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The Global Skills Market: Understanding Talent Mobility

The Global Skills Market: Understanding Talent Mobility

I had the opportunity to talk to Ian Burke, director at totaljobs.com, about the challenge of skills and labour shortage that the global market is currently facing. Working for totaljobs.com, Ian has a vast experience on what industries are suffering from the skills shortage and how they can overcome this issue. In this article, we are presenting a few very interesting findings that we have discussed and uncovered about the global labour market.

The movement of people due to economic imperatives has been a factor of population change for hundreds of years – but the choices of the merchants, traders and craftsmen of the 17th and 18th centuries are far removed from the analysts, technicians and teachers of the 21st. Newly porous economic borders, with less stringent international labour laws and common markets, combined with the enabling impact of the internet and affordable travel, have encouraged a new age of worldwide talent mobility – creating a truly ‘glocal’ market for desirable skills.

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A recent survey from the Stepstone Group about workplace ambitions and challenges in the UK found that working close to home was a priority for 63% of the workforce – dropping to only 53% for those aged 18-29. This leaves a substantial proportion, nearly half of the working population of the UK, for whom working abroad is a genuine option to consider. An international study of 200,000 workers, conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, found that, on average, 64% of the world’s working adults would consider taking a job abroad – including 59% of Americans aged 21 – 30. Indeed, in the majority of the nations surveyed, the younger generation proved more likely to put their skills to the test in another country.

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This professional diaspora amongst the young, often dramatically referred to as a ‘brain drain’, is now a global phenomenon, albeit a historic one. From the post-war European scientists of the 1940s and 50s, to India’s educated middle classes in the 60s and 70s, our ever-increasing talent mobility is enabling whole new generations to seek their fortunes in climes more conducive to their professional advancement. In Israel, for example, where emigrating retains some historic social stigma, the cost of living and the scarcity of graduate roles has led to 7% of the population living abroad. Across Africa’s emerging economies, emigration has been large enough to turn the negative impact of the brain drain on its head – a report by the World Bank suggested that expats actually boost trade for their home nation, creating up to $2,100 a year in exports per person.

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Whilst the uncertain impact of talent mobility may be a stumbling block for smaller or emerging markets, is it a significant challenge for more developed nations? In the West, the narrative around talent mobility is thoroughly confused – alarmist headlines about calamitous brain drains conflict with statistics about the huge competition for graduate roles and that the workforces of the US and the UK are, as identified by the BCG survey, some of the most unlikely to work abroad of any developed nation. Despite this reluctance, the migrant professionals that arrive to balance out any departing graduates are often stigmatised for filling key roles – simply put, we cannot decide whether global talent mobility is a good or bad thing.

But this contradictory narrative about talent mobility is indicative of another phenomenon. It’s a confusion that is happening between the convulsing fault lines of our national economies – as our workforces tectonically shift from a closed, localised and top-down model to one that is both open, international and driven by everyone. Talent mobility, empowered by technology, can offer nations, communities and individuals a variety of economic trajectories – and it’s up to each and every one of us to choose where we land.

Featured photo credit: Wolrd Map – Abstract Acrylic by Nicolas Raymond via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

4. Use Your Phone Wisely

Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

6. Use a “To Don’t” List

We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

8. Be Concise

Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

  • Making new contacts
  • Talking about yourself at a job interview
  • Meeting people at conferences or parties
  • Phone calls to new clients

9. Ask the Right Questions

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

10. Learn as Much as You Can

You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

The Bottom Line

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

More About Working Smart

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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