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If You Don’t See Yourself on This Career Path Five Years From Now, It’s Not for You


It’s arguably the worst question in the interviewing process: “Where do you see yourself five years from now?” If your honest answer would be, “Doing the exact opposite of this job,” then perhaps it’s time to consider making a career change.


On his blog, personal coach Steve Pavlina advises, “If you can’t make a serious five-year commitment to a given career path, it’s not your path.”

Consistency over a period of years, Pavlina says, is what creates real payoffs. Among his observations:

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1. Most businesses aren’t profitable for at least two years.

2. No matter what your job or business, it takes time to build a base. In his example of would-be bloggers, he points out that building a following, developing products and services, and attracting clients all require an investment of time. Changing URLs every six months gets you nowhere.

3. Income builds over time. The first six months Pavlina ran his blog, he made a grand total of $167. Twenty-five months later, he was making over $10,000 a month.

4. When you’re considering which career path to pick, look at your current interests and ask yourself which ones you were interested in five years ago. You’ll probably still be engaged in those areas of focus five years down the road.

“The truth is that you can generate serious income from just about any form of creative work — writing, audio, video, art, music, programming, design, etc.,” Pavlina writes. “Others who came before you have already made millions from these paths. But most of them didn’t get very far in their first 6-12 months. It’s the ones who stuck with it for 5+ years that are reaping the biggest benefits. They’re builders, not dabblers.”

No matter what your passion is, you’ll need to make a commitment to really get ahead.

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(Photo Credit: timsamoff/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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