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We have previously discussed how the environment surrounding you influences your decision making about your future. If you want to have a read through that, you can find it here: “Why you are unsure about returning to study”. However, In this post we will cover a specific example, a real event: Why Brexit is an opportunity to find a better job.
Summing it up, the news you listen to everyday might unconsciously discourage you from returning to education. By that I don’t mean necessarily starting University as a mature student like a I did, but any sort of education, from online courses to professional qualifications.
Why? Because they alter your vision of the future, your prospect to find a better job, therefore your chances to change your life. The question gets simple, why would you study for something, either a Degree or another high-level qualification, if the media describe a terrible future ahead?
Let’s start by making a clear assumption. The official projections about the Brexit impact on the UK economy are most likely to fairly represent reality. There is a massive work behind those mathematical models involving economics, statistic, engineering and so on.
They might not be one hundred percent accurate, but they are surely the best projections available and they should tell a story. It is around those that policy makers and institutions shape their decision-making when it comes to economic and monetary policies. Keeping it short and simple, they really have an impact on your everyday life.
Brexit impact on the UK economy
Remember our assumption? You can consider Brexit projections a fair representation of the future. Now let’s make another one: nobody can predict the market! It is true, as I mentioned above, that economists and policy-makers use the best mathematical models available.
They analyse trends and patterns to TRY to predict the future state of the economy. Let’s be real: it is true, as you are probably seeing now, the the overall impact of Brexit on the UK economy has been mainly negative so far. Furthermore, the Covid 19 pandemic has definitely worsened the economic situation.
Delays in reaching a deal to leave the EU has brought uncertainty into the UK market, slowing down economic growth. Although this uncertain status reflected negatively on the market generally, specific sectors (trade in particular) have faced higher repercussions.
In terms of exchange rates, the British Pound has faced a strong depreciation right after the Brexit vote. As a consequence, the cost of imported goods to the United Kingdom increased, and the rise in inflation rate reflects that. (Source: VOX) Inevitably, people based in the UK have seen their purchasing power decrease in comparison to their neighbour countries.
Brexit predictions always true, so no better job?
However, it must be also said that some of the predictions ended up being almost completely inaccurate. Although the UK had a slower growth of GDP compared to the previous years, this was by far still higher than predicted. Moreover, despite a considerable number of established businesses leaving the UK to relocated, other major companies decided to invest instead.
For instance, in the banking industry, the multinational giant Goldman Sachs expanded its presence remarkably in the UK after Brexit. In the automobile industry, Nissan decided to close some production plants located in the EU (Spain and Germany), and planned to relocate them in the UK. (Source: The Washington Times)
It is also extremely important to say that the real Brexit impact is probably yet to come. In fact, it only became effective from the 31/12/2020.
The only true prediction about Brexit
There are many more arguments to mention on the matter, but that’s not the point, neither the purpose of this article. What we want to examine here is why Brexit is an opportunity to find a better job. Everything said above reinforces the concept that nobody can predict the market. Therefore, despite emphasizing the point that the official projections involve the best expertise available, you should never let them put you off.
Now let’s focus on another certain concept: the market will always bounce back. We discussed this topic in another post, if you want to know more about it you can find it here: “Why you should return to study now!” The key takeaway here is to be ready for when the market bounces back, because it will, that’s something you can be sure about.
Thus, any negative market shifts caused by Brexit, sooner or later will convert back to positive. After all, is the UK economy we are talking about, not just an average economy. As a consequence, the labour market will rise again, offering a variety of new opportunities. The key is to start getting ready for that while things are not that promising.
This is the mistake that majority of people make, standing still, not anticipating what comes after. During an economic recession, with the job market shrinking, the wisest thing to do is to invest… in your skills and qualifications! By doing that, you will have an advantage on the competition when the labour market recovers and starts offering opportunities.
How to catch the opportunity to find a better job
There is something the you need to keep in mind: the most important thing to do is to gain skills and qualifications, preferably in advance. There is not shortcut for this unfortunately. Therefore, you should already have an idea of what you would like to study.
If you do not have an idea yet, or you just unsure about topic, do not worry. It might be the result of your market research “suggesting” you what to study. Remember that Brexit is an opportunity to find a better job, but it is still requires you to act, otherwise it will be the exact opposite of an opportunity…
My recommendation would always be a University Degree, since its value lasts a lifetime. Moreover, it is still the minimum requirement to apply for better and higher paid jobs, as well as graduate schemes. If you are struggling to find a subject to study, I would suggest reading through this article: “What to study for future jobs in the UK”.
Please be aware that, as I suggested in another post about choosing the right degree for you, you should never pick what to study solely based on future job trends. If they do not sound genuinely interesting to you, keep researching until you find the right area to explore.
However, as I said earlier an university degree is not your only option. It really depends on what you interests are and how sure you are about that. This other article I wrote might help in that regard: “University degree or professional qualifications?”
My mistake.. chasing “any” better job
I once made the mistake of enrolling into a high-level IT course just because it was the “job of the future”. I wasn’t interested in the topic itself, I was just attracted by expected salary and employability chances.
Ended up leaving it after one month, losing the full cost of the course as it was non-refundable. Did I really need to that to understand that IT wasn’t for me? I don’t think so, don’t waste your money and time in qualifying for something you don’t like.
Why Brexit is an opportunity to find a better job?
Now we will see how to conduct some market research for the UK job market post Brexit; hoping that the current crisis caused by the pandemic will end soon. Remember the only true prediction, the market will bounce back, it always does.
If I were you, I would start investigating which, and why, some major companies have decided to expand in the UK. It is there that you can find an answer. If a company decides to invest in the United Kingdom now, it means they believe Brexit is an opportunity!
Investigating an opportunity – Nissan example
Taking as an example a big company mentioned earlier, Nissan. Why is one the biggest player in the automobile industry investing in the UK post Brexit? Ashwani Gupta, currently Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer, declared the following in an interview with the BBC: “The Brexit deal is positive for Nissan. Being the largest automaker in the UK we are taking this opportunity to redefine auto-making in the UK.” (Source: BBC)
They must have spotted a future trend that they believe will profit them in the long run. When largely anticipating competition, a business can enjoy the benefits of what is known as “first-mover advantage”. You can do the same if you act first. Gain the necessary skills and qualifications asap. You will then have a first-mover advantage over your competitors in the job market.
During the Interview with the BBC, Nissan’s COO announces the opening of a new production plant for specific batteries. This makes me think of several things: firstly, the company relies on the availability of highly-skilled workforce present in the UK; secondly, the company believes the United Kingdom will still be a very important strategic point for distribution, proximity to resources, manageable supply chain, relationships with suppliers and so on; all of that post Brexit.
Cross-industry opportunity post Brexit
There is also another reason that comes up to my mind. It involves another industry and its future trend: the energy market. The UK is leading the green industrial revolution based on decarbonisation “Net Zero”. This is well supported by government funding as well as £ billions of private sector investments.
Guess what is one of the main point in the government plan for Net Zero… Electric vehicles! Lots of electric vehicles, millions to circulate by 2030. Now guess what vehicle is mentioned in the UK government plan.. the Nissan Leaf! proudly produced in the UK and among the top selling electric vehicle. (find the Gov plan here if you are interested)
Do not make this mistake when assessing an opportunity
This is something I used to think when imaging working for a company or the industry in which it operated. I would call it “the shallow thinking”, a big mistake. In order to make this clear, we will still use the Nissan example.
If I were to imagine working for this company, and so investing in my education for it, the first thing coming up to my mind would be producing cars. I would think about studying mechanical engineering, or something closely related to that.
Assuming that I had no interest in the automobile industry, I would discard this opportunity; or mistakenly label it as not interesting to me. What a dumb way of thinking I had, don’t do the same!
These companies, or even more broadly thinking: these industries have enormous opportunities in various departments! If you are not interested in the automobile industry it does not mean you are not the right fit to target the Nissan opportunity. (remember this is just an example!)
One opportunity can lead to multiple paths
Do not shallow-think, consider how many departments that involves. You might not be interested in mechanical engineering, a key qualification for the production plant. Before you say “to work in the production plant you don’t need a qualification”, stop there.
You are on the wrong blog, I am talking about ambitions, highly-skilled jobs with higher salaries. Not the average job, that reminds me of my old situation when “I was stuck in a job (hospitality) and could not see a way out“. The higher ambitions you have, the more likely you will need specific qualifications.
Working in a big company like that might involve expertise in sales, marketing, finance, HR, electrical engineering, design, IT and so many more! It is not just a big production plant, you need to think everything related to a company’s expansion.
What about the related industries? How simple was to link Nissan with the green energy revolution, another massive industry on the rise. You can explore paths in that sector too, that obviously will have another huge variety of departments.
Framework to investigate the Brexit opportunity for a better job
Here a summary of the key activities to undertake to replicate the above market research. The aim here is to create a framework that can be applied to transform Brexit in an opportunity for a better job:
- Research companies that are expanding/investing, or planning to do so, in the UK after Brexit. Do not “discard” them, at least not too soon, just because they are of not interest to you.
- Find and read articles about them, interviews, press releases or anything that could help you understanding the decision-making process behind their strategic move.
- Research about the industry in which they will be operating, and all the opportunities you can find there. It’s a much bigger picture than a single company, it might be helpful to identify trends.
- Obviously, if the company you are reading about is already interesting to you, explore the firm in more details.
- Otherwise, explore different career paths within that industry in order to spot any that might interest you.
- If none found, conduct a cross-industry analysis. In the example of Nissan, the related growing sector is the electricity/energy industry. You might find something interesting in a cross-industry research.
- Start investigating what type of skills and qualifications they will be looking for when expanding.
- START GAINING SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS.
- Another path you might follow is to enquiry to a company you like directly. They might offer specific programmes where they sponsor your education under certain conditions.
Test the opportunity framework
If you want to test this framework, you can try to investigate the Goldman Sachs’s opportunity. I know there is plenty of material available on google because I have read it.
Even better, you could start your research from scratch and find everything by yourself; company planning to expand after Brexit, industry of operation, cross-industry relationships, different departments, career qualification requirements and so on.
Workforce availability post Brexit
This is another strong point to consider, as it might give you a “leverage” advantage. With the new Brexit rules for immigration, based on reaching a minimum score to enter the UK, many people will be discouraged from moving in or even apply.
Many believe that this scoring system will mainly have an impact on less skilled jobs. However, although I agree with that view, I also think that the new scoring system will also have an impact on high-skilled jobs, the ones we are targeting here!
I truly believe there will be a lack of skilled workers post Brexit due to the new immigration rules, the points-based system. I am not saying there will be a massive decrease of skilled workers coming into the UK from overseas, but in my opinion a percentage of them will move elsewhere as a consequence of bureaucracy and paperwork.
This could lead to a situation where the demand for high skills and qualifications will exceed the supply available. Again, whereas for many this is a discouraging scenario, from my viewpoint it reinforces the concept that Brexit is an opportunity for you to find a better job. Why?
- Decreased competition coming from overseas of highly skilled and qualified workers
- Companies and industries facing a lack of highly skilled and qualified workers available
- Companies “forced” to attract and form workers, how?
- Offering better working conditions, higher salaries
- Subsidising educational programmes, sponsored degrees, technical trainings
- You gain skills and qualifications and can satisfy that demand
- You have a string negotiation power! Why?
- Scarcity of skilled and qualified workers like YOU
- Leverage on that to negotiate salary and working conditions
In the image below you can find a list of 4 books that I would highly recommend reading, they were really helpful to me.
I have also explained how you can get them for free, so it is worth having a look! In essence, you can sign up for *Audible and have 30-days free trial; if you don’t know what it is, basically it’s a podcast/audiobook version where you “listen” to the book rather than read it.
All you need to do is to cancel your membership before the free trial ends; (unless you want to keep it after that, I did because I love listening to books as I’ve never really been a reader).
Alternatively, you can do something similar with *Kindle Unlimited; again with a 30-days free trial where you can download the e-version of a book (in case you like reading on tablets or other devices).
Final considerations, why Brexit is an opportunity to find a better job
The Brexit future scenario can be seen from different perspectives. From mine, rather than looking at the negative impact on the economy, and consequentially on the labour market, I’d rather seek for the opportunity that will arise to find a better job. The key is to be ready for that, and the best way to do it is to prepare in advance.
If there is something that I have learned in my Business and Finance Degree, is that the market will always bounce back. Those who really understand that concept invest while everybody else is panicking. Education is an investment, gain your skills and qualifications in advance and you will beat the market and catch the Brexit opportunity.
“Creating opportunities means looking where others are not” – Mark Cuban