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A new worker class

Talent Management and the Rise of the New Independent Professional Worker Class

by Global Expert Systems

Human behaviour is quite predictable and it’s no different during hard times. With unemployment now soaring at double digits in Barbados, be on the lookout for the independent professional worker.

The New Independent Professional Worker

We are accustomed to the traditional independent worker: the lawyer, the doctor, the bookkeeper, the tailor, the seamstress. This is not who we are speaking of here. We are also not speaking of Dilbert’s ever popular and perhaps infamous “consultant” who is between jobs and looking to get back on someone’s payroll.

So who or what constitutes this new class of worker? Here’s the profile:

1. This professional is definitely an “international citizen” capable of globe-trotting and demanding the job that best suits their talent. They are not bound to any one company or country. This is what makes them truly independent.

2. This type of talent normally has an international education background and they tend to study in top schools in two or more countries.

3. They speak fluent English and two or more languages, depending on the region they prefer. For example, an independent in the Americas will speak English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. One who “floats” in the EU will typically speak English, French and German. While in Asia, they will command English and Mandarin and maybe a few other native languages.

4. It is not difficult to legally enter another country because they’re multi-skilled, multi-lingual and actually sought after by global companies. So requesting work permits and visas is not a major hassle for the company. Additionally, these workers tend to carry at least two international passports.

Why is this new class of worker emerging?

The type of global economic slowdown that we are witnessing tends to cause this type of labour movement. Every time we have major global upheaval like wars, disasters and harsh recessions, we will witness this phenomenon.

In fact, GES calls this the talent magnet — the best talent goes wherever it finds traction. Likewise, global companies seek out the best talent, wherever they are on the planet. Here is why:

1. Virtual professional social networks like Linkedin and make it very easy to search for global opportunities.

2. Europe as a major talent pool, owing to their high levels of education, has also put a lot of independent professionals on the global market owing to their prolonged recession.

How to become a true global independent professional?

1. Start by having a very open mind. Be curious about other languages and cultures. Be adventurous.

2. Pick up a second language.

3. Pursue internationally recognised qualifications and certifications.

4. If your company has overseas offices, ask to be placed abroad for at least three to six months. During this short period you normally will not require a visa. So try it!

5. Finally, do not underestimate the CARICOM Certificate of Recognition that gives you free movement throughout the Caribbean.

* Next week we will look at: How to brand yourself as an independent professional?

* For access to the entire series of GES articles in pdf. feel free to download them from We also have tons of interesting related content on our Facebook page, visit us and like us at

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