Why Mark Suster is Wrong When He Says You Can’t Search for a Job From a Remote Location

by Jobbatical November 24, 2016


This morning I was sitting in our fabulously cozy Jobbatical office in Tallinn, Estonia, chatting with my teammates to see how some of our newest hires are adapting to life in this Northern country. You see, more than half of the 24 people on our team have moved to this remote location from other parts of the world. While I was doing that, I suddenly received a tweet from our Australian VC from Sydney about Mr. Suster’s article claiming that “you can’t search for a job from a remote location”.

You would be right, Mr. Suster, if the year was still 2000 and we were all nestled in our respective corners of the world, interacting only with our local friends and dreaming of building a career at a Fortune 500 company in America. But this is 2016 and the American Dream has gone global together with the networked age.

What do Skype, Lazada, Supercell, Transferwise and Grab have in common? They are among the 65% of global unicorns built outside Silicon Valley according research conducted by London-based VC Atomico. And believe me when I say that the co-founder of Skype, Niklas Zennström, who also created Atomico, knew what he was talking about when he told TechCrunch that:

“There is an “irreversible trend” of more of these ‘unicorns’ forming outside the US because of the proliferation of startup ecosystems globally.”

Venture financing trends support Niklas’ hunch. In Q3 2016 Silicon Valley venture funding decreased 29% compared to the same period last year according to Silicon Valley Techflash. “This marks the fifth straight quarterly drop in the number of investments made, with this year’s Q3 seeing the fewest deals since the fourth quarter of 2010”.


According to Tech in Asia, venture capital funding in Asia doubled in Q1 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.

There are great companies being built around the world, and the best people are flocking to them. But are they all moving first and finding their dream jobs later? Unlikely. Finding a job abroad remotely is easier than ever today. It doesn’t have to take “on-the-ground work” to find the best job in a city (or country) you don’t know. And moving somewhere new doesn’t need to be the daunting lifetime commitment it’s made out to be.

I founded Jobbatical with the mission to distribute knowledge and know-how to teams in far-flung places of the world. People sign up to take career journeys all around the world, at companies that inspire them. Once they get hired, they pack up and move. In some cases this happens within just a few weeks. It’s still not an easy process in every country by any means — it takes effort, research and paperwork in many places. But applying for a job from a remote location is far from an exercise in futility.

In fact, it’s becoming quite normal. A few weeks ago I heard a marketer Björn who had left his job in the US to join a company in Estonia though Jobbatical tell his team:

“10% of people wake up in the morning excited about their job. I had to move from Minnesota to Estonia to become one of the 10%.”

The best, most rewarding jobs can truly be anywhere. The freedom to seek them out — wherever you happen to be — is one of the most exciting aspects of the networked age.

If you are looking for an inspiration then browse our global opportunities here

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