Where do you want to be in 5 years time?

Anyone facing the prospect of trying to answer this question any time soon might well find a recent PGR Careers blog post by Elizabeth Wilkinson useful. Rather than trying to guess what role or level you should probably be aiming for (so that you seem ambitious but not unrealisitc), Elizabeth advises thinking in terms of verbs (ie what you’d like to be doing) rather than nouns (who you think you want to/should ‘be’ by that time).

Thinking in this way might also help those of you who are currently trying to decide whether your future lies in academia or not. Rather than trying to decide whether you want to ‘be’ an academic, it might be more productive to think about what you’d like to do with your working time. Although academia is the only place where you can be an academic, it is not the only job that allows you to do research, write articles or teach.

To read Elizabeth’s full post go to: http://manchesterpgcareers.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/verbs-are-your-friends/

And if you have some time, check out the comments…

2 thoughts on “Where do you want to be in 5 years time?

  1. Like your insight about applying this approach to deciding whether academia is really for you. As I’m writing about this at the moment for our academic careers website, I may “borrow” that suggestion!

    PS. Who knows if the Stephen Fry comment is really from a PR person, but it was quite exciting to see it anyway – and I do really like that quote.


  2. Reblogged this on Research Staff Blog and commented:

    As the academic year comes to a close (is it June already?!) I thought it might be worth reposting this blog from a couple of years ago. Elizabeth’s article is really good, and suggests a new and more useful way to think about the dreaded interview question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” If you’re facing interviews any time soon (or really reflecting on where you’d like to be in 5 years), this may be a really helpful post.


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