Where do you want to be in 5 years?

Early on in interviews, I dreaded this question the most! Where did I want to be in 5 years?

I didn't even know what my plans were for that weekend, let alone where I wanted to be professionally. It's a daunting question because it makes us reflect on what we want. I had never really thought that strongly about it when I was leaving my tertiary education because there were so many possibilities and I didn't want to exclude myself from any of them. But that meant I was floating around, applying for everything and not focused on moving forward through the industry. I wasted too much time trying to fit into every mold instead of improving myself.

So today, you will work through a few of the best bits of professional development courses to give you time to reflect on your personal and professional goals. We don't give ourselves enough time to reflect on what we want to achieve - so take your time through this and enjoy it!

Make sure you fill out Section Two of the worksheet once working through the content on this page.

Time to make achievable goals

So there is no time to waste! Watch the video below to learn about S.M.A.R.T goals. If you are anything like me, you detest making goals because it means there is the possibility of failure or disappointment. However, this is the first method I've ever seen that actually works because they become realistic and achievable.

After watching the videos and reading the content below, answer all of the questions from Section Two of your worksheet.

SMART goals

Giving yourself the best chance of success

There are simple things you can do to stand out with potential employers. Here is an opportunity for you to be prepared for job applications and interviews ahead of time.

Your resume is vital to landing you a job. If it's not formatted well, easy to read and packed with the right information then getting to the interview stage will be harder than it needs to be.

I've found two videos I think summarise resume writing well. Feel free to write notes or take down the names of the videos if you want to refer to them later when writing and/or editing your resume. I apologise in advance for the add/self promotion in the first video - she makes some great points so it's worth it... Otherwise, happy watching!

Click here for first video about building a resume

Click here for second video for three extra tips

It's true that generally environmentally focused organisations can be more relaxed when it comes to professional clothing than others. Does that mean that it doesn't really matter what you wear to an interview because you'll be in a uniform if you get the job?


And why is that?

Because your interview attire shows your effort level, your personal worth and your professional standards in a quick look.

Your presentation matters whether you are applying for a bushland crew position or a management role. Below is a good example of appropriate business casual attire for an environment based interview. Remember it is just a guide (the mens shoes don't need to be leather!) but it is a good base when preparing.

So you are in an interview, looking professional, and the employer is asking general questions about your background and competency for the position. You know what will really stand out? If you can link your answers to background information you have researched prior about the organisation!

So simple and easy yet not everyone prepares this way. Knowing the position description well is great but understanding how the role will impact the organisation is a lot more impressive and it will show your enthusiasm, ability to work independently and that you are serious about being a part of their team.

As an example: Parks Worker for the City of Greater Bendigo (currently being advertised - click here!)

Background research: going through the City of Greater Bendigo's "Environment and sustainability" tab on their website under 'Our Services.' Reading through each section so you understand the broader impact of the position in the Environment Team. Under 'Native Vegetation, Forestry and Land Management' you will see the main aspects that could be included in the role including weed management and urban salinity levels to name a couple. Showing your employer that you are aware of these aspects of the role demonstrates specialised intelligence and would make you stand out amongst the rest.

You've landed the interview, you look professional and you've done your background research: the last thing you need to do is practice questions.

Having monotone, memorised responses isn't a good thing because your interviewers want you to be normal, and naturally yourself. However this doesn't mean you shouldn't practice some common questions so that you minimise the 'ummmms' and silences, you show that you care enough to prepare and that you aren't caught off guard - especially by a common question.

So here is a list of common questions for you to practice. If you have the time before moving to Step Three, take the time to write up mock answers for a couple and practice delivering them to a partner.

  1. Tell Me About Yourself.
  2. How Did You Hear About This Position?
  3. Why Do You Want to Work at This Company?
  4. Why Do You Want This Job?
  5. Why Should We Hire You?
  6. What Are Your Greatest Strengths?
  7. What Do You Consider to Be Your Weaknesses?
  8. What Is Your Greatest Professional Achievement?
  9. Tell Me About a Challenge or Conflict You’ve Faced at Work, and How You Dealt With It.
  10. Tell Me About a Time You Demonstrated Leadership Skills.
  11. What’s a Time You Disagreed With a Decision That Was Made at Work?
  12. Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake.
  13. Tell Me About a Time You Failed.