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Freelancer Nation

Jul 13, 2018

“If I think back about every conversation I’ve had with HR people and they say to me that, “We only hire culture fit,” then I would like to challenge that. If you only hire culture fit, do you usually hire people who are just like you? And if you hire people who are just like you, it’s really great to find agreeable people, but does that take your business further?

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Karoli is a TEDx speaker and founder of Jobbatical – a marketplace for international career adventures. She founded her first company at the age of sixteen (officially becoming the youngest inventor of Estonia). Karoli successfully lead the launch of seven television channels in Northern Europe (including National Geographic Channels, MTV, and Fox entertainment). She was named one of the 20 most promising young entrepreneurs under 25 in Europe by the prestigious international business magazine BusinessWeek and one of 50 Most Influential Women in Tech of Europe in 2016 by EU-Startups.

I actually became an entrepreneur when I was 16, from a student company. I grew out my first company. I became the youngest inventor in my country. It was a very inspiring experience, realising that as a 16-year-old, you can invent something that will change people’s lives and you don’t have to have a PhD to do that, but you can be a simple girl.

Our headquarters is in Tallinn, Estonia, where we have people, now I think it’s 42 people from 19 nationalities. They all came through Jobbatical, or most of them came through Jobbatical and they flew in to build our vision. So, I think that’s really inspiring, and I think that’s where the world will be. Like your career shouldn’t be defined by where you were accidently born and live, but maybe for the best team, you have to circle the world and then you get there.

After several discussions around this topic, the Estonian Ministry turned to us to help to figure our the digital nomad visa. So, their plan is to get it launched. Basically, make it effective from the beginning of next year and basically, we are together, putting together the criteria. But the idea of that is that basically you can be a freelancer, a contractor, servicing different kinds of clients. You can be an entrepreneur who has a small agency and working as a freelancer. Location independent.

Basically, then initially, the visa will be one year and the goal for Estonia is that those people would actually want to stay there and make it a very easy transition if they want to stay there later to get either a work permit or to extend the digital nomad visa, but that visa would also give access to Schengen, but with a limitation of 90 days then.

Karoli: So, I think the future of work, in that sense, will be much more global and so attracting people will be, like a big thing that the countries will have to start focusing on. That means, also, again we were talking about user experience and I think the countries will definitely have to start thinking about the user experience of a country, because if you create barriers, I mean, look at America right now, we have seen the decline of international interest, even to go and travel there, not talking about studying, which has dropped enormously. So, if you create barriers or fear, that will mean that people won’t want to come here, so they will go somewhere else.

The Freelance Creative Exchange Series is our first ever podcast about freelances by freelancers. Every 2 weeks, we catch up with professionals over coffee at the PIXEL Studio and share stories about freelancing or anything in and around the topic. Each episode is about 30-40 minutes long and available in both podcast and YouTube formats. Hosted by CreativesAtWork co-founders Fanny and Jayce, you will find candid conversations with the creatives professionals about freelancing and the gig economy in Singapore & beyond.

- Jobbatical-



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