That is the question that head hunters and other professionals like to ask us, especially when we are on a job interview. Where do you see yourself in five years? That is not a question that can be easily answered by some. Some job applicants have no problem telling someone where they want to be. Others need more time in trying to figure it out. Sometimes you get the feeling they will hold it against you if you do not have everything figured out. How many of you feel overwhelmed by this question? 

Why do head hunters and other professionals want to know?

One recruiter has said that they ask that question to find out your goals. They want to know that your professional goals are going to align with the job you are seeking. They want to know whether the job is just a job to you, or if you want something more than something that pays the rent. 

They want to train a potential job candidate for something long-term in their company, according to a few recruiters. They want to know that you are going to stick around. Companies put a lot of money into applicants and their training. They do not react to kindly to someone who leaves after a few weeks. 

Did you know that it costs more to train a new employee than it does to keep the current staff on hand? Some companies report close to a 5% increase in money lost on new hires. 

What are you supposed to tell the person when the question is asked? How can you prove that you are worth taking a chance on?

The worst thing you can say is “I have no clue.” That response leads them to believe you are going to be part of the revolving door and high turnover rate in their company. 

Tell the person you see yourself continuing to move forward in a specific field, learning as much as you can. Some people say something specific because they feel it is the right thing to do, not because they want to be there. They are more willing to take a chance if you give them more of a solid answer and mean it. 

Do you want to be a manager? You need to tell them why and how you intend to go that route.