Recruitment website, Expatexit, launched for Brexit professionals

The Shard, London

It’s mid-February and Brexit remains a complicated picture. As previously stated on this website, it’s better to be proactive about things rather than wait for an outcome beyond our control. Uncertainty is the new normal – and we had all better get used to it.

Which is presumably why hundreds of UK-based workers are reportedly voting with their feet by signing up for global opportunities through a new recruitment website.

The platform, Expatexit, was launched by Polish entrepreneur Marcin Czyza (who has never worked or lived in the UK) with the aim of helping professionals affected by Brexit to find jobs in other countries. As the website explains, through fairly antagonistic language:

High costs of living? Far away from family and friends? Unfriendly atmosphere? Does this sound familiar? If the only reason for you to stay in the United Kingdom is your job, we have the perfect solution for you. Just register on our website, create your profile and indicate where would like to work. It doesn’t matter if it is your home town or an exotic destination where you were always dreaming of living. Our job is to contact all potential employers at the location of your choice. Just give yourself a chance !

But there are also British workers registering through the platform, which is no bad thing for their career prospects – or even the UK’s prospects, as trade deals are sought around the world. The likes of Sir Martin Sorrell and the British Council have recently encouraged young workers to get China experience, Brexit or not.

Perhaps leaving the EU will prove a jolt or an awakening of sorts, pointing us in new directions in ways unexpected.

Baffled about Brexit? New consulting firm aims to shed light

Houses of Parliament, Westminster

Brexit. Bloody hell, as Sir Alex Ferguson might say.

It’s all happening, whatever “all” actually is. As I suggested previously, it may be better to assume control of your destiny now if you are likely to be affected by Brexit, rather than “wait and see”. But for those of you who want to know what your options are, and even influence talks, help might be at hand through lobbying.

A consulting outfit named Article 50 Associates has been launched in the UK by political advisers Jon Hudson and Darren Murphy (disclosure:  I used to work under him) to decipher Brexit for employers and employees alike – which is handy, as most of us haven’t the foggiest what Brexit will mean, hard, soft, or the gelatinous bit in between.

Article 50 Associates aims to explain how and why Brexit decisions are being made and communicate with decision-makers in the UK and Europe. Useful if you are involved with expat relocation and mobility, and it might produce a better outcome than taking to the streets.

If you’re resident in the UK and concerned about what’s happening, your best bet might be to speak to your employer, else launch a movement, raise funds and talk to the public affairs pros.

Be bold in post-Brexit 2017

Shanghai skyline by night

It’s fair to say that 2016 was a year of upsets. One after another, punches rained down on the status quo, beginning with a flurry of celebrity passings. Authoritarian Duterte was elected leader of the Philippines, Trump landed the presidency and Leicester won the Premier League. It doesn’t get much odder than that.  Oh, and the UK voted to leave the European Union.

While we still don’t live in post-Brexit times, because Brexit technically hasn’t happened yet, there has been an awful lot of conjecture, hand-wringing and strained voices. Many people are unhappy, which is understandable. But we can’t go back, only forward. To undo a democratic vote would set a dangerous precedent. Besides, we’re better than that: pragmatism and resilience amidst adversity are two British strengths (I’d take those over cheery optimism any day).

Turning crisis into opportunity

I’m not a cheerleader for Brexit (I voted Remain), but we have to survey the changing landscape and recognise that there are golden opportunities. The rest of the world, beyond the EU, helpfully sees Britain in a positive light: a survey from the British Council and Ipsos MORI revealed that worldwide Brexit has had a more positive impact on the attractiveness of the UK. The survey, As Others See Us , polled 40,000 Milliennials in G20 nations:

Rapidly growing economies in Asia, from China to ASEAN, signal new possibilities in this increasingly topsy-turvy world of ours that we should pounce on.

Adman Sir Martin Sorrell recently called on young people to obtain work experience in China – an idea that Chelsea’s Oscar has apparently fully embraced with his mega-move to Shanghai:

And to use a football metaphor, the goals keep coming as China and Britain are now gelling nicely, from arts and culture to trade and education:

Another so-called BRICS nation (is the term still used?), Indonesia, is already popular with digital nomads who flock to the gentle rice fields of Ubud. But there is so much more to this sprawling archipelago than Bali:

That’s not to say the UK should turn its back on Europe. Far from it. But there is simply little point in looking to the government for direction, or huffing over a democratic outcome. The world keeps moving.

If anyone in the UK is curious about opportunities and needs pointing in the right direction, from Brazil to Vietnam, I’d be more than happy to help.