In a digital world where your work/life location is no longer important, the world is your labour market. Global opportunities are available for everyone and the search can be endless. For the tech sector it might be even easier – they have Jobbatical.
Jobbatical was founded in 2014 by Karoli Hindriks, Allan Mäeots and Ronald Hindriks. The company provides job seekers the opportunity to find positions with employers in the tech sector all over the world. Today the international tech job search platform has more than 100,000 users from 150+ countries and is changing people’s lives on daily basis.
We talked to Jobbatical’s CEO Karoli Hindriks to learn more about her motivation, challenges and plans for the future.
At the age of 16 you became the youngest inventor in Estonia with a registered patent. Can you tell us more about that experience and how that has shaped your life ever since?
My first venture started with a school project. We established a student company and started brainstorming product ideas. As I come from Northern Europe, where from October to March it is very dark outside for most of the day, you can imagine traffic safety is an issue, especially for pedestrians. So back then I had an idea to start using reflective fabric to make fashionable reflectors for young people. My late father encouraged me to go to the patent office with my invention. It turned out to be a unique idea and I became my country’s youngest inventor. His encouragement opened my eyes in many ways – also to the fact that despite being a 16-year old girl from a small town in Eastern Europe, I could make a difference. Encouraged by this, I decided to start a real company and begin producing and selling my innovative reflectors. It wasn’t long when we were selling them across Northern Europe mainly, but also to countries like Portugal, Belgium and Germany.
From innovation you moved to entertainment and at 23 you became the youngest CEO MTV has ever had. What was the best thing about it?
Oh, that is an interesting story! When MTV Baltics was set to be launched, I had initially agreed to help the Lithuanian founding team with marketing and PR for the Estonian market, doing that in parallel to my reflector business. About half a year after the launch, I was offered the position of CEO of MTV Estonia. I was only 23 years old, without any prior media industry experience, but that didn’t discourage me – I decided that I will learn and figure it out! And learn we did, together with my team. We even managed to get one of our young garage bands, Bedwetters, whom we had launched on MTV Estonia to win an MTV European Music Award and perform on the main stage at the MTV EMA 2007 gala in Munich. This was probably the greatest marketing success that I’ve been part of with almost zero budget. What I loved in working for MTV was also the fact that it gave a really good glimpse into the show biz scene.
And now with Jobbatical you are connecting globetrotting talent to tech companies across the globe. How did it all start and where are you now?
My inspiration for Jobbatical came when I was in Silicon Valley, in the Singularity University study programme. It was there where I started to ask myself: why are so many amazing companies emerging from here and not anywhere else in the world? The answer, I realised, was that knowledgeable people are drawn to this location. So, I thought, what if we inspire knowledgeable people to discover their dream locations in other far-flung cities by moving there for a career journey? Instead of taking a 2-week holiday in a dream location, they could experience the true local life by spending a few years working there in a local team. I started to work on that idea in 2014 and we launched by the end of the same year.
What does the process entail both for a job seeker and a hiring company?
The techies, creatives and business people looking to relocate are the ones that join Jobbatical. We help them discover companies in their dream locations who are open to hire internationals. For the companies we serve as talent scouts of sort, when these companies are unable to find ready-to-relocate people from their domestic market. Today we are also helping with immigration issues in 34 countries and growing.
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