True North in Your Career | Career Angles

True North in Your Career

I worked in recruiting for more than 40 years before transitioning into coaching. I prepared people for interviews and many of the ridiculous questions that a person might be asked. I understood that most of the time, all employers wanted to find out is whether or not you were smart enough to lie to them or stupid enough to tell him the truth.

“Tell me about yourself,” like they didn’t read your resume before they invited you and for the interview.

“Tell me about a time when you . . . “ Another example of something it’s on the stupid piece of paper or on their screen.

What’s funny is that there is one question that they ask that I know they don’t care about the answer to and will use it to disqualify you but you need to know the answer for you.

“Where you see yourself five years from now?”

I know employers don’t care about your answer. They’re going to do what they do without real concern for your goals or aspirations. They need you to do a job. You’re qualified or not. It’s a “check the box” question.

But what about you?

Where DO you see yourself five years from now?

Do you have an idea of what you need to know and what experiences you need to have to get there?

Most people don’t.

They are riding the conveyor belt to get a job, be onboarded, moved along until they become sufficiently frustrated, and either leave or are fired.

It’s your life, not theirs.

You are the Chairperson of the Board of your own enterprise. As such, it is stupid to abdicate responsibility to a firm for your success in your happiness.

If you need to take courses and they won’t pay for it, don’t take the freaking job unless you are prepared to write your checks.

That assumes that you know where you want to be five years from now and that you know you need training.

What about if what you need is more of the same experience. I know that may seem dull and stale after a while, but you’ve found out the answer in conversations with other people to know that you’re on the right path and you need to persevere. That can make tolerating it for a while easier.

Whatever it is, you need to set your compass true North to keep an eye on your career and avoid distractions.


You can set your career GPS in that direction.


But you need to know where you’re going to know whether you’ve gotten there.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than Career Angles | Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

If you have a quick question for me, you can get it answered with a 3–5 minute video. Want to do it live?

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Please click here to see my schedule to book a free discovery call or schedule time for coaching.

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

Join the Career Angles group.

About the author

Leave a Comment, Thought, Opinion. Speak like you're speaking with someone you love.

%d bloggers like this: