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The Paradox of Long Term Vagueness


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One very common question you hear during interviews is for a long term plan.

Where do you see yourself in five years, that kind of thing.

On one hand, this is a pretty standard question.

And it's pretty obvious why.

Most employers recognize that having long term plans is a generally positive sign.

If they had two identical candidates, same resumes, work experience, etc., and the ONLY difference was one guy had a long term career plan, while the other guy said he was only living day to day, the choice would be clear.

On the other hand, it's kind of a difficult to answer this question PERFECTLY honestly.

Most people don't get a job at ANY company and hope to work there for five years.

And the guys asking the questions know that.

If you said you never wanted to work for anybody but them, ever, they would think you a bit goofy.

So it's both a surface level question AND a deeper question.

Surface level just to check to see if you HAVE long term plans.

But it's a deeper question in that they are also concerned with HOW you answer it.

But it leads to a deeper idea.

The idea of having a long term plan, when it is IMPOSSIBLE to predict the future long term.

The more you learn, the more you CAN learn.

But the more you learn, the more DIRECTIONS you can learn in.

It's one thing to start a four year degree with an idea of the kind of degree you want.

But once you get the degree, there's NO TELLING what you'll be doing in five or ten years.

If you started a small food stall, you would have to be fairly sensitive to the market.

Which means you would have to sell whatever people bought.

Which means the more effective of a marketer and entrepreneur you were, the less likely you'd predict the future.

Plenty of huge companies got their start doing things COMPLETELY different than what they are doing now.

Amazon, for example, started out selling books.

Now they make most of their money selling cloud computing.

This is NOT something you can predict.

But at the same time, if you ONLY live day to day, you're going to get blind sided.

Plenty of people refuse to see the big picture, and get clobbered when the market changes.

But those with long view can see it coming.

They don't know EXACTLY what is coming, but they know something is.

Which means they are ready when it starts to materialize.

The paradox is having a long view AND being open to the vague and uncertain future.

If you can do this, you'll be way ahead of everybody.

Learn How:


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