Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Ghana Thinks

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Hello there,

Like most people do, I intensified my search for a more permanent job during my national service. I was then working at the Public Relations office of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Ghana, hence I had the opportunity to serve some of the 'big bosses' in government. 

One day, I was sitting my somewhere minding my own business (as usual hahaha) when one of the directors called me 'Ama, I have a meeting with the CEO of so-so bank and I want you to come along for an introduction!' Hallelujah!  


This was a dream come true, I had been pestering him for an introduction since I started working there. Oh boy! I quickly ensured my face was neither oily nor my lips dry, straightened my clothes and ensured that my shoes were polished just right to make an excellent professional impression in the plush office I assumed I was about to enter.

And plush it was! All the staff were so elegantly dressed, 'Oooooh my God! It will be totally amazing to work here!' I thought. So this very nice CEO welcomed us into his office and I was all ready to impress him with vocabulary until he asked 'where do you see yourself in 5 years?' What? My mind just went blank! 

So upon all my preparation to impress, I hadn’t prepared to answer this simple question!  Needless to say, I responded with a lot of empty English because he looked at me surprised and said 'what are you talking about young lady? By the time I was your age, I knew what I wanted to be in 5, 10, 15 years...'   

To say I felt totally embarrassed will be an understatement. And do you know why I fumbled for an answer to that question?  I lacked clarity.  I knew I wanted to be somebody in future. I knew whatever I did would most likely involve smiling, talking, looking good, helping others, etc but I didn't know what it was in particular. 

Unfortunately, it would take me almost 10 years until I made progress in getting a little more clarity of my vision.

Often, some of us are made to feel guilty or embarrassed because with all our ‘book’ knowledge, fine clothes and all that, we have no idea of where we are going. 

Yes, basically we are perishing as the Bible says 'for lack of vision, my people perish'. The question is, for the few people ahead of us who have found this truth, what are we doing to help those behind to also gain clarity of their vision? Do we look on in awe and shake our heads in dismay at the 'lost' young man or young woman who has no idea of what he or she is about?  Or do we help them see the light?

For years I battled with gaining clarity. I always marvelled at young people my age and below, who knew exactly what they wanted to be in life. In fact, I admired them.

Fast forward to today, I am thankful to be acquainted with people who have helped me see WHY and WHAT I need to do it. 

Today, I wouldn't say I have a complete idea of my vision, but at least when I wake up in the morning, I am purposeful.

This is why I stick very close to these people, I follow them, I read about them and I learn from them not because their lives are perfect, but because they impact my life positively so that I can also be a positive influence unto others. Call them mothers, role models, mentors, coaches, advisors, friends, sisters, colleagues, network, etc; when they are a positive bunch, they help you find your purpose and fulfil it.

If you lack clarity of vision, then I strongly recommend you seek mentorship. I will certainly write again, about my personal strategies for getting mentored. Until then, I wish you well.