Is Brexit-related uncertainty causing you to re-think your move?

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Friday, April 12, 2019

In these uncertain times, the rewards of moving jobs can still outweigh the risks…

by Geoffrey Bridger.

Nobody likes uncertainty. From the financial markets, investors and governments to the boardroom navigators and right down to the small business owners and you & me – the ‘average Joe’ on the street. It’s hard-wired into our DNA and our survival instinct … predict what’s coming and avoid the danger.

Brexit has hung over us for two and a half years like a dark cloud pouring heavy rains of uncertainty into our lives, dampening our confidence to make decisions and take risks.

As a seasoned Recruiter, I speak to leaders of businesses large and small every day and I am witnessing a diverse range of approaches. Some are going full steam ahead with a ‘fortune favours the brave’ attitude. Others — especially those with European interests — have been battening down the hatches and preparing for choppy seas ahead.

We have all read, watched and listened to a vast array of contrasting commentary about the potential damage done to businesses in this country and the inevitable job cuts that might follow. The bullish amongst us still seem to believe that good old Blighty will stand strong – cue the Gloria Gaynor disco anthem as we stiffen that upper lip and send for Captain Mainwaring and the Home Guard. Others peek nervously through the gap in the curtain at the dark skies overhead and hope that the tinned goods they’ve stockpiled in the spare room will see them beyond the impending economic Armageddon.

We, Recruiters, have been discussing little else since the result of the referendum but, in the absence of a crystal ball, our speculation is no more than optimistic conjecture. What we do know for sure is that nervous job seekers seem more reluctant than ever to take the plunge – “Yes, Geoff” they say, “I really don’t like my current job but I think I’ll stay where I am for now …”

I started this piece by stating that nobody likes uncertainty but, technically, that’s not totally accurate. In unsettled times there are opportunities if you know where to look and what to do with them when you find them.

Just after Christmas, a client of mine gave me a brief for a great role which she and I were confident would attract a long and deep shortlist of interested applicants. Two weeks later, having written a great advert, searched high & low and headhunted for candidates, my shortlist was good but not extensive. “So be it …” said my client, “I’ll interview them all.”

The person who ended up getting the job had the least relevant CV and experience of the bunch and only minimal knowledge of my client’s sector. They got the job based upon their passion to develop themselves and their desire to help my client grow. Back in January, this candidate could easily have picked the safe option and stayed in their current role but they took a risk – a leap of faith – and, in doing so, they secured an awesome role with a bumper salary increase to boot – a role (I might add) that they would probably have been overlooked for in amongst a larger shortlist of applicants.

I caught up with that placed candidate recently and they are thriving in their new position. “I’m so glad I took the plunge,” he told me over a coffee. “I was so close to not calling you back.”

This got me thinking.

Brexit or no-Brexit, calm waters or stormy swells, you can always find a reason to procrastinate and delay your job search – ‘I’ll look for another job after the summer…’ etc. But what if everybody feels that way? What if the future job market resembles Ikea on the opening day of their sale just at the exact same time you decide that you simply can’t stomach your current job another day longer? Inaction is the most common reason behind the missed opportunity. It was JFK who famously said “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.”

So why not take the plunge? Apply to that vacancy. Speak to that Recruiter. Go to that interview. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get that dream job and that salary bump you deserve. Perhaps you’ll beat the crowds and find yourself a bargain. Either way, you could be one of the few who looks back on these uncertain, Brexit-obsessed times with a certain smile on your face.