentally stable employee that would result in the long-term benefit of the organization. An applicant failing to answer would simply show that the applicant is not the best fit for the job role and the interviewer shall be searching for the ideal candidate again. 

The answer to the question raised is about seeking to visualize them in an organization that not only empowers the employees but also looks for their health and wellbeing, social growth, and family support. The growth in software development is increasing by leaps and bounds and thereby providing varied opportunities to trained professionals. Employees ponder over the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” beforehand to show preparedness for the interview and portray that software engineers are ready to move on to the next organization with a clear focus and planning. 

Preparation for “ Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years ” in a perfect manner is not an easy task. On the part of the applicant, it requires a focused approach and a thorough understanding of how life will change in the next five years. Sometimes, an applicant is struggling with the existing job responsibilities or in pressure from family responsibilities. The peer pressure of securing a dream job also drives the applicant’s motivation to think about the answer to the question. Software and technology development jobs are lucrative outside the country as well, hence, an applicant who wants to secure a job in Silicon Valley in the coming years must consider that goal in hindsight while preparing for the perfect answer that he/she wants to secure a foreign-based opportunity. 

Answering the question is linked with the human willingness and approach towards the work wherein the long-term goal-setting process is utilized by the employees and through effective communication, employees convince the hiring managers with a clear explanation of where they would be after five years from now. 

The applicant needs to answer perfectly about the motivation for the next five years. To answer “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” an applicant must prepare in a stepwise manner to answer and express the will concerning the organizational requirements as well as personal competencies. The preparation to answer perfectly can be elaborated on below given points: 

The applicant should understand the job profile and organizational structure before applying and following that, he/she must set career goals for at least five years in the future. The applicant also needs to enhance their skills and knowledge as per the new job responsibility. 

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being asked, “Where do see yourself in 5 years?” then you know how difficult it can be to answer this question. You’re expected to envision your future in a single sentence without making it sound false, right? Well, don’t worry. This post will walk you through a method for answering this question, complete with an example answer.

it is a must to understand the exact job responsibilities and work profile within which the organization is working. Organizational growth charts will be integral to preparing for the interview. The existing skill set of the applicant must be reflected when answering the “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” 

Applicants must review the type of organization and ask if the organization will be able to support and nurture the applicant’s growth in the next five years as it would eventually help the applicant to set the answers and career goals in the right direction. 

An applicant must prepare in advance the answer using the above-given points. Right identification of existing skills and work experience is critical to demarcate the suitability of the new job requirement and the applicant’s future work aspirations. 

There can be multiple ways to answer this question. To help you figure out how to answer where you see yourself in 5 years, the best answer examples are given below.

“In the next 5 years, I aspire to be leading a team or department. In my experience, individual employees need to grow as leaders and managers, too. Your job posting looks exciting and mentions some great leadership opportunities, so I wanted to learn more about the position and interview for it.” 


This answer typically shows that you are looking for success but in the same company. HR loves when you have goals for organizational growth. 

“Since taking on the role of team leader in my previous job, I’ve discovered that I really enjoy team and project management. In five years’ time, I hope to be managing larger projects, or perhaps multiple project teams. The Senior Project Manager role you advertised seemed like a great next step in that direction and would provide a nice challenge.”

This answer emphasizes your past roles and how you handled them. Moreover, you are showing that you want to attain success in the same role they are offering you. 

“I really see myself developing my project management skills in the next five years. Moreover, I also see myself with significant experience in managing major projects. I aspire to achieve all this success with this job opportunity.” 

Such an answer shows that you have outlined a success path and are willing to work hard. Moreover, it also specifies a career goal, which is attaining experience in project management. 

“In the next five years, I would like to see myself in a software team lead position with your organization. To be there, I have planned my growth along with the organizational support using the following three-pronged approach that intermixes capacity building, professional networking, and Leadership Responsibility.”

This answer significantly shows that you are seeing your growth within the organization. Moreover, it also emphasizes that you are focused on professional development in terms of leadership, networking, and capacity building. 

Read all the answers you can say to “Where do you see yourself in 5 years”? Now, let’s move on to the things you should avoid saying:

Avoid answers such as “retired with a lot of money” or “as a rich old guy”! Such questions depict that you don’t have a plan for the future! Thinking about the future is either an exciting or scary prospect. By developing a career plan, you can create a roadmap for your path to success and feel more confident in your career choices.

“I see myself working at Facebook in the next 5 years”

Make sure you are not seeing yourself in some other bigger organization in your answer to the question. Even though HR doesn’t want everyone to stay for 5+ years, it’s still not appropriate to give signs of leaving in your interview. 

“I see myself working hard for this company’s success” 

Such questions are asked only to see your creative and ambitious plans. Being too generic won’t work.

The answer to the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” is an individual perception and therefore should connect an individual knowledge, skills, and experiences gained through professional life. An applicant must prepare in advance for the job role and understand the organizational background and its growth trajectory to answer. 

This is an extremely common question, and the answer is often simple, so feel free to think about it before your interview. We recommend that you stick to the “one-word” answer. It will be easier for them to ask follow-up questions and you won’t feel pigeonholed into giving a one-dimensional answer.

Quick tip — If you want to go into more detail, do your research on the company prior to your interview.

It is beneficial to prepare the answer as it reflects the employee’s commitment and dedication to work and satisfies the interviewer regarding the suitability of the applicant for the organizational benefit.     

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How to Answer: "Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?"

where do you see yourself in 5 years essay introduction

What the Interviewer Wants to Know

  • Tips for Answering the Question

Examples of the Best Answers

Possible follow-up questions.

  • More Common Interview Questions

What are your career plans? If you haven't thought much about the future, it's a good idea to consider it because you may be asked about it during job interviews. When you are interviewing for a new job, you may be asked a question such as, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” or "Where do you see yourself in ten years?"

it can be hard to articulate where you would like to be in your career next year, let alone five years (or longer) down the road. But even when you do know, it's important to be careful how you respond because you'll need to tailor your answer to the job for which you are interviewing.

This popular interview question helps interviewers and hiring managers get a sense of how your career goals align with the company's goals. It also helps them gauge whether you’re likely to have a long tenure at their company or if you’ll probably leave after just a few months or a year on the job.

Even if you plan on moving on relatively quickly, keep that information to yourself.

How to Answer "Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?"

Questions about your future plans can be tricky to answer—you need to be honest in your response, but also keep it relevant to the job and industry. For example, don't share your five-year goal to publish a novel if you're interviewing for an accountant position.

Don't say this: My long-term goal is to leave the ad agency world and concentrate on my writing. I’m working on a novel right now that’s generated interest among a few agents. Hopefully, I’ll sign with someone soon.

However, it is important have a solid answer. Responding poorly or being vague in your response could make interviewers believe that you're not invested in your career, aren't a good fit for the company, or are covering something up. Here are tips for responding to questions about the next stage of your career, while affirming your interest in the role you are being interviewed for.

Watch Now: How to Answer "Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?"

Review these options for giving the best answers for questions about the future, along with examples you can tailor to fit your own circumstances.

Outline a Career Path

In order to prepare well for this question, research a reasonable  career path  that will flow from the position for which you are applying. How long does one ordinarily spend in that job? What are the next steps within five years?

Some employers will clearly outline pathways in the career section of their website. However, you may need to approach professionals in the field through alumni, family, friends, or professional associations to gain an accurate picture.

For example, if you’re a registered nurse applying for a clinical nursing position at a hospital, and your goal is to someday move into management, you should research the organization to see whether nurses typically work their way into nurse manager roles.

Start by looking for nurse manager openings on the company’s careers site, to confirm that the company is actively hiring. Then look at LinkedIn profiles of nurse managers currently working at the hospital. If this is a likely career path, your research should show that employees typically make that move.

I’m eager to continue developing my clinical skills as a member of this unit. I’ve also noticed that many nurse managers at City Hospital move from staff nurse to nurse manager, and that’s something that interests me as part of my five-year plan. 

Discuss Your Interest in This Job

It’s often advantageous to emphasize your interest in thoroughly mastering the initial position before moving on. If it seems like you are rushing past that first job, employers might question how motivated you are to carry out those duties.

After all, the hiring manager will probably want someone who’ll be happy and competent in that role for at least a year or two.

Integrating a clear rationale into your answer about how your interests and skills equip you to do the role can help to alleviate any concerns about how long you’ll want to stay in the job.

One of the things that drew me to this job is the opportunity to wear many hats. As the real estate agency’s administrative assistant, I know I’d have plenty of scope to continue building my customer service skills as well as a chance to put my web design abilities to use in refining the company website. I’m also excited to learn more about the business from the most highly regarded agents in the industry.

When There is No Clear Career Path

Not all jobs are stepping stones to higher positions. For example, with positions such as counseling, sales, event planning, teaching, and computer programming, it’s perfectly appropriate to emphasize mastery of that job as your five-year goal.

Think about components of the job in which you can excel. For example, when interviewing for a sales job, you could say:

Within five years, I would like to be recognized as an expert in terms of product knowledge, have developed very close relationships with clients, have significantly expanded the client base in my region, and perhaps have been assigned some major national clients.

An answer like that shows that your desire for career growth doesn’t need to occur outside of job and the company.

State Your Goals as Results

Stating your goals in terms of results that you would like to produce is another angle for responding. For example, a prospective teacher for a district that is trying to upgrade performance on standardized tests might say:

I would like to significantly increase the percentage of students reading at or above grade level through creative instructional methods.

Of course, with an answer like this, you’ll need to be able to share some examples of how you would achieve this.

Moving Up the Career Ladder

There are a few jobs where you’re expected to move on after a couple of years, including some analyst positions in investment banking and consulting, and legal and scientific research assistant positions (for new college grads).

In these cases, you’ll have more leeway in your answers, but you still want to establish how the job at hand makes sense given the skills and interests you can bring to the employer.

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More Job Interview Questions and Answers

Your interviewer will ask a number of questions, and you’ll have an easier time and be more comfortable and confident if you prepare and practice.

Take a look at these interview questions and answers and practice answering them. If you can, find a friend or family member who can pose as an interviewer and ask you these questions.

Your interviewer will expect you to ask questions about the company or the job. Review this guide on interview questions to ask , so you’ll be ready.


Self-Introduction Essay

Self introduction essay generator.

where do you see yourself in 5 years essay introduction

A Self Introduction Essay is a window into your personality, goals, and experiences. Our guide, supplemented with varied essay examples , offers insights into crafting a compelling narrative about yourself. Ideal for college applications, job interviews, or personal reflections, these examples demonstrate how to weave your personal story into an engaging essay. Learn to highlight your strengths, aspirations, and journey in a manner that captivates your readers, making your introduction not just informative but also memorable.

What is Self Introduction Essay? A self-introduction essay is a written piece where you describe yourself in a personal and detailed way. It’s a way to introduce who you are, including your name, background, interests, achievements, and goals. This type of essay is often used for college or job applications, allowing others to get to know you better. It’s an opportunity to showcase your personality, experiences, and what makes you unique. Writing a self-introduction essay involves talking about your educational background, professional experiences if any, personal interests, and future aspirations. It’s a chance to highlight your strengths, achievements, and to share your personal story in a way that is engaging and meaningful.

Do you still remember the first time you’ve written an essay ? I bet you don’t even know it’s called an “essay” back then. And back then you might be wondering what’s the purpose such composition, and why are you writing something instead of hanging out with your friends.

Self-Introduction Essay Bundle

Download Self-Introduction Essay Bundle

Now, you probably are already familiar with the definition of an essay, and the basics of writing one. You’re also probably aware of the purpose of writing essays and the different writing styles one may use in writing a composition. Here, we will be talking about self-introduction essay, and look into different example such as personal essay which you may refer to.

Self Introduction Essay Format


Start with a hook: Begin with an interesting fact, a question, or a compelling statement about yourself to grab the reader’s attention. State your name and a brief background: Share your name, age, and where you’re from or what you currently do (student, job role).

Educational Background

Discuss your current or most recent educational experience: Mention your school, college, or university and your major or area of study. Highlight academic achievements or interests: Share any honors, awards, or special projects that are relevant to your personality or career goals.

Professional Background

Mention your current job or professional experiences: Briefly describe your role, company, or the type of work you do. Highlight relevant skills or achievements: Share experiences that showcase your abilities and contributions to your field.

Personal Interests and Goals

Share your hobbies or interests: Briefly describe activities you enjoy or passions you pursue outside of work or school. Discuss your short-term and long-term goals: Explain what you aim to achieve in the near future and your aspirations for the long term.
Summarize your strengths and what makes you unique: Reinforce key points about your skills, achievements, or character. Close with a statement on what you hope to achieve or contribute in your next role, educational pursuit, or personal endeavor.

Example of Self Introduction Essay in English

Hello! My name is Alex Johnson, a 21-year-old Environmental Science major at Green Valley University, passionate about sustainable living and conservation efforts. Raised in the bustling city of New York, I’ve always been fascinated by the contrast between urban life and the natural world, driving me to explore how cities can become more sustainable.   Currently, in my final year at Green Valley University, I’ve dedicated my academic career to understanding the complexities of environmental science. My coursework has included in-depth studies on renewable energy sources, water conservation techniques, and sustainable agriculture. I’ve achieved Dean’s List status for three consecutive years and led a successful campus-wide recycling initiative that reduced waste by 30%.   This past summer, I interned with the City Planning Department of New York, focusing on green spaces in urban areas. I worked on a project that aimed to increase the city’s green coverage by 10% over the next five years. This hands-on experience taught me the importance of practical solutions in environmental conservation and sparked my interest in urban sustainability.   Beyond academics, I’m an avid hiker and nature photographer, believing strongly in the power of visual storytelling to raise awareness about environmental issues. My goal is to merge my passion for environmental science with my love for photography to create impactful narratives that promote conservation.   In the future, I aspire to work for an NGO that focuses on urban sustainability, contributing to projects that integrate green spaces into city planning. I am also considering further studies in environmental policy, hoping to influence positive change on a global scale.   My journey from a curious city dweller to an aspiring environmental scientist has been driven by a deep passion for understanding and protecting our natural world. With a solid educational foundation and practical experience, I am eager to contribute to meaningful environmental conservation efforts. I believe that by combining scientific knowledge with creative communication, we can inspire a more sustainable future for urban areas around the globe.

Self Introduction Essay

Self Introduction Essay for Job

Self Introduction Essay for Job

Self Introduction Essay for Students

Self Introduction Essay for Students

Self Introduction Essay Example

Self Introduction Essay Template

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Self Introduction For College Students  Example

Self Introduction For College Students

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Simple Self Introduction For Job  Example

Self Introduction For Job

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Free Self Introduction For Kids  Example

Self Introduction For Kids

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Simple Self Introduction  Example

Simple Self Introduction

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Self Introduction For Freshers  Example

Self Introduction For Freshers

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Free Self Introduction For Interview  Example

Self Introduction For Interview

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Company Self Introduction Example

Company Self Introduction Template

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Self Introduction For First Day At Work Sample

Self Introduction For First Day At Work Sample

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Sample Self Introduction for Scholarship  Example

Self Introduction for Scholarship

Size: 33 KB

Free Self Introduction Sample  Example

Self Introduction Sample

Size: 22 KB

Creative Essay for Internship Example

Essay for Internship Example1

What to Write in a Self-Introduction Essay

A self-introduction essay, as the name suggest, is an part of an essay containing the basic information about the writer.

In writing a self-introduction essay, the writer intends to introduce himself/herself by sharing a few personal information including the basics (e.g. name, age, hometown, etc.), his/her background information (e.g. family background, educational background, etc.), and interesting facts about him/her (e.g. hobbies, interests, etc). A self-introductory essay primarily aims to inform the readers about a few things regarding the writer. You may also see personal essay examples & samples

How to Write a Self-Introduction Essay

A self-introduction essay is, in most cases, written using the first-person point of view. As a writer, you simply need to talk about yourself and nothing more to a specific audience. You may also like  essay writing examples

A self-introduction essay can be easy to write, since all you have to do is to introduce yourself. However, one needs to avoid sounding like a robot or a person speaking in monotone. Of course, you need to make the composition interesting and engaging, instead of making it plain and bland. This is probably the main challenge of writing a self-introduction essay, and the first thing every writer needs to be aware of.

Free Essay Outline Worksheet Example

Essay Outline Worksheet Example

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Free Interesting Self Introduction for Student  Example

Self Introduction for Student

Size: 14 KB

Free Attractive Introduction Essay for Interview  Example

Introduction Essay for Interview

Size: 17 KB

Formal Self Introduction Expository  Example

Self Introduction Expository

Uses of Self Introduction Essay

  • College Applications : Many universities and colleges ask for a self-introduction essay as part of the application process. This essay allows admissions officers to learn more about your personality, background, and aspirations beyond your grades and test scores.
  • Scholarship Applications : When applying for scholarships, a self-introduction essay can help you stand out. It’s an opportunity to share your achievements, experiences, and the reasons you deserve the scholarship.
  • Job Interviews : Preparing a self-introduction essay can be useful for job interviews. It helps you articulate your professional background, skills, and career goals clearly and confidently.
  • Networking : In professional networking situations, having a polished self-introduction essay can help you quickly share relevant information about yourself with potential employers, mentors, or colleagues.
  • Personal Reflection : Writing a self-introduction essay is a valuable exercise in self-reflection. It can help you understand your own goals, strengths, and weaknesses better.
  • Online Profiles : For personal or professional websites, social media, or portfolios, a self-introduction essay provides a comprehensive overview of who you are and what you offer, attracting potential connections or opportunities.

Tips for Writing a Self-Introduction Essay

A self-introduction essay might be one of the easiest essays to start. However, one needs to learn a few things to make the composition worth reading. You might find a lot of tips online on how to write a self-introduction essay, but here are some tips which you might find useful.

1. Think of a catchy title

The first thing that attracts readers is an interesting title, so create one.

2. Introduce yourself

You can create some guide questions to answer like: Who are you? What are your interests? What is your story? Simply talk about yourself like you’re talking to someone you just met.

3. Find a focus

Your life story is too broad, so focus on something, like: What makes you unique?

4. Avoid writing plainly

For example, instead of saying: ‘I like listening to classical music’, you can say: ‘My dad gave me an album containing classical music when I was five, and after listening to it, I was really captivated. I’ve loved it since then.’ You may also check out high school essay examples & samples

5. Simplify your work

Use simple words and language. Write clearly. Describe details vividly.

6. End it with a punch

You cannot just plainly say ‘The End’ at the last part. Create a essay conclusion which would leave an impression to your readers.

7. Edit your work

After wrapping up, take time to review and improve your work. You may also see informative essay examples & samples

What is a Creative Self Introduction Essay?

1. Choose a Theme or Metaphor:

Start with a theme or metaphor that reflects your personality or the message you want to convey. For example, you could compare your life to a book, a journey, or a puzzle.

2. Engaging Hook:

Begin with an attention-grabbing hook, such as a captivating anecdote, a thought-provoking question, a quote, or a vivid description.

3. Tell a Story:

Weave your self-introduction into a narrative or story that highlights your experiences, values, or defining moments. Storytelling makes your essay relatable and memorable.

4. Use Vivid Imagery:

Employ descriptive language and vivid imagery to paint a picture of your life and character. Help the reader visualize your journey.

5. Show, Don’t Tell:

Instead of simply listing qualities or achievements, demonstrate them through your storytelling. Show your resilience, creativity, or determination through the narrative.

6. Include Personal Anecdotes:

Share personal anecdotes that showcase your character, challenges you’ve overcome, or moments of growth.

7. Express Your Passions:

Discuss your passions, interests, hobbies, or aspirations. Explain why they are important to you and how they have influenced your life.

8. Reveal Vulnerability:

Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability or share setbacks you’ve faced. It adds depth to your story and demonstrates your resilience.

9. Highlight Achievements:

Mention significant achievements, awards, or experiences that have shaped your journey. Connect them to your personal growth and values.

10. Convey Your Personality:

Use humor, wit, or elements of your personality to make your essay unique and relatable. Let your voice shine through.

11. Share Future Aspirations:

Discuss your goals, dreams, and what you hope to achieve in the future. Explain how your experiences have prepared you for your next steps.

12. Conclude with a Message:

Wrap up your essay with a meaningful message or reflection that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

13. Revise and Edit:

After writing your initial draft, revise and edit your essay for clarity, coherence, and conciseness. Ensure it flows smoothly.

How do you write an introduction to a self essay?

1. Start with a Hook:

Begin with an engaging hook to capture the reader’s attention. This could be a personal anecdote, a thought-provoking question, a quote, or a vivid description. The hook should relate to the essay’s theme.

2. Introduce Yourself:

After the hook, introduce yourself by stating your name and any relevant background information, such as your age, place of origin, or current location. This helps provide context.

3. Establish the Purpose:

Clearly state the purpose of your self-essay. Explain why you are writing it and what you aim to convey. Are you introducing yourself for a job application, a college admission essay, or a personal blog? Make this clear.

4. Provide a Preview:

Offer a brief preview of the main points or themes you will address in the essay. This helps set expectations for the reader and gives them an overview of what to anticipate.

5. Share Your Thesis or Central Message:

In some self-essays, especially in academic or personal development contexts, you may want to state a central message or thesis about yourself. This is the core idea you’ll explore throughout the essay.

6. Express Your Voice:

Let your unique voice and personality shine through in the introduction. Write in a way that reflects your style and character. Avoid using overly formal or stilted language if it doesn’t align with your personality.

7. Be Concise:

Keep the introduction relatively concise. It should provide an overview without delving too deeply into the details. Save the in-depth discussions for the body of the essay.

8. Revise and Edit:

After writing the introduction, review it for clarity, coherence, and conciseness. Make sure it flows smoothly and leads naturally into the main body of the essay.

Here’s an example of an introduction for a self-essay:

“Standing at the threshold of my college years, I’ve often found myself reflecting on the journey that brought me here. I am [Your Name], a [Your Age]-year-old [Your Origin or Current Location], with a passion for [Your Interests]. In this self-essay, I aim to share my experiences, values, and aspirations as I enter this new chapter of my life. Through personal anecdotes and reflections, I hope to convey the lessons I’ve learned and the person I’m becoming. My central message is that [Your Central Message or Thesis]. Join me as I explore the highs and lows of my journey and what it means to [Your Purpose or Theme].”

What is a short paragraph of self introduction

“Hello, my name is [Your Name], and I am [Your Age] years old. I grew up in [Your Hometown] and am currently studying [Your Major or Grade Level] at [Your School or University]. I have always been passionate about [Your Interests or Hobbies], and I love exploring new challenges and experiences. In my free time, I enjoy [Your Activities or Hobbies], and I’m excited to be here and share my journey with all of you.”

How do I start my self introduction?

1. Greet the Audience:

Start with a warm and friendly greeting. This sets a positive tone and makes you approachable.

Example: “Good morning/afternoon/evening!”

2. State Your Name:

Clearly and confidently state your name. This is the most basic and essential part of any self-introduction.

Example: “My name is [Your Name].”

3. Provide Additional Background Information:

Depending on the context, you may want to share additional background information. Mention where you are from, your current location, or your job title, if relevant.

Example: “I’m originally from [Your Hometown], but I currently live in [Your Current Location].”

4. Express Enthusiasm:

Express your enthusiasm or eagerness to be in the situation or context where you are introducing yourself.

Example: “I’m thrilled to be here today…”

5. State the Purpose:

Clearly state the purpose of your self-introduction. Are you introducing yourself for a job interview, a social gathering, or a specific event? Make it clear why you are introducing yourself.

Example: “…to interview for the [Job Title] position.”

6. Offer a Brief Teaser:

Give a brief teaser or hint about what you’ll be discussing. This can generate interest and set the stage for the rest of the introduction.

Example: “I’ll be sharing my experiences as a [Your Profession] and how my background aligns with the requirements of the role.”

7. Keep It Concise:

Keep your introduction concise, especially in professional settings. You can provide more details as the conversation progresses.

8. Be Confident and Maintain Eye Contact:

Deliver your introduction with confidence and maintain eye contact with the audience or the person you’re addressing.

How can I start my self introduction example?

Hi, I’m [Your Name]. It’s a pleasure to meet all of you. I come from [Your Hometown], and today, I’m excited to tell you a bit about myself. I have a background in [Your Education or Profession], and I’m here to share my experiences, skills, and passions. But before I dive into that, let me give you a glimpse into the person behind the resume. So, here’s a little about me…”

For more insights on crafting a compelling self-introduction, the University of Nevada, Reno’s Writing & Speaking Center provides valuable resources. These can enhance your essay-writing skills, especially in crafting introductions that make a lasting impression.


Text prompt

  • Instructive
  • Professional

Write a Self Introduction Essay that highlights your unique qualities.

Create a Self Introduction Essay outlining your academic interests.

Self Introduction For Kids Example

Self Introduction For Freshers Example

Self Introduction For Interview Example


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  22. Self-Introduction Essay

    Begin with an attention-grabbing hook, such as a captivating anecdote, a thought-provoking question, a quote, or a vivid description. 3. Tell a Story: Weave your self-introduction into a narrative or story that highlights your experiences, values, or defining moments. Storytelling makes your essay relatable and memorable. 4.

  23. How to Answer 'Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?'

    There are 2 parts to this answer. You'll understand the structure as we go along. Part 1 of the answer is as follows. "In the first 2-3 years, I see myself becoming a true expert and master ...