Friday, January 29, 2010
9 Careers on the Way Out
Some careers have simply faded away over the past 10 years. In most cases, advances in technology eliminated the need for certain jobs. Americans are also more focused on conservation. Here are a few jobs that are being phased out; hopefully your career isn't on this list!
1. Bank Tellers
While the need for banking services has increased, services traditionally performed by tellers (receiving and dispensing cash, depositing money, etc.) is now performed electronically. The use of ATMs and online banking continues to increase. Tellers are only needed for complex transactions.
2. File Clerks
Even the most paper intensive organizations have decreased their use of paper files. Imaging, electronic forms and careful attention to process efficiency reduced the need to maintain paper files. One of the biggest threats to the file clerk occupation is the push toward environmental sustainability (preserving trees by using less paper). The new "file clerk" is a Database Report Writer who knows how to run database queries.
3. Telephone Operators
Even the smallest company can now use sophisticated telephone systems that allow callers to select their own options for needed information. Callers simply listen to pre-recorded telephone directory names and select the person they want to talk to. Voicemail, email and even texting have become preferred forms of communication in addition to traditional telephone conversations.
4. Data Entry Clerks
There is no doubt the amount of data generated over the past decade has swelled. But it was all electronic to begin with, so there's no need to hire a person to copy it from other sources. The ability to integrate systems and make various systems exchange date automatically also reduced the need to for a person to translate or manipulate data.
5. Mail Clerks
Yes, there is still plenty of mail, only it's electronic, so the need for people to sort and distribute paper mail has decreased. Also, bar code readers sort mail and pre-printed postage eliminates the need for weighing and applying postage stickers. Today's mail clerks have new tools to allow more work to be done with fewer people. (Not all careers are ho-hum. These 10 have a very high percentage of happy employees.
6. Photo Processors
With the prevalence of digital photography, the need for photo processing has greatly diminished. Even people who still choose to print their photos use self-service kiosks. Photo processors who used to run machines in retail stores, as well as in processing centers, are becoming obsolete.
7. Travel Agents
The internet now makes it possible for the public to schedule their own trips. While there are still many travel agents, incentives once offered by airlines, hotels and car rental companies make the occupation less profitable. Today's travel agents often book long or complicated trips, while the weekend getaway or quick business travel is scheduled individually online.
8. Watch Salesperson
Who needs a watch when your cell phone tells you what time it is 24/7? Everything around you shows the time - most electronic devices have a clock. Even billboards show the current time. Watches and watch salespersons are becoming a thing of the past.
9. Video Store Clerk
Remember the video store? Clerks collected returned video tapes and checked them in. They used to stick the tapes in a re-winder then pluck them back in their cases. Even DVDs are being upstaged by online movie viewing and cable companies with user-selected movies. You can now even watch movies on your video game console. Traditional video stores are going away, and so is the need for workers.
The Bottom Line
The past decade ushered in job market changes that closed out old careers and started new ones. In many cases, the processes performed in old jobs were replaced technology, but in some cases, the processes simply went away. One thing is for sure, there will always be change. The unemployment rate may be high, but that doesn't mean you need to sit on the sidelines.