As evolving technology continues breaking down barriers in the IT business world, an increase in competition for jobs is one thing that is apparent. Location, time, working conditions, and other variables factor in to the changing shape of how we work. Unconventional companies like Buffer that have staff working remotely from all over the world, founders included, gather the best personnel available and personify the work structure of the new age.
Offering More than 200 positions in over 30 countries
With a beta release in August 2014, Jobbatical’s mission is to connect skilled people to startup companies located all over the world. People who find work through Jobbatical will need to move to the city or location of that company for a minimum one year period.
As opposed to working remotely from your current location, Jobbatical is suggesting a new working system where users relocate to the company’s city or area. By living somewhere for at least one year, Jobbatical offers an experience that otherwise can’t be had as a casual traveler. At present more than 200 positions in over 30 different countries are on Jobbatical, and registered users have exceeded 5,000.
Jobbatical seems it would be an valuable resource for companies who are looking to hire talent from other countries. All processes in posting a new job, from taking pictures to writing a description, is completely planned and designed by the Jobbatical staffers. They take into consideration how to make say, for instance, a job in Malaysia looks as appealing as possible to job seekers in other countries when taking pictures and creating a profile. As the service is still in beta, all planning services are free of charge, however they are considering becoming a paid service in the future.
Popular locations: Singapore, Germany, Estonia, and more
Over half of the jobs published on Jobbatical are for some sort of software engineer. Other types of positions include marketing, business development, sales, UX/UI engineering, product management, etc. Singapore, Berlin, Hong Kong, and Estonia are some of the most popular work destinations.
In the past, two of the most popular positions were community management at Jakarta-based food industry startup AbraResto, and travel guide inspection at Alien Adventure, a travel industry startup in Amsterdam. Other positions registered to the site range from engineer jobs in Vietnam to marketing jobs in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana, and many more.
This time we had the chance to hear from Jobbatical’s Japanese-American global marketer, Isabel Hirama. Currently living in Estonia, the initial push was an open position at Jobbatical for a “native English speaker who can do marketing.”
I thought the idea of a going somewhere to work for a short time while having an adventure was fascinating. All of the positions are generally about one year. Of course giving a full commitment to move somewhere for a year is tough at first, but actually living somewhere for that long gives you an experience that travelers just can’t get.
Estonia’s second-ever female entrepreneur securing VC funding
Karoli Hindriks, co-founder and CEO of Jobbatical, is Estonia’s second-ever female startup CEO who has succeeded in securing VC funding. She became CEO of MTV Estonia at her age of 23 and has helped build various other media since.
The idea for Jobbatical, a hybrid of the words “job” and “sabbatical”, came to Karoli in March of 2014 when she was in Malaysia.
She realized that relaxing at the beach is nice and all but after about a week you start to get bored and restless. After searching the web for short term jobs that can be done while adventuring around new places, she found nothing but volunteer jobs on farms, nothing that made use of her business skills. Soon after, she had the chance to go to Silicon Valley, where she went around to startups in the area and eventually got a 6-month position. She thought, people should have to go searching for jobs by themselves, there should be a marketplace for this kind of thing.
To get out of your own country for one year and go do a job on the other side of the globe; I thought there should be a style of working like that. Our long term goal is for the word Jobbatical to be in the dictionary, then I want to make it so it’ll be obvious that there is a way to work like this.
Finding people with entrepreneurial qualities
Recently, not only startups and corporations, but also NPO and social enterprise jobs in multiple countries are increasing in number, said Hindriks. In the near future, Jobbatical is planning to start doing curation on the site as well as begin offering a sort of matching system.
Jobbatical is largely targeted at so-called “globetrotters”, or people who travel widely, which is why Hindricks believes that because globetrotters have some entrepreneurial qualities, jobs at startups are a particularly compatible fit. There are many people who either like traveling, experiencing new things, or people who embrace change. She says that Jobbatical attracts people who want a change of scenery, dive into the unknown and get a fresh start, people with the entrepreneurial spirit.
Estonia, where every part of one’s life is digitized to the point where even doing tax returns takes just five minutes, is also sometimes called “E-stonia” in reference to their trend of making use of technology in many aspects of its peoples’ lives. Hindricks hopes that the Estonia based Jobbatical will change even more the way we live and work today.
Translated by Conner Kirk
Edited by Masaru Ikeda