What Comes Next?

Heck folks, today’s a day where I find myself questioning some of those existential pieces of life, specifically, what the heck am I going to do?

There have been a number of times, generally in job interviews, where I have been asked about my five year plan. Often when I’m asked these questions, I have a fairly generalized idea of what I want my five year plan to be, but not only is it not entirely fully formed, it’s also usually something I’m too embarrassed to talk about, or, more particularly, isn’t something that I’d want to talk about in a job interview. Things like: “Well, I’d like to be writing full-time” or “Retired” aren’t really the answers they are looking for in those situations. So, I generally come up with some BS answer that is somewhat true, like “Well, I don’t have a solid strategy, but I’d like to be doing something where I can really flex my skills and talents and improve the situation for whatever business I’m working for”.

It’s answers like that which are probably a big part of the reason I don’t do very well in interviews.

However, as I’m nearing the end of my program in school, looking down the barrel of another six months (although I’m actually flying through courses at top speed right now, so I’m hoping to be able to cut that short), I find that I really don’t have a plan for what to do with this new degree once I’ve gotten it. Since I’m studying in Information Science and Technology, it obviously doesn’t offer much in the way of a creative writing career, but I knew that going in. In fact, all it really does is allow me to possibly make a significantly larger amount of money for doing the exact same jobs I’m already doing.

And also, in theory, gives me a bit more breadth of options in selecting the types of places I’d like to work for.

But herein lies the issue. While I obviously decided to go to school to be able to make more money in order to be able to prepare for things like my kids going to college and my own retirement, it wasn’t exactly like I chose this career path because it’s something I consider particularly interesting, just that it is something I’m good at, have a ton of experience in, should be able to have a much easier time getting job opportunities if I have this piece of paper.

But with this time and financial investment I’ve put into my schooling these last two years, I’m realizing now is the time I should really probably develop one of those five-year plans everyone’s been talking to me about for forever. A pretty crazy thing to finally start thinking about at the ripe age of 40.

And the answer to the question is still pretty much the same. If I could make a plan based off of my own actual wants and desires, I’d be focusing on my writing. But since writing is notoriously bad at paying out, I actually need to develop a plan that focuses on an actual paying career, relegating my writing still to that hobbyist place in my heart, while still trying to do it as professionally as possible (my professionalism could come into question with the large portion of yesterday I spent trying to come up with double entendres for the show I’m working on).

For someone who spends a significant amount of time plotting out the lives and actions of fictional characters, you’d think I’d be able to develop some sort of plotline for my own life. And yet, here I am, looking at the haziness of my own future and not being able to pull the trigger on any one direction outside of just following where the wind takes me.

Which, I guess, has treated me fairly well thus far, so maybe my five year plan is really to just hope that things continue to go well?

I’ll see how that works as an answer for my next interview.


2 responses to “What Comes Next?”

  1. My five-year plan has always been “sit tight and see what comes to me” so I feel this! To be fair, it has always worked out pretty well for me, so maybe you’re onto something, too.

    1. Glad to hear there are other folks who have found themselves in an alright place by letting the wind take them where it wants 🙂

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