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After a decade of movies and 7 record-breaking books about ‘the boy who lived’, I can’t help but incorporate Harry’s magical world into today’s post about finding a career.

Stephanie and her husband going to Platform 9 & 3/4!!

 1. Start Now!

It’s just as J.K. Rowling writes, “It’s a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.” It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or senior or postdoc…you’re eventually going to have to find a job!  My advice is to start making connections today with people in the industry with which you want to eventually have a career!  If you are a rising senior, this fall is coming very fast, so the lesson is, start now!  As you start school this fall, time will only to get faster and faster!  Start by researching the companies coming on campus this fall, getting your resume reviewed by a professional and assessing what industries appeal to you!

2. Steer clear of Dementors

Demenetors in Harry Potter’s world are creatures that suck the happiness, fun and very soul out of people.  Dementors in your workplace and job search are just as dangerous!  Stay positive in your career and job search and if you find a person or situation depressing, find your way to change it in a positive light.  Try talking to someone about your job search and goals.  At UCS you can come in and talk to our helpful Career Specialists and Career Counselors.  In Harry Potter’s world, banishing Dementors would require a “Patronus” charm.  

3. Alohomora!

Harry Potter can open any locked door with a simple spell: “Alohomora!”  As a job seeker, one is constantly trying to open doors in a symbolic sense, to ‘get your foot in the door’ and more.  A great substitution for ‘Alohomora’ for our world is networking!  Be friendly and open to conversations with different people at parties, career fairs and community events.  Let friends, family and others know that you’re seeking out new opportunities in a certain industry.  Someone is bound to know a friend, family member or co-worker who would be happy to help you or talk to you over a cup of coffee to ‘open the door’.  Don’t be afraid to tap into NU’s extensive alumni network – with NU alumni in every industry as leaders around the world, talking to alumni is much better than any spell!

4.  Be nice to House Elves

Goblins and wizards alike were confused by Harry Potter’s kindness towards house elves in the magical world.  House elves were creatures that were treated terribly by most wizards and were enslaved to work in magical houses.  In our world, I think a general rule is to be nice to everyone, especially those working for you!  Remember to say thank you to those that help you in your job search and at the office, remember that the front desk receptionist deserves as much kindness (and possibly more!) as your supervisors!