The Importance of Adaptability and Flexibility

Technology, management practices, and operation procedures … you name it, everything is now changing in a very fast pace. During the time when changes is the only constant, companies are seeking for CEOs who are adaptable leaders. Even under current recession with record high unemployment rate, “the number of executive searches in North America rose about 33% during the first half of this year” (Lubin @ The Wall Street Journal).

According the Clarke Murphy, who leads a global CEO search firm, companies look for assertive leaders who are able to change quickly --- e.g. developing and launching new products and going into new markets. Those “strong operators who can adapt quickly and gain the confidence of employees and shareholders” are in high demand.

Indeed, adaptability and flexibility are two critical attributes that a job candidate should have no matter if s/he is applying for a CEO position or an entry level job. Two years ago, I also interviewed a regional recruiter of a hotel chain about her expectations of hospitality students during the time when she selected student candidates for managerial positions. She told me: “Being flexible is important. For example, if a student told me s/he only wants to work in Houston as an event planner, s/he just narrowed her opportunity from 200 to 1 or zero.” Last year, I also saw some talented SU graduates leaving school without a job --- not because they were not ready, probably because they only wanted to work in a full service hotel in Manhattan.

To secure a job offer and succeed in a hospitality career, one must be flexible in terms of jobs and locations. Good opportunities are often presented to those who are willing to move from one city to another and/or from one functional or operational area to another. Being adaptable helps develop a person’s managerial and leadership skills. So, if you are looking for a job, are you flexible and adaptable? If so, how well can you demonstrate your attributes in your resume and during interview? In the near future, we will discuss more detail in resume writing and interview preparations.

References:
Lubin, J.S. (2010, August 9). Recruiting firm finds adaptable CEOs in high demand. The Wall Street Journal, p. B6.
Picture was downloaded from: http://www.kimminsdesign.com/if.htm

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