The effects of Brexit are uncertain, so keep your career prepared for anything.

It's finally happened. As of 31 January 2020, the UK has officially left the European Union. Whether you're feeling a sense of relief, dread or a little bit of both, this historic departure has moved from frustrating news topic and finally been put in motion. But you're not out of the woods just yet.

Brexit day may have come and gone, but the resulting changes the UK will face are only just beginning. A transition period that will last throughout 2020 and all the way to 2021 will be used to firmly establish the UK's new relationship with the EU. Whilst that is being decided ‒ and especially after ‒ certain aspects of life will be unknown for Brits. And that uncertainty may involve your career.

How will jobs after Brexit be affected?

At this point in time, it's difficult to foresee the exact consequences that Brexit will have on the UK labour market. It is possible that because of Brexit, the amount of EU citizens working in the UK will be restricted, leading to a mass opening of jobs that will give UK citizens more opportunities for employment. In addition, when firms must compete to attract top talent, job seekers have more power to demand higher wages and better benefits. It's even possible that Brexit will have very little effect on the UK's economy, and business will continue as usual.

However, there's a counter to every argument, and some say that if Brexit puts a chokehold on the UK's economy, growth in the labour market will stagnate, so job seekers might still see decreased job prospects. In addition, some home-grown industries that are particularly vulnerable to a loss of EU trade, such as manufacturing and pharmaceuticals, may see companies moving out of Britain. Many economic analysts are even foretelling a recession, which could lead companies to cut costs by laying off employees and freezing new hiring.

What we do know is this: A TopCV study found that 15 per cent of professionals would consider picking up and leaving the UK because of the complications and uncertainties caused by Brexit. If you're thinking about relocation, these tips for conducting a long-distance job search can help you land a new job and leave the messiness of the UK behind. But if you're looking to remain and embrace GB's newfound independence, here's what you can do to set yourself up for career success in an environment in which the future is unclear.

How to keep your career advancing

With everything up in the air, the best thing you can do to safeguard your career trajectory is to be prepared all around. Here are a few actions you can proactively take to make sure that whatever job losses or job opportunities Brexit may bring, your career won't be thrown off track:

1. Keep your network connections strong

In times of job uncertainty, your network is a place you can tap into for job opportunities, advice and inspiration. Conversely, in times of economic prosperity, your network is also awash with benefits in the form of opportunities for career advancements, business ideas and support. Regularly sending messages to former colleagues, attending networking events and building an online social media presence on sites like LinkedIn are all ways to keep your network strong, so it can serve as a safety net for you if the time comes.

2. Schedule informational interviews

Informational interviews are also one of those career tools that can provide benefits during both economic slumps and times of prosperity. For example, you can use informational interviews to build contacts at companies to get a foot in the door if you're suddenly left scrambling to find a new gig. In addition, learning more about different industries and lines of employment can widen the purview of your job search, giving you more options if you're looking for jobs after Brexit.  

3. Make friends with recruiters

Even if you're not looking for a job now, you can proactively schedule chats with recruiters at companies you're interested in working at in the future, or at well-respected agencies. Recruiters can also give you information on market trends to keep aware of and what job-seeker traits are currently attractive to employers.

4. Keep a strong, up-to-date CV

No matter whether you're looking for a job because the market is flush with opportunities or because companies are downsizing, a strong CV is the foundational building block for your post-Brexit career preparations. The art of the CV can be a tough one to master, but luckily there are professional CV writers who can help you craft a CV that will be your winning ticket into any interview room, no matter the circumstances.

Click here to learn more about TopCV's professional CV-writing services so you are well-prepared for whatever Brexit throws your way.

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