FT journo John Gapper writes about the new ‘gig’ economy – and at the time of writing it’s the publication’s most read article of the day. He talks about the end of the lifetime career and the rise of the self-employed, believing there to be a lot of potential in the new world of work:
Days earlier there was an op-ed in The Guardian by NYU professor Arun Sundarajan on the gig economy, The ‘gig’ economy is coming. He writes that while “empowering” about being a boss (a better work-life balance can be achieved) there is something reassuring about company benefits, regular work hours and a regular income:
These are exciting times, and greater individual empowerment can be no bad thing.
Switzerland might the happiest country in the world, but you wouldn’t necessarily want to move there any time soon: four Swiss cities are named among the most expensive cities worldwide for international assignees in ECA International’s Cost of Living survey.
The singularly most pricey city in the world, however, rocketing into first place from 9th spot last year, is Juba in South Sudan. Entering the top 10 for the first time are Shanghai (8) and Beijing (9). Having lived in Shanghai myself, I can attest to the high cost of living there – however, don’t let that put you off: there are great opportunities in China for people with the right mindset!
Perhaps you are reading this by the pool with your mates, totally blissed out. You might be thinking “I wish it were like this all the time.” You might also be thinking where can I be happy like this all the time? In other words, which is the happiest nation anywhere on the planet, where people are just…you know…happy?
I can tell you it’s not Malaysia, where I’m presently writing these words, perhaps many people’s notion of “paradise”. There are extraordinarily beautiful beaches, stunning grub available 24/7 and a laid-back lifestyle, and yet there are also visible tensions.
It’s not southern neighbour Singapore, either, a highly developed and educated country in contrast. Friends in the city-state, famous for its competitive kiasu mindset, complain about the cost of housing and work-related stress.
There are grumbles in the UK meanwhile, with not even London escaping criticism.
The number 1 result, according to the latest World Happiness Report, might surprise some. Switzerland, a country more famous for its cuckoo clocks and Roger Federer, is on top of the world:
Northern countries do extremely well, with Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Finland and Sweden taking 6 of the top 10 spots.
Do you agree with the survey findings? Are you itching to move on? And what does happiness mean to you anyway? Comments please!
London increasingly dominates UK headlines these days, from the tedious Heathrow third runway saga to ongoing Tube strikes. It’s arguably mightier than ever; a once exclusively British capital, now a world city and a true city-state in waiting, akin to Singapore sprinting away from laggard Malaysia. But concerns are growing over whether it’s a good place to live.
There is no doubt that London has been enormously successful in recent years, even getting past the 2008 financial crisis with aplomb (while the rest of the nation suffered). The UK capital hosted the 2012 Olympic Games, and celebrated both the Diamond Jubilee and the Royal Wedding:
But despite this, many residents are not happy, it seems, and are packing their bags (and are telling the world they are packing their bags):
Do you currently live in London and share some of the concerns cited? Are you hoping to move to London, perhaps, or have you left already? Interested in your views!
Finding the right job can be tough, especially in these crazily uncertain times. The best approach, in my experience at least, is to build relationships with people to uncover opportunities – what the experts have traditionally called “networking”, but in practice means simply being matey with the right connections. This is what most professionals do when they are not working, i.e. 75% of the time.
But what if you don’t know anyone, for example when starting out? You could “blag” your way in (full marks are often awarded to the bold in life), or you could try the next best thing: a jobs website. Word of warning: not all opportunities are as they appear, as is often the case with recruitment, so stay wary:
- Escape the City – a website sprung from the loins of London’s financial district, Escape the City offers, as the name suggests, exciting opportunities for professionals away from the corporate treadmill. While there are openings with NGOs and startups all over the world, a question remains in my mind after a quick scan: can anyone truly “escape the city” through becoming a Marketing Director or Commercial Analyst?
- Jobbatical – Born in startup-mad Estonia, Jobbatical focuses on listing career break opportunities around the world, away from the day job (job + sabbatical). An intriguing idea, since applicants can combine work with memorable experiences in new countries. And who wants to sit on a beach for 2 weeks anyway?
- Global Nomadic Jobs – Global Nomadic now lists paid jobs, in addition to exciting volunteer experiences and internship placements. There is a tag cloud with “social media” displayed as the biggest term, so I’m guessing that’s what users are mostly interested in!
- Idealist – A website advertising opportunities to people who want to do good in the world, Idealist is currently listing some 13,000 jobs around the world, mostly youth and education-related.
- And lastly, Asia Hired. Run by a mate of mine, hence its inclusion. Robin, I’ll have that beer, thanks.
Have I missed any?