At Aalborg University, Professor Lene Tanggaard from the Institute for Communication is surrounded by colleagues from the US, UK, Italy, Germany and Romania who gladly move great distances in order to get the good jobs. This mobility creates good job opportunities for them.
“I experience first hand how my colleagues from abroad do not see the distance from Copenhagen to Aalborg, Aarhus, Odense or Kolding as a problem. The only thing that matters to them is that the job is exciting and challenging,” says Lene Tanggaard who has a colleague who lives in Berlin and goes home on weekends. Another colleague has a daughter back home in Italy.
It is a concern for the professor how Danes in general are challenged by not being nearly as mobile as our competitors on the global job market are.
”With respect for many Danish families being dependent on having two careers and two incomes, it might make sense on a more individual level not being more mobile. But as a society, country and a place where companies need to flourish through growth and resources – it is definitely a problem,” Lene Tanggaard concludes.
Many Danes prefer a part-time position in Copenhagen even though they are highly talented – and it is a shame if they do not get a chance to develop that talent.
”In a global world where technology makes it possible working from a distance, it is quite astonishing. If a talent can get good opportunities and professional development outside the big cities and is willing to leave Copenhagen, it can boost their career,” Lene Tanggaard who also teaches on IDA’s courses for talent management.
Having the right opportunities for development is more important than being the right place, geographically.
“You can have a far more interesting career outside the city where you have the chance to advance much faster, get more responsibility and experiment more,” she says.
In several surveys, IDA has shown how professional development, interesting challenges, good management and good career opportunities drive our members. Those are the big motivational factors in order for IDA’s members to be more mobile job-wise. And that is exactly what the small and medium-sized companies need to market themselves on.
In average, IDA-members change jobs every fifth year and especially young people also want to go abroad. It might be hard to relocate the family and kids from Copenhagen to another part of the country – but graduates and the young IDA-members are more mobile.
“Our members who have small children are less mobile, of course. That is why companies should go for graduates and the young people who have not yet settled down. If they can get professional challenges and a job with a purpose, then they are willing to move in order to get it,” says Juliane Marie Neiiendam, who is the Chair of IDA’s Employment Council. That does not mean you are going to live there forever.
You will get more responsibility and test yourself more early in your career that you would in a large corporation with hundreds of employees.