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The Best Career Advice In The Wizarding World (For Muggles)

The Best Career Advice In The Wizarding World (For Muggles)

When you’re the Boy Who Lived, you don’t really get a chance to pick a career. It was Harry Potter’s destiny to defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and his teachers and mentors worked to guide him down that path. As a result, his skill set really only translated to one job: Auror. While even by wizard standards, that’s an awesome career, it might have been nice for Harry to have a few options.

In the Muggle world, we have the opposite problem: endless career possibilities, but next to no guidance in our choice. And how we pick a career is decidedly less magical. The closest thing we have to a spell to help us determine our career path is a free app.

Still, just as Harry and his journey taught us about friendship, courage, and the power of love over hate, it can also inspire you to pick a career path that’s right for you. With so many careers to choose from, here are a few knuts of wizardly wisdom to help you decide which of these jobs best suits you:

Interpreter or Translator

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” — Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

As the world becomes increasingly connected, the jobs translators perform become more critical. In this career, you would help people cross language and culture barriers so they can better understand others.

To give you an idea of your options as a translator, they are often employed by such entities as schools, hospitals, courthouses, and the U.S. Department of State. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, their projected job growth is 29 percent through 2024, which is above average. In 2015, the median salary was $44,190 per year and most entry-level translator positions don’t require education past a bachelor’s degree.

Writer

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” — Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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Many believe writers are a dying breed, but the skill set is still in high demand. Granted, print media is in dire straits, but the world can always use strong communicators and storytellers, especially in burgeoning new media formats.

Writers are now in demand as content marketers, copywriters, journalists, and editors. Also, the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2016 survey found that 70.2 percent of employers across industries are looking for written communication skills when considering job candidates.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics, projected a slower than average job growth of two percent in this field, the 2015 median salary was $60,250.

Community Organizer or Activist

“You do realize that your sheets are changed, your fires lit, your classrooms cleaned, and your food cooked by a group of magical creatures who are unpaid and enslaved?” — Hermione, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

If the thing you remember about the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare was all the hard work Hermione did to help the elves and not its unfortunate acronym (S.P.E.W.), you should consider becoming a community organizer or activist. People who take on these jobs spend their career fighting against economic and social injustice and raising awareness for their cause. But it takes more than passion to work as activist; you’ll also need strong organizational and communication skills.

Don’t think that choosing this career comes at the expense of a liveable salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social and community service managers had a 2015 median salary of $63,530, and the number of positions will grow around 10 percent by 2024.

Law Enforcement

“It is important to fight and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then can evil be kept at bay though never quite eradicated.” — Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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Want to protect and serve the public by fighting the bad guys? Then a career in law enforcement might be for you. And while most people think becoming a police officer is the only option in this field, there are other choices — like crime scene investigators, prosecution lawyers, and 911 dispatchers — that allow you to do your part to fight crime.

Depending on which law enforcement course you choose, there is a wide range of training you might need, as well as a large salary range. But to give you an idea, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 2015 median salary of $60,270 for police officers.

Human Resources

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” – Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Wise words, Sirius. Although, if he had treated the family elf, Kreacher, more kindly, he might have lived to fight another day.

When it comes to a career choice, this sentiment is something people in human resources recognize and why they work to create a better workplace for everyone, despite their role in the company. Their focus is the organization’s people. Having a good HR department can make or break a company if they aren’t successful in improving employees’ satisfaction or in bringing the best talent on board.

This is also a very stable career path to choose. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a steady job growth of nine percent through 2024 and a 2015 median salary of $104,440 for HR managers.

Musician

“Ah, music,” he said wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here.” – Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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Not every musician is a rock star, so don’t think this career path is unobtainable. Many musicians make their livelihoods playing as studio or session musicians or in music-related careers, such as a teacher, sound engineer, or concert venue employee.

Depending on how you decide to use your musical talent, there are different educational requirements and pay grades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, musicians and singers made an average of $24.20 per hour in 2015, while music professors make around $72,000 a year.

Retail Sales

“One can never have enough socks.” — Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

If you live and breathe fashion, retail is the route for you. What’s nice about this industry is there is a store and position for every personality. From Brooks Brothers to Hot Topic to Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, there’s a company that will match who you are and what you are interested in.

While entry level positions in retail start out with lower salaries — the Bureau of Labor Statistics, found the 2015 median salary to be $22,040 per year — there are more opportunities as you move up the ladder. For instance, retail buyers, who decide what a store will sell, had a 2015 median salary of $59,620.

School Counselor

“Youth can not know how age thinks and feels, but old men are guilty if they forget what it is to be young.” — Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

If you believe everyone has an inner child who shouldn’t be forgotten, a career counseling children would be good for you. Being able to communicate with young people and to reach them is a special gift. Not to mention that working as a school counselor or social worker can be very rewarding.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, school counselors have an average projected job growth of eight percent and a 2015 median salary of $53,660 per year. You could also go into private practice as a child and family counselor or work as a social worker.

Politician

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” — Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

If you believe that people shouldn’t have to distrust their political representatives, then maybe you should consider politics. Elected officials have the opportunity to dedicate their lives to their community and country while trying to positively impact the world on a large scale.

“There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it.” Professor Quirrell, quoting Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Or if you really are just a power-hungry, wannabe despot who was rooting for Voldemort throughout the series, I guess politics is an option for you, too. Just keep in mind that Voldemort’s career ended pretty badly.

What are some other great quotes from Harry Potter that can help a Muggle pick a career? Share in the comments below!

Featured photo credit: FF16 via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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