HOT JOBS: What’s The Future Look Like?

(this article was originally written for and appeared on the NRMA’s blog: The Hub)

HOT JOBS & GROWING CAREERS: What’s hot now and what will be.

hot jobs career changeWith lower interest rates, an economic recovery and a boom in certain sectors conditions are ripe for some job seekers, but as The Hudson Report for Q3, 2015 showed, the gaps in hiring sentiment are widening. To give yourself the best chance of landing a hot job, you need to know where to look.


A surge in business investment and population growth in Australia is driving demand for skilled tradespeople and specialized professionals. Some of the sectors that are on fire now are:

  • Education: a booming population and the need for a highly skilled workforce means teachers and tutors are in high demand. The Department of Employment projects nearly 59,000 new jobs in the next 5 years (Industry Projections to November 2018)
  • Construction Trades: if you are skilled, or can train-up in areas such as these, employers are looking for you: bricklayer, cabinetmaker, carpenter, joiner, drainer, electrician, fibrous plasterer, floor finisher, gasfitter, painting trades worker, roof tiler, solid plasterer and stonemasons.
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Specialist talent in digital and data analytics is in high demand. The ability to digest and interpret big data sets for companies seeking a competitive edge can command top-dollar salaries.
  • Office support: The Australian IPO calendar looks very healthy and with new companies comes a demand for not only new top level management, but also new support staff in areas like customer services roles with SAP; legal secretaries and personal assistants.
  • Design and Architecture: From film animation to building design to website construction, the demand for skilled professionals in these areas has been dramatically increasing with job growth at almost 18 per cent over the previous five years (Australian Government Job Outlook)


As noted above, some sectors have huge long range potential as the demand for a ‘super skilled’ workforce in the digital age will continue to grow. In addition, here are a couple of other areas job seekers should look to acquire skills in for the hot jobs of the future.

  • Healthcare: the ageing of the Baby Boomers is expected to cause a massive shortage in skilled nurses over the next 10 years creating a wealth of opportunity for job seekers according to the NSW Government.
  • Cyber Security: a reliance on cloud computing by more companies will see the need for skilled information security officers and digital risk officers increase hugely over the coming years. (Business Insider)


In order to land a great job in one of the fastest growing sectors, Karen O’Connell-Shea at all Things HR recommends:

Keep up to date with your knowledge and skills and build specialist expertise. hot jobs career change trendsDon’t underestimate your network; there is a lot of loyalty amongst peers. They are the ones who know your skills best and are often happy to help your career development by recommending you for opportunities.”


SCRIPT BREAKDOWN: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

(this article first appeared on

In my blog articles known as the ‘SCRIPT BREAKDOWN’ series, I give a breakdown of a film script as seen through the eyes of a screenwriter (who moonlights as a video script copywriter). By understanding how different physical and emotional plot points play out in movies, I believe screenwriters, and even video script copywriters, can better figure out how to map their own scripts and brand stories. It’s not a formula for storytelling; you can’t just add water and stir, but it can be helpful as a guide.

For greater insight into the building blocks of the Hero’s Journey paradigm, I recommend reading The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler.

I also recommend watching Winning the Story Wars, a TED Talk by internationally recognized storyteller, author, designer and entrepreneur, Jonah Sachs, the co-founder and creative director of Free Range Media.

If you’d like to leave a comment at the end, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share this post using the buttons below. Cheers!

The Treasure of The Sierra Madre (1948)

Director/ Writer: John Huston (winner of Academy Award for both)



Fred C. Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) is a down-on-his-luck drifter, playing the lottery and begging for money He meets and befriends another drifter, Curtin (Tim Holt).  The two work on an oil rig job together but get stiffed out of their wages by a crooked boss.

CALL TO ADVENTURE: Dobbs and Curtin meet Howard (Walter Huston) (MENTOR), an old-timer who’s filled with stories about gold prospecting. He ruminates on the way greed for gold can consume a man, but Dobbs swears it would never have that effect on him. (REFUSAL OF THE CALL)

Dobbs and Curtin take revenge on their crooked boss and steal from him the wages he owes them. When Dobbs ALSO wins a small local lottery, he and Curtin now have enough money to finance a gold dig, and with the help of Howard, they head out into the wilds.



On the train ride out to the gold fields, Dobbs, Curtin and Howard come under attack by a gang of Mexican bandits led by ‘Gold Hat’ (Alfonso Bedoya) (OUTER-CIRCLE ANTAGONIST). They beat off the attack, but Gold Hat lives to fight another day.

Dobbs can’t take the hardship of the desert and wants to quit. Despite the moaning and groaning, Howard eventually finds gold for them and they set up a successful gold dig. It’s not long before Dobbs’ insecurities set in. His earlier claim that he would never get ‘gold fever’ is shown to be a lie. He’s the most paranoid of the bunch, causing the otherwise level-headed Curtin to be on guard, too.

MID-POINT: While shopping for supplies in a nearby town, Curtin runs into Cody (Bruce Bennett), a prospector who’s eager for gold news and suspects Curtin knows more than he’s saying. Cody follows Curtin back to his camp and confronts Dobbs and Howard, who must decide whether to kill him or include him in their hunt for gold.

Dobbs, Curtin and Howard decide to kill Cody but are forced to work with him to fend off an attack by Gold Hat and his bandits. The Federales eventually chase off the bandits, but Cody’s been killed in the fight. In his pocket, Curtin finds and reads a letter from Cody’s wife. It talks about how love and family are more important than riches. The thematic message in the letter seems to convince Dobbs to be satisfied with the gold they have, so the threesome pack up and leave the mine behind.

Local Indians beseech them to help save the life of a young boy who is unconscious after nearly drowning in a river. Dobbs, more worried about his gold then Indians, refuses but Howard (MENTOR) agrees to go with them to help, leaving Dobbs and Curtin to take his gold to town for him.

LOWEST POINT: Left with the old man’s gold, Dobbs gold fever returns ten-fold. He wants to steal it and run, but Curtin refuses. Dobbs shoots him and leaves him for dead, taking all the gold for himself. Clearly Dobbs is the INNER-CIRCLE ANTAGONIST, and if things go as the audience expects, he’ll meet a tragic end. But how?

Curtin drags himself to the Indian village, informs Howard of what’s happened and the two of them head out to find Dobbs.


Dobbs is within sight of the town where he can sell the gold and get the riches he wants so badly, but at a watering hole he’s found and killed by Gold Hat and his men. (Bogart is dead?! Whaaat?!)

Gold Hat and his gang steal Dobb’s donkeys, who are carrying piles of animal skins to hide the bags of gold. For some inexplicable reason, Gold Hat empties and discards the bags of gold. It’s a B/W movie, so it’s hard to tell when what’s inside the bags hits the dirt whether it’s gold or sand, but if it’s not gold, where is the gold?

Anyway, they seem more interested in selling the donkeys and animals skins in town, but they’re discovered for the bandits they are and executed swiftly.

CLIMAX: Curtin and Howard arrive, eager for news of what happened to the bags that their donkeys were carrying. They rush off to a spot outside of town where the locals say they saw some bags on the ground, but when they get there, whatever was inside them is gone, swept away by a windstorm, back to the earth from which it came.

DENOUEMENT: At first distraught, Howard and Curtin laugh at the irony After all that effort, paranoia and death they end up with no gold. So what will they do now?

After curing the drowned boy earlier, Howard’s now revered as a healer by the local Indians and has been invited to live with them. Howard encourages Curtin to go find Cody’s wife and bring her news of her husband. Maybe she can give him work on the fruit farms she owns. Since owning a fruit farm has been a long-time dream of Curtin’s, he likes that idea.

With the thematic message that love and family is far more important than the destructive power of greed, Curtin and Howard wave their goodbyes and go their separate ways.


Do you need help turning your brand story into some great video script copywriting? Contact copywriter Phil Parker for a free chat at

Script Writer Phil Parker Earns High Praise for KINDRED

Off the back of his multi-award winning screenplay, ‘The Third Bomb‘, screenwriter Phil Parker was hired to write ‘Kindred‘ – an action/ sci-fi story by director Josh Bryer. Set in the Australian Outback – and with Indigenous Australians in lead roles – Kindred is a rollicking adventure in the vein of District 9 and Star Wars. It tells the tale of one man’s failed alien abduction and how he must work with his would-be captor to save humankind from extinction before the monsters from his past catch up with them.

Already, high praise for Kindred is coming in from industry sources:

“(Kindred is) fantastic, adventurous, and loads of fun as it takes readers across The Outback, introduces them to uncommonly featured peoples, and manages to tell a story of grand proportions… The action and conflict were absolutely awesome… The stakes were high, the energy was great, and the fights were thrilling to read.” – reader

Indigenous Australian sci-fi has made the news recently with the exciting new series, ‘Cleverman‘ being picked up for a second season by SundanceTV. The brains behind ‘Kindred’ – Josh Bryer and Phil Parker – are also on the lookout for interested producers and agents to help bring their action/ sci-fi tale to life. Your help in spreading the word will surely be appreciated 🙂


Donald Trump’s popularity: Is it so shocking?

storiesbyphil POSTER politicsMaureen Dowd is a great writer and a biting satirist for the New York Times, and today her article about the popularity of Donald Trump was particularly good:  However, this time, I think she failed to dig deep enough, and maybe it’s because the extra navel-gazing it would require on the part of many people would make ’em squirm.

From all indications, the “fed up” attitude that folks in America have is not just directed at a grid-locked political system, but towards the rampant political over-correctness that permeates our culture today.  It’s a touchy subject, and possibly an older vs younger generational issue, but I think it’s a notable factor.  Trump personifies this attitude, and it’s appealing to people from the far right all the way to just left of center on the political spectrum.storiesbyphil copywriter donald trump

I would hazard a guess and say that most of the educated and open-minded people in the fat middle of that political bell curve don’t want to go back to the days of female bottom-pinching and gay jokes.  I do suspect many of the rest, though, would like the freedom to not walk on egg shells when they’re trying to just be themselves and not hurting anyone (as they see it).

How else can we explain the swath of comments Trump has made that would have storiesbyphil copywriter sell the sizzleended the career of any regular politician?  He’s venting what a lot of people are feeling.  He embodies their frustrations at many levels and gets away with avoiding most serious conversations about policy substance because he is a master salesman selling the sizzle, not the steak.  All the good, bad and ugly of Trump is wrapped up in his no-nonsense celebrity personality, a packaging that defies attempts to demonize him for any one particular ingredient.

Let’s face it, Trump is popular for a reason, even if some Americans are loath to admit it. storiesbyphil copywriter face palm
But here’s the rub.  If I were to equate the Republican presidential race to a movie plot, I’d equate it to a film where the sidekick character is so funny/ quirky/ crazy that they completely overshadow the main character. Nobody expects the court jester in a movie to defeat the villain and save the day, though.  That’s the hero’s job, the guy who has the real solutions, the person who should be elected President.

storiesbyphil copywriter court jester

Problem is, life is not a movie and politics are a popularity contest.  If everybody loves the clown, the clown wins and the people get what they deserve.

Stranger things have happened.  After all, George W. Bush was elected twice, right? And Tony Abbott was elected in Australia.  Shit, anything can happen if you ask me.


Quick Food Review: Kepos Street Kitchen

We found this little gem of a restaurant, Kepos Street Kitchen, through TripAdvisor while passing through Redfern (Sydney, Australia). People and tables are packed in pretty tight, but it was worth the claustrophobia. It’s light, clean and friendly.
There are lots of people on TripAdvisor who ordered the salad with the lamb cigars. The name alone is intriguing, but we went against the grain and ordered something else. Thankfully, we weren’t disappointed
kepos kitchen storiesbyphil 21. WOOD-FIRED SMOKED SALMON SALAD. Maybe the best salad I’ve ever had! With green olives, kipflers, a soft boiled egg and dukkah, it is not only HEALTHY but DELICIOUS.
2. SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH. I’m from the South in the US, so I was skeptical they could pulls this off, but I tip my hat. It was a fusion of America and the Middle East, with a tangy coleslaw and chermoula marinade, and it was DELICIOUS, too. A bit greasy compared to my girlfriend’s healthy salad, but worth an extra trip to the gym.
The place gets very busy, even during the week (we went on a Thur), so get there early, or late. Parking on the residential streets behind the restaurant is free and relatively gettable, i.e. you don’t need to catch a bus there. You also don’t need to steal your grandmother’s silverware to pay for a meal. By Sydney standards, it was reasonable, considering the quality. Two meals (no drinks) for $36.

The Fantastic Snore: Why comic book movies leave me feeling empty inside.

Tonight, the guy sitting behind us in the cinema caught some Zs while we were watching The Fantastic Four. At the end, his friend nudged him awake and the napper asked, “What happened?”

Well, gee, I thought, where do I start? There were boring characters, a boring plot and a lame climax…oh, wait, he never made it that far? What a tragic loss.

Not wanting to be a total buzz-kill, though, I said to my girlfriend, “at least they killed the bad guy.”

storiesbyphil copywriter film reviewAs we lapped into silence, struggling to digest the giant popcorn salt-bomb that was now gestating in our guts, I wondered, “Was I thinking right? Do most comic book movies let the antagonist live?” I know I’m over 40 and in need of ginkgo, but I really had a sense that that was the case. Once home, I parked the car, took some ginkgo, chased it with a shot of vodka and asked Google.

Turns out of course, I’m right and wrong. The bad guys in The Hulk, Captain America, Thor and some others get to walk away, but just as often, they do not. So why did I think most of them do (besides being senile)? I poured another vodka and pondered this.

I think it’s because the antagonists are so often poorly developed. They are so forgettable that I have forgotten whether they lived or died in this movie or that. My memory, and level of ‘give-a-shit’, tends to degrade when I’m watching a movie like Man of Steel, where two seemingly immortal beings bang each storiesbyphil copywriter screenwriter film reviewother over the head with skyscrapers. I’m thinking, “Neither of them can die, so what’s the point?” Even a famous actor like Ben Kingsley couldn’t save the Mandarin from being a joke (even if it was on purpose). Then I see Loki escape, and the Winter Soldier and Nebula and blahblahblah..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Look, I wasn’t too happy when Luke Skywalker didn’t outright kill Darth Vader at the end of Star Wars (ep4), either. I was outraged, actually. Evil personified had been allowed to live! How could this be?! It did leave me mad, but it also left me hanging for the next chapter. But why was that really? Because Darth was a well developed, three dimensional character with a clearly defined outlook on the world and a compelling goal.

That’s what you should do with your antagonist. Something you shouldn’t do? Don’t wait until the middle of the film to introduce your antagonist like Fantastic Four did! It sucks the drama and stakes out of the entire story.

This is the first in a trilogy you say? Don’t care. I paid to see THIS movie.

MY GRADE: 4/10

Director: Josh Trank Writers: Simon Kingberg, Jeremy Slater, Josh Trank, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby