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Cover image for Sloan's Inbox: How to answer "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" when I'm content where I am.

Sloan's Inbox: How to answer "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" when I'm content where I am.

Hey folks! Sloan, DEV Moderator and mascot. I'm back with another question submitted by a DEV community member. πŸ¦₯

For those unfamiliar with the series, this is another installment of Sloan's Inbox. You all send in your questions, I ask them on your behalf anonymously, and the community leaves comments to offer advice. Whether it's career development, office politics, industry trends, or improving technical skills, we cover all sorts of topics here. If you want to send in a question or talking point to be shared anonymously via Sloan, that'd be great; just scroll down to the bottom of the post for details on how.

Let's see what's up this week...

Today's question is:

I'm a details person. How do I communicate that without seeming lazy?

I love my job, and I'm good at it. But I don't have greater ambitions than where I am now. I don't want to be promoted away from actually writing software in my day-to-day, and I certainly don't want to go into management.

The question I fear most is "Where do you see yourself in five years?" I'm afraid if I say I see myself in my current position, I'll seem lazy and disengaged (I'm really not! I'm enthusiastic!) But I don't want to get put on a path to being promoted away from writing code.

If you were in my shoes, how would you succinctly answer this question without coming off the wrong way?

Share your thoughts and let's help a fellow DEV member out! Remember to keep kind and stay classy. πŸ’š

Want to submit a question for discussion or ask for advice?Β Visit Sloan's Inbox! You can choose to remain anonymous.

Top comments (3)

stefanmoore profile image
Stefan Moore

Not to be an @$$ I believe the explanation you gave us is the answer you should give. It spells it out in a clean manner. If someone isn't able to take that answer for truth then they offended you by not accepting what you want.

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel πŸ•΅πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Fayard • Edited

Q: What do you see yourself doing in 5 years ?
A: Well great question, that's exactly the kind of big picture questions I struggle with. In your experience, what would be the three paths someone like me can typically evolve in such a timeframe ?

kunga profile image
Kunga Tashi

I would try to answer it in this format "What do you see yourself learning in 5 years", then you can share some new technology you would like to learn, or getting better at something you already know. With this, instead of thinking in terms of promotion or managing people, you can tell them about different ways you will be writing code in the future.