Ovi -
we cover every issue
Μονοπάτι της Εκεχειρίας  
Ovi Bookshop - Free Ebook
worldwide creative inspiration
Ovi Language
George Kalatzis - A Family Story 1924-1967
The Breast Cancer Site
Tony Zuvela - Cartoons, Illustrations
Stop human trafficking
BBC News :   - 
iBite :   - 
Precisions on the brain drain Precisions on the brain drain
by Joseph Gatt
2020-11-01 11:45:06
Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author
DeliciousRedditFacebookDigg! StumbleUpon

What I call the “knowledge workers” tend to leave any country mainly for two reasons:

-It's impossible to make ends meet in their home countries, and there are no perspectives of getting a job that will help them make ends meet.

-OR in their country knowledge workers are treated with contempt, asked to “keep a low profile” about their knowledge, knowledge is undervalued at work and at home, and their institutions don't even want to deal with them.

So I'll briefly discuss what I mean by knowledge workers and give a brief overview of the difficulties they face in their home countries.

To me “knowledge worker” is any combination of work experience + skills + diplomas + knowledge.

braindr001_400The brain drain of workers who have job experience

Workers who have job experience tend to be valuable. Not only are they accustomed to holding jobs, but they have worked long enough to build connections, perfect their skills and tasks, and are members of the working community.

But experienced workers tend to leave because their experience is not valued, because companies in their home country don't believe in incremental pay, because the company they work for does not value their experience, nor do competing companies they could work for.

So they tend to look for jobs in countries that might value their experience.

The brain drain of workers who have experience + skills

When I discuss experience, it could be jobs that require minimal skills of basic skills.

But, in a lot of countries, especially developing countries, skills are taken for granted. A lot of employers don't realize that skills are scarce and that you won't find workers with skills and with experience on the job practicing those skills.

That is, a lot of CEOs in developing countries overestimate the supply of workers with skills and experience. They think those men and women can be found everywhere, until they start looking for them.

The brain drain of workers with experience + skills + diplomas

I've discussed “face-saving culture” at length. In a lot of places, employers don't want employees who have too much good stuff on their resumes.

So such workers usually end up competing on the job when they should really be focusing on tasks, not competition.

So such workers usually try to find countries where they can focus on getting their tasks done, without unnecessary competition games with co-workers.

The brain drain of workers with experience+ skills + diplomas + knowledge

These guys have the skills, but they also know what goes on around them.

Unfortunately, dictators and authoritarian CEOs would rather have workers and citizens who are walking in the dark than employees who know what goes on inside the company.

In face-saving cultures, people tend to be so eager to get other people to believe falsehoods that they tend to be uncomfortable with people who know the truth.

So these guys tend to opt for working in countries where knowledge is not a liability, but an asset.

Other brain-drain factors


A guy can be perfectly comfortable working in Wakanda or Gotham City or something.

He loves his job, makes decent money, leads a good life.

But his wife (or children or both) insist that they leave Wakanda or Gotham City and move to London or New York City because their friends are making fun of them for “being stuck” in Wakanda.

Other times...

A guy can lead the good life in Wakanda but they get a job offer in Paris or Berlin and they want to see the world.

Other times...

A guy can lead a perfectly happy professional life in Wakanda but his wife and/or children have major social problems that can't be fixed in Wakanda (or health problems) and he has to get a job somewhere in Europe or something.

Other times...

A guy/woman can lead the good life in Wakanda but he/she feels that their freedom of speech and other civil liberties are not what they should be, and they want to move to countries where they can have more freedom.

Other times...

The banking system in Wakanda is horrible and every bank transaction is painful enough that they want to move to countries with normal banking systems.

Other times...

Life in Wakanda's good but the guy/woman wants to move elsewhere when their kids reach high school/college age so they can get a better education.

Etc. etc.

Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author

Get it off your chest
 (comments policy)

© Copyright CHAMELEON PROJECT Tmi 2005-2008  -  Sitemap  -  Add to favourites  -  Link to Ovi
Privacy Policy  -  Contact  -  RSS Feeds  -  Search  -  Submissions  -  Subscribe  -  About Ovi