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Where do you see yourself in 3 years?

  • Posted on May 10, 2018
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
where-do-you-see-yourself-in-3-yrs

“Where do you see yourself in 3 years,” is by far my least favorite interview question. And, if I had been asked that when I started at Avanade 3 years ago, I guarantee that my answer wouldn’t align with where I am today.

I joined Avanade as a referral from a long-time mentor and friend, and although my post-MBA experience had always been in B2B tech marketing, I found myself on the Global Talent Acquisition team and saw this as an opportunity to create change and expand my skillset. I leveraged my communications, project management and team building skills to lead and support initiatives to create a better onboarding experience, and provide training, tools and best practices for our recruiters globally to create an exceptional candidate experience

Then, one cold January morning in NYC, I received a call from my manager who presented me with a short-term stretch opportunity as an interim recruiting manager for Australia, based out of Sydney. At the time there wasn’t much hesitation, other than never having spent a day in my life recruiting. Leaving winter in the US? Easy. Understanding our business? Check. Fast learner? Confirmed. Faith in my ability to deliver results? Done. Within a fortnight, I had my bags packed, a working visa, and I was headed down under for a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through my 24-hours of travel, the excitement outweighed the thoughts and reality of leaving my life for an indeterminate amount of time. From the minute I stepped foot into the Sydney office, I knew I had made the right decision. I was welcomed and embraced by my new team. I dove in to understanding the situation and pressing needs, and in the process established connections and built trust with stakeholders so that I could uncover additional ways to deliver value.
where-do-you-see-yourself-in-3-yrs

Fast forward 12-weeks, and I was packing my bags to return to the United States with tears in my eyes. In that short period of time, my life was profoundly impacted. I learned to take more risks; I now seek opportunities and reasons to say yes more than I say no. I learned to not overthink the future so much that I miss out on the present. And while I’ve never been one to be shy with my perspective, after working within a different team amongst a different culture, I learned to question the status quo even more than usual. I relentlessly questioned the way things were done so that we could find ways to improve.

In the end, I had re-established recruiting processes and best practices with 12 different talent community leads, and helped onboard the new talent acquisition lead for the country. I personally connected with 62 different candidates, leading to 19 offer negotiations and 15 hires, of which 26.6% were women, in support of our diversity recruiting initiatives around women in tech. And, although I won’t be pursuing a full-time recruiting position anytime soon, I know that with hard work, a business need and the support of leadership, I can truly create my own career path at Avanade. 

So where do I see myself in the next 3 years? I have no clue, but I’m willing to bet that it’s in a new role, on a different team, possibly in another country, while still working for Avanade
where-do-you-see-yourself-in-3-yrs

Lloyd Thomas

Great story! So do you suggest not planning too hard on where one see themselves in few years down the line?

May 22, 2018

Marie Michèle André

Nice story Kiley and very inspiring.

May 17, 2018

Kiley Surma

Thanks, Marie Michele - proud to be part of such an amazing, global organization.

May 17, 2018

John Souza

What a great story - thanks for sharing.  John Souza, BD in Boston

May 16, 2018

Kiley Surma

Thank you so much, John! I look forward to our paths crossing in the NE. 

May 16, 2018

Scott Lovegrove

Great article Kiley, we loved having you in Australia.

May 13, 2018

Kiley Surma

Thanks, Scott - I miss being a part of the Sydney office, and the warm weather :) 

May 14, 2018

Sandy Abrahams Twitter Orange Icon@sandyabr10

It was great having you in Sydney, Kiley!

May 11, 2018

Kiley Surma

Thanks, Sandy - I miss working out of Barangaroo with the sunshine filling the office! 

May 16, 2018

Nicole Koelsch

Such an inspiring story Kiley! Thank you for sharing.

May 11, 2018

Kiley Surma

Thanks for introducing me to Avanade, Nicole!

May 14, 2018

Paul Phillips

Great blog Kiley! A true go getter....

May 11, 2018

Kiley Surma

Thank you for the opportunity, Paul! 

May 11, 2018

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