The Unused Pool of Talent

by Jobbatical January 12, 2015

Did you know there are millions of professionals out there today, who think that the best career break concept would be to help your company, wherever you are located? It gets better — as these professionals are so valuable to their employers, they get all the time off they need to work for you. Because if their employer would be silly enough to say “no” they’d leave anyway, take that time off and probably join a competitor later (or in the best case scenario stay with your organisation). The only thing is that these talents out there do not know about you, your company nor the problem they could help you solve. Not yet that is.

Let me explain a bit.

We hear a lot about head hunt and how retaining talent has become extremely difficult. Thus the concept of sabbatical breaks has moved from the academic circles to the private sector and is spreading rapidly. People who work a lot and are valued for their work have become assets worth investing in. Some take career breaks for studying others for working on some NGO projects etc.

That leaves a considerable amount of others though — what do they do during their time off?

Yup, that’s me sipping a coconut!

Travelling for months sipping Pina Coladas and reading self-help books might look good in the movies, but in real life it gets boring after a week or so. Besides, travelling in style is hardly affordable for most. During my own career break I tried it for eight days in Malaysia. For me those 8 days were enough to understand that I really have to find something to do. Something where I could be useful while learning something new. I decided I have to find a “jobbatical” though I did not know the word just yet. I was lucky to find a startup who needed my help. They couldn’t pay me much after their third pivot, but I had savings of my own and therefore did not care much for the money — I was there for the edutainment and to work on something that really excited me. We travelled to Silicon Valley and worked for 14–16 hours a day — it was the best time of my life!

That’s how Jobbatical was born.

During the past ten months I and my team have been investigating if I was the only crazy one who considered working on something exciting a great career break concept. It turns out that from the interviews we conducted across Europe and US, 74% of the professionals say that they would like to take a career break and 60% say that the best career break would be to work on an exciting new project (by the way, only 24% consider leisure time to be a great career break concept — I was very surprised how low this percentage was!).

But even more important is the discovery that there are thousands of organisations who would benefit from your skills. As Lee Tonge, the founder of CV Store and HR specialist from UK, has said:

“Flexibility, specialization and outsourcing are the new names of the game”.

Besides the only ones really using this pool of talent today are the volunteer organisations — who admit being overwhelmed by requests. There are websites out there offering gigs for interns and freelancers or young college students happy to work in a farm picking melons. But there is a gap for professional people with 5+ years of working experience. At the same time there are millions of startups and SMEs struggling because they are lacking certain skills or talent to get from point A to point B.

We founded Jobbatical exactly for that — to connect all the dots. It is a marketplace connecting top talent to employers across the globe for short-term gigs. So that every company or organisation from any part of the world would get a chance to access talent who on regular basis might be either too far or too expensive. One might not consider moving from NYC to Berlin for a permanent position, but for a change of scenery a short term professional adventure might just be the perfect match. Is the job paid or volunteer, local or international, will it create a change for a man or for mankind — this is something to be defined by each counterpart. Our mission is to offer a new kind of access to talent compatible with the modern job market. And on the other hand bring innovation and fresh know-how to the organisations. Our mission? To expand the horizon of talented people and encourage the exchange of new ideas around the globe. We believe that this is the winning formula for creating next big things.

Image credit: Elnur/123RF Stock Photo

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