Change your life in 20 minutes with these 5 simple steps

Don’t let another year pass you by! 2014 is a clean slate and you still have time to set some plans in motion for a total life or career overhaul.

Have you been thinking of changing your life? Do you need a total ‘you’ makeover? Perhaps you have some goals and dreams that have been on the backburner for a while? Could this be the year that you finally make a massive change?

1. Assess regrets from 2013

The first step to changing your life is to assess what went wrong in 2013. Don’t back track further than this. Focus your attention on the recent past. Think back to where you were in January 2013: what did your finances look like? How was your health? Your relationships?

What goals did you want to achieve in 2013? How many of these did you meet? Did you manage to lessen your credit card debt or lose a few kilos? Consider you work or personal goals. No matter who you are, you would have had some successes, as well as ‘failures’.

2. Challenge the entrenched beliefs you have about yourself

Write down the 3 main things you would like to change about yourself in 2014. By keeping the list short, you have a better chance of keeping your focus. Challenge your entrenched beliefs: do you say to yourself, “I can’t lose weight because of my metabolism,” or, “I am too old to study something new,” or even, “I am not worthy of achievement”?

Change is not just for the young. Often when we have reached a certain level of maturity (this could be anywhere from your mid-twenties to your mid-nineties!) change can be easier, as we have the maturity and presence of mind to let go and accept things as they are, not as how we wish they were.

3. Release negative thoughts, make a list

Everyone makes mistakes. Often, we learn more from the things we got wrong, than the things that we were praised for. Learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them. If you really stuffed something up, forgive yourself. You are human and you are not supposed to be perfect. If you dwell too long on your mistakes you will never get anywhere; let go of past mistakes and move on.

Make a list of things you would like to achieve in your career and personal life. A good tactic to us is the 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years tactic. Keep a running list of both short and long term goals to inch yourself steadily towards your future.

4. Spend 20 minutes (right now!) considering a possible next step

Feeling stuck? A great place to start is online.  Start to gather a selection of resources to help you in your quest, whatever that goal may be. Spend just 20 minutes from the time you finish this article pulling together a page of links that relate to your goal.

Your single goal at the end of this 20 minutes (set a timer!) is to have one single, workable and clear action that you will take this week. It could be rewriting your resume or researching five gyms in your area. It could be honing in on the top 5 companies you’d like to work for. Perhaps you could identify a group, class or course that you could do to reach your eventual goal?

5. Decide on a “new attitude”

Take a “first step” towards your goal: today! Make an action plan, set a timeframe and assess your chances of success! As Thomas Jefferson said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

There are many ways to set the wheels in motion for 2014 and beyond. Make this the year that you will finally achieve that goal you have been wanting to achieve. Break your process down into achievable, small goals so that you do not feel overwhelmed.

The steps you will take right now

  1. Asses your regrets from 2013
  2. Challenge your entrenched beliefs about yourself
  3. Make an action list: 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years
  4. Spend 20 minutes researching your “next step”
  5. Set a timeframe, decide on a new attitude

…Achieve you goals!

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10 killer tricks to land your dream job

Everyone wants to work in a role where they feel fulfilled, motivated and energised to do their best. Finding your dream career is not usually easy. The current job market is tough and it takes dedication and hard work to land a job that you’ll be excited to turn up to, every single day.

The good job roles are out there, it’s just that there are usually many candidates that want them. Landing your dream job when you have little or no experience in an industry (or at all, if you are new to the job market) can be challenging but I’m here to tell you that it is certainly not impossible!

Follow these 10 tips and get your foot in the door of your dream job in 2014!

1. Cold-calling

Believe it or not, the business world has been turning around much longer than email and the internet. So, how did people connect before Facebook? By using the phone! Calling people and speaking to them can help to forge a better, deeper and more personal relationship that the one that can be garnered by connecting via digital means alone. Why? Because it is often easier to fob someone off when you don’t have to speak to them.

Make a list of the top 10 or 20 companies that you would like to work for and hit the phones. There is a skill and an art to effective cold-calling. Do your research, use a script, prep before the call and be persistent. Here is a great article which will give you some handy tips on effective cold-calling.

2. Reach out – send your resume

Another great way to get your foot in the door of your dream job is to send out a personalised copy of your resume, with a cover letter, suggesting roles that you might be suitable for. While this can seem a bold step, it often works, particularly in small industries where there are a limited number of players.

Find out who the boss is, and who heads the department where you would like to find work. Research the company as much as you can. Locate their (professional) social media feeds on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. When sending your resume and cover letter, make it as personal as possible.

3. Find a mentor

By far, one of the best ways to connect with an industry is to find a mentor who has invested in your career to a certain extent. People in positions of power and influence are always busy, but many of the good ones make time in their schedules to talk to and mentor up-and-comers who show dedication, skill and enthusiasm.

Finding a mentor can be challenging, but by far the most important part of the process is finding someone who is a good personality match to you, with shared values and ideals. Here is a great wikihow article on how to identify and find a mentor in your local area.

4. Send something eye catching

Have you heard about the woman who scored her dream job by baking a gruesome cake? Like sending a personalised resume and cover letter, sending something eye-catching to a hard-to-reach contact can be a winner. This is particularly true if you are seeking work in a creative industry, such as graphic design, TV promotions, fashion or hospitality.

Remember, that the worst thing that can happen is that you do not get a job. Be creative! Think outside the square and let your imagination run wild. Make sure you think through your actions and always, always follow up with a call or email.

5. Find 5 contacts at your level and remain in contact

As well as finding a mentor, it is also good to make five contacts within industry that can keep you informed on the sector and what’s happening. These could be friends, former colleagues, friends of your family or even friends of friends.

Look to sites like LinkedIn to make connections, or connect with people via social media. Does the sector you are hoping to work in have any specialist websites where you can post and comment on current issues? These are all great ways to make casual contacts who can aide in your job search, even if they are not in the direct position to get you a role.

6. Volunteer or intern

Previously in Australia, internship was known as work experience and it was something that students often did for a week or two while they were at school, TAFE or university. These days, the popularity of internship is rising in Australia, often with mixed reports about how fair the arrangement is.

For some industries, internship or volunteering is essential to finding work, particularly in very competitive sectors such as design, media, photography and events. If you are looking to work for an environmental cause, here’s a resource on finding work in the green/environmental industries by volunteering.

7. Get involved in sector activities

Whether you’re hoping to work in hairdressing, marketing, window cleaning, painting and decorating or accounting there are industry events and activities happening in Australia. Depending on where you live, it may be easy or difficult to get to these events.

Look for trade shows, open days, conventions and other events that you can attend to meet contacts and see new industry trends. Start your research online and keep in touch with your contacts to see what’s going on. If you can’t attend an event personally, try to connect with someone who may be going and ask if you can call or email them for a review of what happened.

8. Be a good listener

A great tactic in all business, being a good listener is a top skill to have. As Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People says: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Learning to listen effectively can be a great tactic to eventually land your dream job.

Keep your ear to the ground and listen carefully to what people have to say. When you make contacts and connections, listening can be a great tactic. Make any contact more ‘about them’ than ‘about you’. Sell yourself and your skills, but listen to what they need, what they are really saying and what information they are trying to impart. Show yourself as a mature and valuable potential future employee.

9. Ask for advice and help

Once you have a mentor or some networking contacts- use them! Ask them questions, listen to their advice and take information onboard. It’s also important to be specific. This great post from Brazen Careerist mentions the one biggest mistake that people often make when asking for advice: being too unspecific.

When you need help, you need to have done some of the work yourself. Nobody is going to take over your job search for you and land you a job. You have to take the initiative to find out as much as you can, so you can ask intelligent, well-planned questions. If you need spoon-feeding, you’ll soon have your mentors and contacts off-side and you may come across as unmotivated and lazy.

10. Research, research, research!

There are now so many ways you can gather information about the industry you are hoping to find work in, the main players in the sector in Australia and the various companies, businesses and people that make up the employment portfolio.

Check out this excellent infographic on research tips to help you land your dream job. It suggests everything from Googling the name of your interviewer to joining the company’s Facebook page. What are some ways you can research without using online resources? Check your local library or community centre to see what else you can find.

What are your tips? Tell me! 

Signs it’s time to change your life: NOW

Life: it changes every day but frustratingly, often we feel as though we are doing the same things day in, day out, and getting nowhere. Do you have big dreams and goals? The New Year is a great time to change a few things in your life around and set some great plans in motion for the year.

Here are 5 signs that you are ready to change your life. If you have seen two or more of these signs, that’s a good indication that it’s time to start making some alterations to your life, your career, your goals and your future.

1. Idea

It all starts with a great idea! Have you come up with a concept for a small business? Have you been secretly wanting to advance up the chain of command at work, but can’t find the right course that might get you there? Can you potentially see a better way of doing things in your everyday life?

One of the biggest signs that you are ready to change your life is that you feel inspired by a persistent idea. According to a celebrated Indian philosopher, Vivekananda, you should “take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”

Your idea does not have to be groundbreaking, it could even be something quite simple, such as finding a few extra hours a week to devote to your passion.

2. Identify your goals

Another sign that it’s time to stop thinking and start doing is that you have clearly identified your goals. We all have different goals and our goals shift and change throughout our lives as our priorities move.

What are your goals? Do you have a personal interest you’d like to pursue? Are you looking to start a new career? Are you hoping to gain more skills? Are you wanting to start a small business? If you actually know what you want to achieve, no matter what it is, then half the battle is already won.

Get some advice, research on line, choose a short course to get yourself into a network of people who might be able to inspire you and help you. If you have already identified your goals, then this is a sure sign that you are ready to change your life.

3. You have some time

Just about every adult claims to be “time poor”. There are even studies that show children are overscheduled and feeling stressed and overwhelmed. The truth is, we all have some free time available to us, we just need to make our goals a priority.

Fitness guru and self-proclaimed nerd, Steve Kamb has said, “Your priorities, whether you say so or not, are where you choose to spend those hours.  Make the most of them!  It’s amazing how much time you can find when you minimize the things that aren’t important to make room for the things that are.”

If you have found that you have some extra time in your schedule for whatever reason, then this could be another great indication that it’s time to make some changes in your life.

4. You feel bored with what you are currently doing

Lynn A Robinson, M.Ed., is one of America’s leading experts on the topic of intuition. She has said “Boredom is one of those messages from your intuition that change is needed. It’s a signal that your energy is being drained and that something new needs to happen.”

Are you bored with your current situation? Lynn suggests that you should, “bear in mind that the change that’s required may simply be a shift in attitude or a new way of approaching something. It could also mean it’s time to take action and make an outer, tangible change in your life.”

We all get bored from time to time with our day to day activities and tasks, it’s when this shifts from being a slight annoyance to a persistent feeling of boredom that we should take heed and start to change some things in our lives around.

5. A plan

It doesn’t need to be perfect or set in stone. All you need is the very next step! Not all of us are great planners. In fact, some people are so lousy at planning that they drift through life and never achieve any of the goals that they hope for.

Usually these people lack focus and a plan. They are ‘dreamers’ who fail to see the next step on their journey. Any goal looks huge when viewed from the end point. It’s only when we break up a goal into smaller chunks that we get somewhere.

If you have a plan, even a vague plan, that could be a good indication that it’s time to change your life. Remember, you need to have a clear end goal, but the next step is always the most important one on your life’s journey.

this is a photo of a graffiti lady

Top 10 ways to get ahead this December by studying rather than partying

Got big plans for your future? You may have signed on to do a course or some other type of study and you’re pumped about getting some great work done over summer. December can actually be a fantastic month to get ahead if you plan properly! If you have big plans and goals, honing your skills with a course can be a great way to enhance your resume, your confidence and your future job prospects.

Traditionally, the months of December and January are when Australians like to relax. Most Aussies can be found on the beach, at the barbeque or in their backyards playing cricket. However, some of the more industrious of us like to use these months to invest in ourselves and our future.

Here are the top 10 reasons to study rather than socialise this Christmas!

1. Get ahead while the others are partying

Want to be ahead of the pack? While everyone else is out burning the candle at both ends you can get ahead by creating a study plan and sticking to it. Businesses used to shut down over the Christmas break, but increasingly, places of work are staying open during this time to service their customers and get the competitive edge over their competition.

Likewise, if you plan out a series of study sessions over the summer months you could potentially get ahead of your competitors. Could you use this time to network, to find a mentor or to do some work experience that might benefit your course? Often summer can be a great time to strike!

2. Have some of your goals achieved by New Year

The year can go so quickly and before you know it, December is upon us! The good news is that there are still a couple of weeks to go before we hit the New Year. With some careful planning, you could make a serious dent in your workload, all you have to do is make a reasonable agenda.

New Year’s resolutions are regarded as flimsy promises that we don’t often stick to. If you’ve wanted to make some big changes in your life, realise that you can achieve your goals, you just need to put the wheels in motion. Use this time wisely and by New Year you could have checked off some of those important goals.

3. Save money!

December is a notorious time of year when it comes to budgeting modestly. There’re so many things to buy: presents, decorations, food, holiday supplies, a new cozzie… the list goes on and on! One of the benefits of studying rather than socialising over the summer months is the effect on your wallet.

Just think of all the cash you’ll save if you forego those trips to the pub, those expensive, beachside restaurants and those nights out on the town! Sure, it’s important to still have fun but by focusing on your study rather than your social life, one thing is guaranteed: you will save some coin!

4. Make the most of the longer daylight hours

Depending on where you live in Australia, you may get to enjoy the benefits of daylight saving. Regardless of whether your state or territory has this, over summer we all get longer hours, wherever we are!

The mornings are brighter and sunnier, and in some places in Australia, there is daylight until 7:30 or 8pm, leaving plenty of time to get that extra essay done or that extra reference checked. Make the most of the longer hours and pull out your online textbooks and do an hour or two of study after dinner.

5. You have more time to focus on yourself

Think about how much time you have left in your life to make an impact on this world. No matter your age, you still have things to achieve and to contribute to the world. The older you are, the more responsibilities you may have; a mortgage, a busy job, a spouse, some kids… maybe even grandkids?

Whatever your age, you need to find time to focus on yourself. No one can do your learning, goal setting and studying for you – this is a personal journey of growth. In order to achieve your goals, you need to make some time to focus solely on yourself, without the usual disruptions.

Summer can often be a great time to find that extra hour or two where you can lock yourself away and spend time with the course or subject area that you love. Maybe you need to research courses that might get you ahead? Maybe you’ve nearly finished a course and want to find some work experience.  Use this time to focus on yourself.

6. Get some outside study done!

Sick of being trapped behind a desk? Summer can be a great time to get outside to do some work al fresco! There are studies that show that fresh air can actually aid your brain function. Researchers at the State University of New York wanted to study how increased levels of indoor CO2 might affect human decision-making capabilities, since brain function is affected by CO2 levels in the blood.

The study revealed that when CO2 concentrations increased, significant effects on the brain were evident. Decision-making was affected and task orientation showed a decline. This is what happens when you are trapped in a building for too long – so get outside and get some fresh air and reap the rewards!

7. Crummy holiday programming on TV and radio

Things have changed now that we get our media via the internet and cable TV more frequently but on free to air TV and radio you may discover that many of your fave shows are on holidays. Until late in January or sometimes as late as February, you’ll be getting lots of the crummy “holiday programming” shows that couldn’t make the grade in ratings season.

You might want to use this time to pull out the books (or the virtual books!) and get some extra study in. Sick of watching “summer specials” and reruns of B-grade shows? Switch the TV off and get some work done.

8. People may have more time to help you as they are on a break

The one thing most of us have in common is the fact that we are time poor. People have to prioritise their tasks and when we need help, often we can find ourselves on our own because everyone is so busy with their everyday routines.

These next few weeks can be a great time to finally make that phone call to that contact you’ve been meaning to touch base with. Often people have a bit more free time in the months preceding and immediately following Christmas. Make use of this time to get ahead.

9. Try some ‘easier’ tasks like research and reading

You are human and you do deserve some time off! Summer can be a great time to square away some study that you normally wouldn’t have time to do. Depending on the course you have chosen, taking time over the summer to learn a new computer program, read a text from start to finish or go through your study notes from the last couple of months acn be a great idea.

Remember not to put too much pressure on yourself; just because you have ten hours doesn’t mean that you should be devoting the whole time to study. Make sure your study timetable is flexible enough to account for any activities that come up, you don’t want to have to miss out on everything, or you might come to resent your choices. Moderation is the key.

10. Be a good girl or boy for Santa

Killed too many daddy longlegs spiders? Been impatient while on hold to the phone company? Borrowed your sister’s best designer heels and forgot to return them? If you’ve been more naughty than nice this year, then maybe you can gain a few points from Santa by putting in some extra study time.

You may not get a Barbie or a Transformer in your stocking this year but if you make the time to study over summer you can make a real dent in your course. After all, isn’t knowledge the best gift of all?

What are your summer study tips? Share them with me here!

How to market yourself like a product to get a job

Marketing. There’s barely a product sold without it. When you market something, you highlight its best features to a potential customer. You need to demonstrate the benefits that product will bring to the consumer.

Finding a job can be like marketing yourself as a product. Think about it. The recruiters, managers and bosses of this world will only ever get to see a ‘snapshot’ of any potential staff they are planning to hire. How do you make a good impression with the limited time, tools and resources you have?

Here are some ways to employ traditional marketing techniques to market yourself like a product to reach your employment goals.

What are your best selling features?

You will have a lengthy list of saleable features. If you don’t, you are simply not thinking hard enough. For this list, nail down your five most essential qualities. Are you super-organised? Do you have technical know-how? Impeccable grammar skills? Think of your five most marketable qualities and keep these at the top of your list when talking to employers about yourself.

Honestly, what are your product weaknesses? Do you need to be honest about them or can you hide them?

We all have flaws and as we progress in our careers we become better at working with them and recognising them. You won’t be awesome at everything and knowing when you need to get help or spend extra time on a task can be a valuable asset. Look at your product’s flaws and make the most of them, or disguise them by emphasising the skills you do have.

Where do you fit in the current market? Are you unique, is there a market for you?

Are your skills in demand? Are there lots of people competing for work in the marketplace? Think about your unique skills and how you might stand out from the pack. Do you have additional skills? Would you be prepared to do some interning to gain experience? Do you need to do additional training to up-skill yourself?

Who can use you? What will they need you for?

What industries need workers like you? Think outside the square. Look at other skills you may have and how these can transfer. If you are looking for work, spend some time honing your targets. Think of companies that you want to target as well as industries. Consider contacts you may have in these areas and see if they can help identify who might be able to use your skills.

Where do those people go when they need something? How can you reach them?

How do you find work? Are jobs in your industry even advertised? Where are they advertised? Many industries have specific publications that they list positions on. Some larger employers have a ‘jobs available’ tab on their homepage. Are there jobs in the industry you are targeting on LinkedIn? Consider all your avenues when marketing yourself as a product.

Let’s look at your packaging.

When you are job seeking, it’s important to present yourself well. Your packaging in this case could include your resume and cover letter, as well as your professional appearance. What impression do you give? What impression is your industry expecting to get from potential staff? Could you present yourself in a way that stands out?

What can potential employers see of you?

Consider the following areas: resume, online footprint, references, look and presentation. If you manage to get your foot in the door, what can be seen of you? If you google your name, what shows up? Does this present a coherent message? Are you on-brand? Remember that you can tweak your image to suit certain occasions. Your hard-copy resume (if you still have one) might contain more information than your succinct, online resume on LinkedIn.

When the last time you updated your messaging?

A well marketed product updates its messaging frequently. Imagine if Coca Cola was marketed to us in the same way as it was 20 years ago. Times change and so should your messaging.

Will you perform as promised (really)?

Be aware of your flaws and faults and be honest with yourself about these. Never lie to a potential employer, aim to be as honest and as truthful as possible so that you don’t run into any trouble down the line. If your product doesn’t perform as you said it would, this will be bad for your career in the long run.

Do you provide follow up services?

Every good product comes with support! Even if you are not successful with gaining a job initially, it can pay to keep in contact with people and companies you have applied to before. When you begin applying for roles, keep a good list of jobs you have identified as potential matches to your skills, a list of jobs you have applied for and a list of places that have knocked you back or called you in for an interview. Sometimes no simply means ‘not now’.

The 7 things you need to nail to get a job

If you are currently job seeking there are many tips you can employ to make yourself stand out to potential employees. Presenting the best version of yourself is essential to getting and keeping the job you desire in the industry you are aiming for.

The job market can be every competitive and honing the essential skills in self-presentation can help set you above the other candidates. Here are 7 essential tips to enhance the way you present yourself to potential employees. Which of these do you need to work on?

1.      Your resume and written documents

Everyone who is job seeking should have a current resume. The length, style and format of this document will depend on the industry you are aiming for. For many jobs, a single page should be enough, often with a tagline at the bottom of the document letting the reader know that more information can be provided if they need it.

LinkedIn is also a good resource for your resume. This is a free website (with paid options available for more features) where you can have a longer version of your resume, ready to be viewed by potential employers. Ask friends within industry to help you with formatting. Sometimes looking at what your peers are doing can be a great way to start.

2.      Filming a video resume

Some recruitment companies give you the option of filming a video resume. This is a cutting-edge way to present the ‘real’ you to people who may be able to give you a job. An online video resume is a great way for employers to see how you speak, your personal energy and your mood and vibe.

3.      Your elevator pitch

A good thing to have prepared is your “elevator pitch”. This is a concept that’s familiar to most professionals. Basically – imagine that you find yourself in an elevator with someone who is able to give you a job – your dream job. You have exactly 60 seconds to pitch yourself, your ideas and your personality to them, in order to get the role.

What would you say about yourself? You can’t go into lengthy explanations or show them your resume or portfolio. This is where you hone down your 10 top skills into a concise format – focusing on your most relevant qualifications first. For tips on perfecting your elevator pitch, see this article from Forbes.

4.      Your look

Although this is not a fashion parade, it is true that, “clothes maketh the man.” At the very minimum, you want your clothes and personal presentation to display a neutral persona. Think about it – if your clothes, hair, jewellery or grooming is unconventional, this could be taking the focus from your skills and personal qualities.

If you were an employer, what would you look for in an employee? There is no harm in looking ‘cool’ and ‘fashionable’ so long as your whole outfit is appropriate, and displays a respectful image. Let your personality shine through, but don’t let it be a distraction.

5.      Your experience

You have done so much in your life, but have you taken the time to think about how this could look on a resume? You may have been a ‘checkout operator’ at Woolworths, so you need to think of how this should appear on your resume. In fact, you were a ‘customer service representative’ for a ‘major Australian retail brand’. This is not dishonest, it is simply thinking about how your current skills should translate to a resume format. Don’t downplay your achievements, talk them up.

Make the most of what you’ve done. Think of everything you are currently doing, including community work, family commitments, volunteer work and hobbies. How can this information be highlighted on your resume?

6.      Contacts and networking

Who you know can be as essential as what you know. Consider who in your extended network might be able to help you in your search. There is one thing that is common to most people – we all love giving advice. Asking to meet with someone you might be able to network with can be an essential career-progression tool.

Simply ask to buy them a coffee or to come to their next work presentation. Often this can be a great way to learn more about the area of business you are hoping to get into. At the very least, you should be able to ask questions and get advice on an informal scale.

7.      Keeping momentum

An easy trap to fall into is to lose momentum with your job seeking. Often all it takes is one or two knock backs to shatter your confidence and make us feel that there is little hope for career progression. Keep trying and don’t stop working, even if it means continuing to send out applications and researching roles and industries.

Good things come to those who wait but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t try. Even if things seem difficult, keep on trying to reach your goals. Job seeking is not always easy – often it can take weeks or months to find a suitable position. However, if you’ve been getting nowhere on a certain track for more than six months – be aware that it might be time to take a different approach.

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

Interpersonal

“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!