You want to get on a plane, and leave it all behind. Change everything and take on new adventures. Meet new people, see new scenery, and learn exciting new things. I get it. We all want to be happy, and traveling is fun!
I spent my junior year in college living abroad in Leuven, Belgium. I visited thirteen different countries that year. It defined me as an adult. I cannot overstate it.
Travel gave me perspective, maturity, and tolerance. I believe that everyone should spend time abroad. Which is why the startup Jobbatical, fascinates me. They offer job seekers one-year jobs abroad.
They're getting the attention of heavy hitting investors too.
Techcrunch says "Jobbatical, .... has raised a $2 million funding round led by Union Square Ventures, and Saul Klein and Robin Klein's LocalGlobe. Previous investor Smartcap also participated."
How did you come up with the concept of Jobbatical?
I was born in the Soviet Union. North Korea is the closest thing I can think of to what I experienced while growing up. No knowledge, no ideas, no food.
Later in my childhood, we gained access to the West. A flood of knowledge came to me, and most importantly, (especially as a teenager) was western television. That's where I got the dream to study abroad.
I was awarded a scholarship and studied in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I decided that I would do what it took to be a local there. However, I was also a teenager and I thought I knew how everyone in the world thought and lived life. I was wrong.
After my experience, I realized that If every person in the world could spend a year abroad, the world would be a better place. That's really my vision for Jobbatical.
Why do you think Jobbatical is so popular with millennials?
Millennials are experiencing geography differently than our parents. Today your friends can by in Sydney or Paris. They are just people. They are your kind of people. You have the same interests.
Also, millennials aren't looking for jobs anymore. They're looking for journeys. The hiring conversation needs to change. (92%) of U.S college graduates say that the most important thing about their job is to make a difference.
This correlates well with what we're doing. Technology allows for people to connect with what they're working on, and technology allows them to make a difference.
We do the individual match making. So if a company in Indonesia, Penang Island, or Finland, is lacking talent, we do the hard work to bring people on board.
We are great at identifying rare skills and connecting those skills to companies who are looking for it. We deal with sourcing the talent, relocation, everything. All of it. And we don't charge people. We charge the companies.
Why do you think you've captured the imagination of so many so fast, you're only a year and half old?
A person in living in London can move to Bali for a year. Weather, culture, lifestyle changes are what bring people to us. We inspire people.
At Jobbatical, we have a team of twenty four people here in Estonia. We have ten different nationalities. We're proud of how diverse our team is. We believe in sitting with the people you work with.
Before Jobbatical the same talent worked remotely. Now, if your company is in Finland, a person actually joins your team, and they're sitting next to you.
A fully immersive experience, just like my experience in New Hampshire.
What similarities do you see in this industry compared to your years in television production?
If you think about the Internet, or even the way we're having this call (I Skyped with Karoli while she was in London). People are used to a connected world.
Authors note: Union Square Ventures found Jobbatical on Twitter.
People are becoming much more global. I launched MTV in Estonia. There was a huge shift in the way they defined stars. Before MP3, and then after MP3.
Back then, to be successful you had to move to New York or London. When MP3's came out, you could create whatever you wanted wherever you wanted. The story of what consumers like took center stage.
Now this is happening with our careers. So, if you want to live in Bali, and work on a great start up team, you can work there. The employee is in control now.