Where do you see yourself in in 5 years time?

I love doing interviews. But preparing for them makes me question everything in my life.

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years time” is such a strange question. What kind of answers have you given to that in interviews?

“What have you done in the last year since your previous application?” is another strange one. From 2012-2013, I checked into hospital because I was suicidal, then graduated top of my class. Most of my friends emigrated. One killed themselves, and a handful tried. You then have to ask yourself: does this mickey mouse bullshit for a tech startup even count? Is this data analytics experience what you’re looking for?

“Given your experience in other fields, why should we hire you?” This is one of my favourite questions to be asked. It’s a great chance to summarise your fit with the role, and even ask the same question to the interviewer: “what is it about my background that has taken me this far in the application process?”. I wish we knew what it was about us that makes us worthwhile as people.


Back in 2009 , I had a reasonable idea that in 5 years I would be in a professional job. I hoped the pain in my hands and arms would stop (it did). I hoped I wouldn’t have any more seizures (I didn’t). I hoped I’d still be together with the woman (we are). But I didn’t see China coming, or the going from 68kg to 88kg and getting strong while I was there.

Bit of a bind at the moment. Where do I see myself in 5 years?

Neck has flared up pretty bad. Irritated and tight, Had to leave work early yesterday, but no one seemed to care that much. Seems to have been a combination of the exams and study last week, the three weeks of PC overuse, and pushing myself in the gym Monday, when my neck couldn’t support it.

Probably going to be back in physio for another 4-6 weeks. But at this stage, both the neck and my low back have become chronic illnesses. I’m struggling to work, study, get around, see friends and do things I enjoy. I’ve been in constant pain for about 18 months, and I really can’t hack it any more.

I’m getting a referral to a pain clinic to talk medication, management techniques and lifestyle shit. I’m also trying to get a medical card. The physio should help in the short-medium term. But working somewhere else, and not studying, would be a great help to me. Saving for a Masters, and using that to get exemptions for professional exams, would seem to be the best way of managing this.

I’m tempted to go back to college and study biology, and go into microfauna/ plankton biology. But then, I’m not sure if I want to be an academic, and do lab work for 10 years

Or do the 1 year Bachelors in computer science for more a business analytics focus in the career.  A Physics friend who’s similar to me is joining the Finance dark side. Part of me wants to quit office work entirely and retrain as a welder, work for a few years, then get management jobs in industry.


Woman is suicidal and self harming again because of the pressure she’s under in work and Masters – no further action taken since last crisis three weeks ago on changing her antidepressants or visiting doctor again. I said that if she had a life-threatening physical illness, she would be seeing a doctor, and this should be treated no differently. When the next crisis comes, I don’t know where it will end. I have advised her to take urgent action to cut stress, see doctor and exercise, because the next crisis could see her dead. I really haven’t got enough resources to deal with this over the phone, particularly when she’s 160km away and I can’t physically do anything. All I can do is identify trends in her behaviour, and try to guide her towards the help she needs. It’s gone past being emotions being like tides, coming and going. I feel quite powerless. If she refuses to get help, I have to step back and let her get on with it. This situation is probably the most aggravating to the back and neck. About one in three times she comes over, I have to cradle her while she cries from midnight to 2AM. My neck and back usually go into spasm, and I have to take painkillers and valium to sleep. We have about another 3 weeks before I crack, I’d say. The pressure is too much, and I have done as much as I can. Ball is in her court now.


In 5 years time, I’ll nearly be 30. And if my health is better,  still this bad, or even worse, my choices now could save me a lot of pain in the future.


5 thoughts on “Where do you see yourself in in 5 years time?

  1. I’m doing a hell of a lot better than where I thought I’d be 5 years ago. So I’m happy with that. 5 years ago I never thought I’d wear size small anything. But 5 years ago I also thought my Supra would have a turbo and cool wheels.

    1. I was meant to be going to Almaty in the south with a Kazahk colleague, but it fell through. Yeah, they are very pretty. They seem to be hardnosed and financially responsible too. Plenty of meat in the diet, wide open spaces, mineral wealth… would be nice. Edges out China in terms of pollution in some areas though. It’s a Disneyland of industrial waste and uranium mining. There’s a nuclear test site the size of New Jersey. All kinds of strange things.

      A couple of opportunities have come up for a return to China though – I’m planning on going back.

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