The first time I heard someone in a hiring position ask the question, “where do you see yourself in 5 years,” I was sitting around a large conference table at The Star-Ledger’s Newark, N.J. headquarters with about a dozen other summer interns.
“The Daily News.”
“The New York Times”
Not one of us said, “The Star-Ledger.”
Glenn Proctor, then a high-on-the-totem-poll editor, was the keeper of us interns and had a large say in careers at the top 20 newspaper, listened to each of our answers. When we finished, he gave a slight laugh and tilt of his head before calling each of us out for not saying we wanted to be working there.
While I can’t speak for everyone else that day, I can tell you my stomach dropped and I thought, “critical error.”
From that point forward whenever anyone asked me that same question, I always included the company I was talking with in my answer. But, about 5 years ago my answer when asked that question started to change, and I don’t apologize for the way I now respond.
Neither does Marissa Mayer.