What do I say that I want to be when I grow up?
February 10, 2012 1:52 PM Subscribe
I have an interview next Tuesday with a investment firm. The position is Executive Assistant to the CEO. When they ask me where I see myself in 5 years, what do I say?
posted by anonymous to work & money (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The position is a pretty basic administrative assistant position, but it's for the CEO at a firm that does institutional investments and wealth management such as hedge funds. I am good at interviews, until they get to the 5-year question. Why? Because from my experience, Executive Assistant is pretty much as high as you can go in admin jobs. No company I have ever worked for would ever dream of letting an administrative person escape from that role. (The assumption has always been that if you were good enough for a "real job", then you wouldn't be an admin.)
But lately, I keep getting asked this question, and I have no idea what to say. I mean, for instance, if I'm working at an engineering company, I'm not suddenly going to learn how to become an engineer. At a tech company, I'm not going to suddenly learn to be a software engineer. (Also, I am at an age where going back to school to get a degree in something specialized would be completely impractical - going part-time, I'd graduate just a few years before retirement, with a mountain of debt. And frankly, as an extremely experienced Exec Assist, I earn more than an entry level engineer does, for example. However, a lot of people assume I'm in my mid-30's, so I guess it would be in my best interests not to point out that I'm much older.)
As assistant to the CEO, I'd be at the top of the admin pile. There is no higher admin position to strive for. So what do I say? Do I say that I'd like to be working towards being a financial analyst? (Is that even the right title?) If I do that, are they going to think I'm not serious about the admin job, and pass me over for someone else? If I say that, are they going to wonder why, if that was my goal, I've never bothered to work for a financial services company before?
(If it matters, I actually would be interested in becoming an investment advisor, or whatever the proper title is. But at this point, I know next to nothing about investing.)