YOU HAVE TWO YEARS. YOUR TIME HAS ALREADY BEGUN.
It’s time to face facts, as scary as it is.
Spending your gap year working in Europe might not be an option after March 2019. Although the countdown has officially begun, we still don’t know what will happen after we leave the EU.
It sounds like it’s ages away, that you’ve got loads of time to work abroad. Well actually, there are only 4 chances left and if you only want to do a ski season that drops to 2.
are were fortunate enough to have 28 countries on our doorstep to work and live in. Unfortunately, 51% of the UK chose to stand alone and the tradition of travelling and working in your gap year might soon end.
At the moment, it’s easy to work in Europe – you pick a country and hop along to it but once the UK breaks away, there’s going to be unnecessary hassle, stress and paperwork.
If you’re planning to work abroad, you’ll probably get your job offer before you have even set foot on foreign soil. You’ll be given your accommodation and shipped out to wherever your company has placed you for the next 4-5 months. That’s what I did. I did four seasons – 2 winters and 2 summers – and changed jobs at least once in every trip. The jobs are not glamorous and I got bored very quickly – or my employers got bored of me – so I jumped around often; one eventful season took me all around the north and west of France.
Once the UK leaves the EU, this luxury of job-hopping whilst globe-trotting will be illegal and you’ll find yourself back in England before you learnt how to say ‘one more beer please’ in another language.
Just as the rest of the world do now, UK citizens will soon have to apply for the Blue Card to work in the EU. This presents problems immediately. The Card is only valid for the job you had when you took out the visa.
Once you’re out there, you’ll realise the English company that flew you out is paying you a pittance compared to the job vacancy in the local pub. So even if you don’t get fired but need a job that pays more to suit your awesome lifestyle, your visa will be invalid if you quit and so you’re stuck.
Currently, UK residents are excluded from the Blue Card scheme. Presumably it is because we can work there without one. Their website does not mention Brexit, but let’s hope we’ll be able to apply once we’ve left Europe.
Check out the website yourself. It is littered with future problems for the young traveller. There is a seasonal worker area on the website which might bring you some hope.
I spoke to an advisor at workaseason.com who has no further knowledge to advise once England leaves Europe, however, their site does say that ‘summer 2017 and winter 2017/18 will remain unchanged’. It sounds like summer 2019 will change. Now is the time to get your bag packed.
The experiences you will have whilst you’re away from your parents’ watchful eye will be phenomenal and unmissable. I taught myself how to ski and snowboard, how to do a 360, how to pull pints,
How to get fired…
But I also found out what I wanted to do with my future. And I’m doing it right now.
After 18 years of full-time education, you need to let loose and have a blow-out. Discover yourself. Lose yourself.
The old cliché of ‘travelling makes you a rounded person’ is, in my opinion, true. After living in a sticky tent for 6 months at a time, or starting a 6am breakfast for your guests after a very late après the day before, you’ll start to appreciate the smaller things. And respect the bigger things you have in your life.