Where do you see yourself in five years? Anyone who has had a job interview or annual performance review will know this question has a tendency to cause panic.
During my final couple of years at Sky Sports I really struggled answering it because I genuinely had no idea where I wanted to be.
I would skirt around the issue because voicing aspirations within the company would have been misleading. Looking back I should have been more honest with my boss.
Nevertheless, having hung up my statsman’s anorak it was now time to give the question some long overdue thought.
My savings account was looking reasonably healthy and the tenancy agreement negotiated between my parents and I was very generous, so finding a job as quickly as possible wasn’t imperative.
Having no income was unnerving but I was mindful that jumping straight back into employment could see me return to this exact same situation five years down the line.
The first month of job hunting was very trying. I’d identified what I had to offer in terms of values and transferable skills but was struggling to match them up with a new career.
But one of the keys to hunting is striking at opportunistic moments.
My Instagram feed reflects my passion for fashion, I follow clothing stores and brands from across the globe. One of those brands, Universal Works, posted a photo to advertise their Nottingham office was looking for new team members.
The role was a million miles away from what I had previously been doing and I had not worked as part of a retail team since my days as a shelf stacker for Wilko over 10 years ago.
Despite this I decided to apply. My CV would have highlighted some inexperience but I knew the cover letter was my opportunity to put across my knowledge and passion for the company.
My chances of getting an interview were slim but he who dares, wins.
I could picture myself developing within the menswear industry, taking on more responsibility and rising through the ranks. I believed I could make a difference.
My five-year vision was becoming clearer, I just hoped I wasn’t getting too ahead of myself.