How can I return to the UK as a general manager?

10 June 2004
How can I return to the UK as a general manager?


I moved to America nine years ago to pursue a new career in the hotel business. Currently I am an area manager for a hotel management company responsible for the operations of eight hotels. I have held general manager's positions at Holiday Inn, Full Service and Hilton Inns. I would like to return to the UK within the next two years and pursue a single-unit general manager's position. Would I need additional training to make myself more appealing to prospective employers? I am 38.


!](#)Lesley Reynolds, chief executive, Portfolio International: Sounds like you have some great experience and you have been working with mainstream brands. However, it is much easier to return to the UK with a company or brand recommendation than independently, so if you can use these companies to assist you, this is the best option. I don't see what additional training you need - the main issue is that the UK market has changed in the past nine years, and local knowledge has a worth and this is what you will be missing. So research. Talking to people and ex-colleagues here will help more than training so you understand the issues. The US market holds attractions in respect of business, so if you can use the currency of knowing inbound US business to the UK this may assist you. Otherwise, it's a very similar marketplace, and I would be surprised if some of the service ethic tricks you have learnt are not interesting to employers.
Philip Addison, human resources director, Accor Hotels UK & Ireland:
I do not think you will need any specific retraining other than to brush up on the various changes in legislation on employment, licensing, etc. As you currently have area management responsibilities, you will need to convince any prospective employer of your desire to return to a single-unit role. On the other hand, your US experience would be of great interest, especially if it involves service and internet reservations. Each week our expert panel will answer your career questions. If you'd like to submit a question, send it to .
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