8 Career Inspiration Stories that Made 2018 a Great Year

by Maria Magdaleena Lamp December 27, 2018

A year ago when we were wrapping up 2017, Jobbatical had signed up jobseekers from every country except Chad and North Korea. Today, we’ve checked even those boxes and have registered users from every country in the world. But most importantly, more and more members of our global community have found life-changing jobs on Jobbatical. Luckily, many of them have taken the time to share their personal and professional journeys with us. Here are our favorite career inspiration stories from 2018.

1. A Bay Area Guy Moves to Finland to Work at a Hot Music Startup

In January, we checked in with Rob Pappas who moved away from sunny, swanky Silicon Valley for an HR job at a cool Finnish startup. Read his story to find out how moving half a world away to the Nordics made him a more complete person—better, more patient, and more humble.

2. How Taking a Jobbatical Led to Passion for African Microfinance

In March, Andrea Bratu told us how she discovered her passion for African microfinance by taking a jobbatical at a Zambian social enterprise. The Romanian native had been working in finance for a decade when she realized that she needed to travel more to understand the different facets of her beloved industry. Andrea’s story is a shining example of how much a big, scary career leap can teach you about yourself and the world.

3. Why a South African Tech Giant Decided to Move to Estonia to Pursue His Dreams

June was a particularly exciting month for Jobbatical stories. First, we tracked down Rüdiger Roach to hear all about why he left a cushy job in his native South Africa to move to Estonia to join a startup. Read the full article to find out how and why Rüdiger and his wife Antonel packed up their lives and made their way to Northern Europe.

4. Singaporean Digital Nomad’s Tips on How to Land a Job Abroad

Later that same month, our fearless correspondent in the field got the scoop from restless Singaporean Nikki Tan about her digital nomad life. Nikki, a globetrotting marketing guru, believes that the universe will eventually give you what you’re supposed to get. So her advice to anyone looking for their dream career opportunity is to keep trying until the answer is “yes”. Read the full story for more of Nikki’s digital nomad wisdom.

PS, Since this story was published, Nikki has, in fact, come back to Estonia for her second, more long-term jobbatical as Digital Marketing Manager at LeapIN.

5. Jobbatical Taught This Advertising Pro That His Skills Matter Globally

In August, our reporter tracked down Damir Abdullin from Russia. Damir left his home country for an exciting advertising role at Mindvalley in tropical Malaysia. He now reports that he has become an infinitely more confident person and realized how good he really is at what he does. Need a confidence boost too? Read all about Damir’s unique journey of self-discovery (and how Team Mindvalley turned him into a hugger). 

Psst, Mindvalley is hiring right now, so check out their jobs HERE to see what the fuss is all about.

Beach, Malaysia, Mindvalley

 6. From a Desk Job to a Yoga Retreat in Thailand

In October, Olivia Mercado told us about her journey from Bolivia to Thailand and how she found the courage to launch her own company. From graphic design and teaching to digital marketing and yoga, Olivia has seen it all in her career. On her entrepreneurial adventure, Olivia now aims to impact people’s lives through responsible, hands-on yoga teaching.

7. How to Move to Another Country & Adjust to a Strange Culture

In November, we heard from two more intrepid jobbaticlers whose careers took them to Estonia, Jobbatical’s home country. Usoamaka Aninyei’s move from Nigeria to Estonia taught her to set aside expectations and fully experience the new. Her story makes for a perfect beginner’s guide to adjusting to a completely unfamiliar cultural environment.

Usoamaka came to Tallinn to join Jobbatical. Take a look at our vacancies and become part of the team!

Road trip with the team

8. Between Berlin and Tallinn: When Working Abroad Becomes a Lifestyle

And finally, there’s Minez Villa Bombeo from the Philippines who ended up in Berlin via Tallinn. Minez is full of solid practical advice for career travelers—from making friends to finding good places to eat. But on a more personal note, she also shares how important her faith has been on her own journey.

PS. Since we spoke to Minez for this interview, she has also ended up back in Tallinn. Must be something in the water…

Berlin, Filipina, Germany

What are your career goals for 2019? Whatever they are, take it from these jobbaticlers—keep working and the right opportunity will come along. Check out available jobbaticals here.

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