I studied Geography in my first degree so I understand the role of Geography not just in terms of space, climate, sustainable developments, international conflicts, or regionalization but I understand the role Geography plays in the world trade networks, global economy, and even economic interaction among nations states.
However, due to the rise of the knowledge/gig economy, human cloud, technological innovation, transferability of ideas, knowledge exchange, globalization of our skills, freelancing, and remote work, Borderlessness has become a new Normal and the flow of interaction, values, goods, services, and even wealth has transcended the limitation of a geographical space and the diffusion of information has now become rapid across territorial borders.
However, in my work as a Global Talent Consultant, connecting African Talents to Global remote opportunities, I have seen that with the advent of ICT, the enormous capacity of the internet, coupled with the force of digitalization, building a global career from the corner of your room somewhere in Ikeja can happen at the speed of thought. The world is shrinking, there is a diminishing effect on distance thanks to air transport and modern telecommunications, and you could wake up in London and sleep in Nigeria. You can lead a board meeting taking place physically in Texas while vacationing in Maldives, thanks to video conferencing tools. This is a Post Covid reality and this is why you should Go Global as a Talent.
The gig economy is a free and global market where businesses and individuals set short-term and on-demand flexible and skilled professional relationships. In this economy, the terms for the jobs are flexible and temporal. The skilled worker is called a contractor or a freelancer. Organizations hire these skilled people instead of the traditional full-time employees to perform jobs they do not need a permanent employee to do on a long-term basis. The gig economy is a massive threat to the traditional economy, where employees are hired full-time with the perk of career development.
Digital platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and the likes have been serving as a meeting point for freelancers and business owners who need skilled staff from across the globe. Rather than employing full-time staff for short time roles, businesses are taking to these online platforms to engage and contract this skilled personnel on a short-term basis. With this arrangement, companies are cutting the cost of recruitment and selection and having a pool of candidates with a wide range of experience.
So if you are ready to position for the Future of Work as a Talent then Digital literacy is one of the most relevant global skills you should build as a professionals in this fast-paced, ever-changing world. It involves getting your technical, social, and individual skills together so as to navigate the borderless world. You need digital literacy to effectively manage, share, interpret and give meaning to your work.
The main unique feature of the gig economy is the freedom to operate without borders. It allows you to stay local but think global. From your desk in Mozambique, you can attract clients in Sweden and other parts of the world. The whole idea of globalization may scare you into thinking more people would be targeting that job you are seeking. This can lead you to disqualify yourself due to your race or location. You may start thinking people who live in better environments would be considered before you. Also, you could be concerned about your pricing, that someone would always offer the same product or services at a lower price. All these and more are genuine concerns. However, globalization presents a level playing ground for everyone to compete. You can showcase your exceptionality in the global market, take your products and services to a new market, and introduce your culture to people of different backgrounds because it’s a broader market.
As a Gig Economist myself, I have helped startups and business leaders embrace digital-first, remote-first, and freelance-first talent models for Talent Acquisition and People Operations across enterprise environments. I have also helped 28+ global enterprises hire freelancers at scale, and successfully trained 1000+ freelancers.
TEMITOPE OLUKUNLE (Global Talent Consultant)