How a regionally based leadership role can accelerate your career

When changing your career path or considering roles you have been headhunted for, it can be easy to play it safe and say no to opportunities that take you interstate or to more regional areas.

However, in a recent Forbes article it was said, One of the biggest job-search mistakes you can make is to play it safe. The more you look and sound like every other job seeker, the worse your job search experience will be.”

Taking the path less travelled can have big payoffs for your career. Here are four ways that saying “yes” to a regional leadership role can help you climb the ladder faster.

  1. Less competition, more competitive packages

When going for a city-based executive job you can expect that competition will be high. We have worked with clients who have shared they can receive more than 500 applications when advertising directly for a metro-based role.

On the other hand, competition for regional jobs can be significantly lower, giving you a greater opportunity to secure the role you want or at the very least a stepping stone position that can fast track your career into executive management roles.

As an incentive to make the move, most employers offer a more competitive salary package, which can include lucrative relocation compensation.

  1. Future-proof your career

If you plan to be an executive manager in the next five to ten years now is the time to prepare and take risks to gain the skills and experience needed to be the candidate of choice.

As you consider changing roles or making a lateral move within a company, put yourself in the shoes of your future employer.  Determine what skills, strengths and experiences will best serve you in your future position and give you the greatest advantage when up against hundreds of other candidates.

A regional position can demonstrate your work ethic, passion and commitment and show you have something unique and valuable to offer.

  1. Diversity in experience

Working in remote or regional areas can expose you to a diverse range of career experiences and business ideas. You can face different challenges, be motivated by different priorities, manage different people and gain a different perspective that can be invaluable to your career.

This diversity in experience can result in you providing more innovative solutions to problems and successfully tackling a wider range of scenarios at work. Not to mention the personal development and resilience you build in the process. Being able to showcase this in your resume and draw on these examples through your interview can immediately set you apart from other candidates.

More subtly, stepping outside the usual career path can also show highly sought-after leadership traits. It demonstrates your capability in adapting to new and challenging environments and shows a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone and take calculated risks.

In a recent article for on 3 Things Smart Employers Look for in a Resume, Simon Wistow, the co-founder of Fastly, said that one of the main things he looks for is breadth and depth of experience. He said, “Every new space you work in gives you more tools you can bring to bear on a problem or a different way of looking at an issue.”

  1. Great exposure within the company

If your goal is to move up in the company you are working for, a lateral move into a regional role can provide you with unique experiences and greater cultural exposure that will enhance your career. It can also demonstrate your willingness to get the job done and make sacrifices for the company.

If you are concerned about talking to your manager or other key stakeholders about making a lateral move in the company, know that career mobility also benefits them. According to HRZone, talent mobility is essential to organisational success with research from Lee Hecht Harrison in partnership with the Human Capital Institute showing 81% of organisations who are committed to talent mobility through their organisations report on or above-target revenue growth — compared to 68% of other organisations.

When you are presented with an opportunity to apply for a leadership position in a remote or regional area, remember that it could be the competitive edge that other candidates can’t match.


At Arete Executive we actively work with clients to identify and engage candidates for management and leadership roles in regional locations throughout Australia and Asia. To find out more about our executive search and placement services please contact Fiona Cochran or Sally-Anne Blanshard on +61 7 3010 9220 or email 


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