“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
This daunting question. I dread getting it at an interview—probably because I don’t have the answer to it. I know I should say that I see myself at the company, moving up the career ladder with the position I’m interviewing for as the start. But, does any of us really know where our career is headed? Maybe a few people can say with certainty that they will be further down the path they’re on now, in a few years.
But if you’re among those who frequently ask yourself these questions, welcome to the club! A new study from LinkedIn found that many people feel ambivalent in their careers—wondering if they should stay in the same job or take time to invest in learning new skills or even change to a new path altogether. In fact, more than 20% say that they ‘fell’ in to their job rather than actively choosing their current career.
You don’t want to become a Career Sleepwalker, known as a professional who is unsure of their next step or feeling stuck, doing their job on autopilot. If you’ve hit your wall in your current career path, here are a few tips to help you get back on track from LinkedIn Career Expert Blair Decembrele:
Determine What You’re In It For
If you find yourself career sleepwalking, consider this: professionals spend an average of 90,000 hours working over the course of a lifetime. Crazy number, right? So it’s important to know what you are in it for. Why do you get up and go to work every day? We’re happiest when what we do lines up with who we are, and by understanding what makes you happy in your career and beyond, you can establish goals and actually do things that help you live your own version of success.
Master the Upskill
If you’re unsure where to take your career next, consider learning a new skill that could help you make the next move. In fact, almost 89% of professionals feel their skills are even more important than job titles.
For example, if you know basic Photoshop, but are looking to take your graphic design skills to the next level, you may take courses online to perfect your technique along with marketing courses that could help you show off your portfolio which could lead you to new career opportunities. LinkedIn Learning is a great resource that gives you access to more than 12,000 courses across a variety of topics from graphic design to project management fundamentals.
Modern Day Moonlighting
Making the first move can be the toughest part about changing your career path. Get your feet wet in a new field by pursuing a side hustle or passion project in an area that interests you to get your creative juices flowing. Whether it’s moonlighting at a non-profit or building websites on the weekend, more than one-third of professionals today (36%) find success in having a gig on the side, and this can be a great way to uncover new opportunities and just may lead you to a new career path.