or Where do you want to be in 12 months time?
A question asked out of concern or “intellegence gathering”?
This type of question is often asked at one of two stages – at interview and at “career development” sessions or appraisals once employed.
Much has been written about this in the interview context – less so once employed.
This (unfortunately) is a common question asked by HR, HRD and other people interested in the career progression of colleagues. But is there more to the question than the “we care” superficial meaning of the question?
On one professional forum recently a new member of the community asked about the use of an answer to a question much like this in the context of the firm wanting to reduce costs by a combination of both redundancy and reducing hours. The person asked if the answer to the career question could be used as “reason” for including them in the “stay or go” list selection.
Given total freedom from the law – if you had to lose one of two people through redundancy and was aware that one had “ichy feet” and was looking for something else anyway, who would you opt to lose? The one who is not looking to leave – or the one that may just leave anyway, thus causing a recruitment challenge for the manager having just laid people off?
In which case, is it sensible to answer the question “where do you want to be in 12 months time” in the current climate honestly? mmm probably not.
Thinking about this led me to conclude that a potential answer to “…where I see myself in a year’s time” is –
“…well its a changing world, and I do not want to limit my options by basing future roles on current prospects. Sure I want to keep learning, have challenge and above all add value to the business through what I can bring as a developing and growing professional…”
Where do you want to be in five years? – or where do you see yourself in five years time?
This has been a stock interview question for a number of years – but while people may well ask it – in answering it we need to take a very different approach.
One answer I saw to this on wiki.answers is:
“The interviewer is looking to find out a few things with this question. First, are you the type of person who plans ahead and sets goals? You should be. Second, do your goals match those of the company and the position? Your goals need to fit the career path for the job. They don’t want to lose you in a year or two.”
Read more: http://anse.rs/gCafKx
This is just as true for a company or organization under change.
Moral of the story… be careful who you share your ambitions with… so where do you want to be… share your career plans with the world by commenting here <grin>