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Move to success

In today’s globalized economy, everything seems to be drawn together much closer than ever before.

Online check-in and teleconferencing-systems offer extended opportunities for international business and trade. This “new horizon“ entails as many prerequisites for graduates as prospects for companies.

Job applicants for postgraduate positions with large global companies see themselves faced with the necessity for flexibility and mobility in order to be successful in their pursued career. Having to move places for the job appears to be the standard rather than the exception nowadays.

However, the consulting company Kienbaum only ranked flexibility seventh in their survey “High Potentials 2010/2011”, right behind the Top Five, including motivation, target orientation, analytics, willingness to learn, and tolerance to stress.

In order to find out about the real significance of mobility and the willingness to move, I looked at the CEOs of Germany’s 30 major publicly listed companies, with regards to the distance between their hometown and their current domain. According to Germany’s size and density of population, they can be ranked in four different groups: Distance of 0-100 km, 101-200 km, 201-450 km and more than 450 km.

The results are interesting and calming for those who do not have geographical flexibility. No significant difference between the distances has been found. 20% of all CEOs still live within 100 km of their hometown and thus with the possibility of daily transit. 23% are still living within a range of 101-200 km. The weak majority in this survey is represented by managers living 201-450 km away from the town where they grew up. A distance that can be seen as semi-far in german dimensions and a reasonable track to handle on a weekly base. Interestingly, the 27% part of the far-movers of more than 450 km also includes the vast majority of foreign executives, leading german companies.

According to this data, no correlation between the willingness to move for a job-position and career-success (if you measure success by seniority) could be found on ceo level in germany. So the question remains: Willingness to move as an optional character trait or the denial of mobility as a career ender?

How far would you move to take on the next big opportunity in your career?

Sebastian

Categories: Sebastian, Survey
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