Career Agility

Earlier this week I had a great time talking with the Northeast Ohio chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors about Organizational Culture. As part of the presentation, I asked the audience if anyone thought their company would NOT go through major changes in the next five years. No one raised a hand. My purpose for asking this question was to set the stage for a discussion about intentional culture change.

The next day I met with a highly-skilled former CFO and current jobseeker. The person expressed concern that his industry focus for the last several years might limit his local opportunities. It is a fair concern. Traditional job search and hiring practices focus on skills and experiences found in job descriptions and resumes. Even job-match artificial intelligence applications (software) tend to look for the largest quantity of keywords.

People should be able to function in a role they are hired for, but agility and adaptability may be more important since the workplace is changing rapidly. The skills and experiences that are relevant today may be obsolete tomorrow. Leadership and agility, though, are – and will be – in demand with every organization.

My recommendation to the jobseeker was to ask every interviewer the same question I asked the audience the prior day. If he can redirect the conversation to his change management and leadership experiences, which are important for every organization, I believe he is more likely to find common ground. And, hopefully, a new opportunity.