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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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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

Reference

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