The 4 work skills that are obsolete in 2014 and the 4 skills that are essential. Do you have them?

Many experts are suggesting that the internet, as well as the process of offshoring, will account for many current roles falling out of fashion, or even ceasing to exist by 2024. Travel agents, car manufacturers, retail workers, accountants and IT workers have been cited as being among the most at-risk employees with the potential to potentially lose their jobs.

Some sources are claiming that the safest jobs are those that still require a face-to-face component. Roles in hospitality, trades, government and teaching are still very much in demand according to recruitment managing director, Greg Pankhurst. Some specialists are saying that offshore recruiting posed a major risk, generally because Australia’s economy is largely service-based.

“The majority of all services can be provided remotely at a fraction of the cost,” he said. An Indian computer programmer with three years of experience would be paid about $6000 per annum whilst an Australian doing the same job would receive $75,000.”

So how do you compete within a global marketplace where the skills you have cultivated are now obsolete or nearly obsolete? I have researched 4 skills that you can instantly wipe off your resume and 4 skills that you need to gain proficiency with, right now. Here’s what the experts say:

4 skills you no longer need for job seeking

Typing and spelling

Spelling and penmanship used to be one of the main things taught to us in primary school, but these days spelling geniuses are out of work. With the invention of auto correct and spell-check, you probably no longer need the data entry skills of yesteryear that your parents or grandparents spent so long cultivating. If you are not skilled in these areas, do not let this be a barrier to work.

Hard-copy filing

Most modern offices still have some hard-copy files. Depending on the industry you choose to work in, you may have to deal with paper files as part of your job. However, the scope for modern offices and workplaces, in general, for keeping and maintaining paper (hard-copy) files is nearing its natural end. If you are not particularly good at filing, this should be no barrier to reentering the workforce.

Reception and phone skills

These skills are very much needed in life, sadly less within a job/employment context. This is solely to do with advances in technology that make hiring a specialist on $50K less attractive than purchasing software to do the job for you. Often these jobs are outsourced to overseas which is a growing reason for concern within some Australian business circles.

Computer Hardware Support

According to Global Knowledge, “there was a time when user support meant fixing a desktop or assisting with an operating system problem or application issue. The environment has changed; now computer and application support is not so straight forward. The rise of tablets and the cloud will make many hardware-based skills outdated.” If you do not have these skills, then do not worry.

4 skills you will need for job seeking in 2014


“Communication skills” are not that easy to define. This skill category includes everything from basic writing and reading comprehension to interpersonal skills and even what your colleagues would call ‘likability’. When you are able to communicate clearly, you become a valuable part of any workplace. People often still hire candidates on ‘fit’ and being a good cultural match for your team can be important.

Presentation and work ethic

Never underestimate the importance of showing up, not taking too many sick days and clocking in for the correct number of hours required. According to international education brand Udemy, “For all the talk of macro/micro thinking and critical analysis, business success still depends on plain old fashioned hard work.”

Literacy and numeracy

Literacy is vital to ensuring you have the best chance to succeed in your career and everyday life. Literacy can allow us to make sense of a range of written, visual and spoken texts including books, newspapers, magazines, timetables, DVDs, television and radio programs, signs, maps, conversations and instructions. Numeracy is equally valued and is still an essential skill in 2013/14.

Technical competency

Just as technology has made some skills redundant, it has also called upon individuals to have a greater understanding of skills that less than a decade ago would have been regarded as highly specialised. Knowing the basics of social media, HTML, design, Google products, Outlook products and downloading and uploading software is normally a given in today’s workplace culture.

Ready to get to work?

So, there you have it. Skill sets constantly need to be updated. Look at your resume with a critical eye and check how you are presenting the skills that you have. Make sure that you research resumes online, on LinkedIn and look to those within your peer group/colleagues where appropriate, you might be able to use some of their terminology that you may otherwise have missed.

Learn to make the most of your skills and I wish you all the best in your job search!

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