Let us start this week with a story.
Steve met Tanya at a bar. Tanya was with her girlfriends on a girls night out. Steve was with his colleagues after work. The two groups decided to hang out the rest of the night. During their conversation, they discovered that they both like the same author. Steve thought Tanya is cute and interesting. Before the end of the night, everyone exchanges their numbers and agreed to meet up for drinks again soon.
A week later, Steve happened to chance upon a new book by their favorite author and he texted Tanya. Tanya was excited and met Steve at the bookstore to buy the book. Both of them agreed to read the book and meet up for coffee one week later. This became a routine, Steve will introduce her a new book and they will meet up to discuss. Soon they joined a neighborhood book readers club together and met regularly once or twice a week to talk about the books they read. On top of the book club, Tanya and Steve do meet up at the bar together with the group of friends every Friday nights.
6 months later, Steve is sure he is in love and that Tanya is the right girl for him. Being a traditional guy with little experience in dating, he wants to bring her home and introduce her to his family. So he asked Tanya to come over to his place and share his collections of books. They were so engrossed in their discussions that time quickly passed, Steve invited her to stay for dinner and she accepted after some persuasions.
At the dinner table, all is fine until Steve’s mother started to probe into Tanya’s personal life and asked a lot of personal questions. Tanya brushed it off as eccentric behavior until…..
Steve’s mum: So when are you two going to get married?
Tanya: What does your mum mean by that?
Steve’s mum: Aren’t you two dating?
Tanya: Him… Me…. Dating?
Steve: We are dating? I mean I would like to date her.
Tanya: Wwwwhat? You can’t. I’m married! I thought we are book buddies!
I hope you had some laughs, reading the above story, this is very sad but true. Steve and Tanya are fictitious characters of course but I lost count of the times my girlfriends relate the same story to me. So how does this relate to you?
Simple. Most of us don’t show our intentions, like we have to hide what we aiming for.
Whether it’s in the interviews or the monthly one on one talk you have with your boss, often you clamped shut or gave some diplomatic answers when the person sitting across the desk asked you where do you see yourself in the next one year / three years / five years time. You mumbled the following “We’ll have to see.”or “I don’t know.”
Or you give some unrealistic and boastful comments like “Next year, I’m going to take over your position.” or “In five years time, I’m going to be the CEO of this company.” But that shouldn’t put you off in letting the company and your boss know what you want to get out of this job other than money, of course.
You want them to know your goals and how you going to get there. You don’t have to feed them the whole journey just summarize it after all, we are talking about the future.
Here are some of the answers that has impressed me when I was a manager:
What do you want to do in:
– 1 year / 2 years time
Answer: Learn what I can possibly could within this period including the nature and processes of my own and other departments as well. Understand the cohesiveness of other departments and ours, work towards a better mutual processes.
– 3 years time
Answer: Using what I have learnt in the past two years, hopefully be placed in a position that I have more empowerment to improve processes and influence vision for others too. Grip a tighter firm hold in studying our competitors and deeper understanding of the market trend to enhance my work even further.
– 5 years time
Answer: I’ll be holding a position where I can execute changes and drive productivity and innovation where I have absorbed for the past five years in this company. Using the knowledge gathered from other departments as well as good working relationship with key strategic players in the company, I believe I’ll be able to create an impact on any projects that I am responsible for.
Making your intention known is important and allows your manager to know you and where you like or want to be in your career path. Do you agree with me? Let me know at the comments below or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.