5 Brilliant Life Lessons Harry Potter Teaches Us About the Modern Workplace

Employees, Workplace

By Hailey Rochleau:

“It is our choices that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities,”

– Albus Dumbledore.

Spoken like a true poet. Albus Dumbledore has captivated audiences with his realistic approach to life lessons, even as a fictional character. Some of the best workplace lessons I’ve acquired came to me when I fully immersed myself in a book series that had absolutely nothing to do with my career. Drawn to the magic that engulfed my imagination and transported me to another world, I realized there were hundreds of life lessons embedded throughout those pages. All I had to do was look for them.

So, are you ready to learn what this $25 billion franchise can teach you to help you excel throughout your career? The pages may be strewn with potion ingredients, magical creatures, and a crazy storyline—but what you’ll learn within are tools you should implement into your career and everyday life that can help you succeed.

The best part? It all stems from you, so keep reading to discover these 5 life lessons that could drastically improve your life.

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1. “Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than dislike.” – Albus Dumbledore

The quote speaks for itself. The first step in wanting to excel at your job is to find one you genuinely enjoy, and one where it doesn’t feel like work. It’s essential to start in an area you love and branch out from there. According to a survey,  70% of employees are disengaged at work.

If you catch yourself going through the motions, and neglecting the needs of your job, recognize how your disengagement could affect others. Re-examine if your current career path is something you enjoy. If so, come back with a better attitude and a readiness to give it your all.

Nearly half of HR leaders credit employee turnover to one thing: employee burnout. Have you ever heard the saying, “If you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life?” These are words you should live by.

2. The Team Matters

Harry attends the beloved school, Hogwarts. And upon his arrival, the students are immediately placed into one of four houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. These are chosen based off of their respective house values, with each student being placed into one that best fits their personal morals and values. Throughout the school year, each house competes against the other houses in various activities. These houses ultimately make up the foundation of Hogwarts, and each works to improve the school as a whole. This same idea pertains to the makeup of a company. Think of each house as a branch of your company. The HR department is one house, the sales department is another. Each “house” relies on the other to succeed, while doing their respective jobs, and benefitting Hogwarts (the company) as a whole.

The most important thing to remember is that you’re all working to make the team better as a whole. You need to take your position on your team seriously, to create a good foundation for your company to grow. It starts with a determination to succeed and an unwavering view of achieving your company’s overarching goals.

3. “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” – Albus Dumbledore

Ask for help! This is arguably one of Harry’s most significant flaws throughout the books, but don’t let it be yours! With great friends like Ron and Hermione, who were loyal and stood behind him when no one else did, they were all able to achieve their goals for the greater good. If you have questions that turn into roadblocks, ask someone who can help. It’s crucial to feel comfortable approaching someone who could help you achieve whatever task you have on hand. This goes both ways. If you see someone struggling, be a friend, reach out, and encourage them to ask for help. It’s in everyone’s best interest to help each other so the whole team benefits.

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4. “Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” – Albus Dumbledore

When you’re in the wrong, admit it, and fix the issue at hand. It’s not an easy task to admit when you’re wrong, and it’s even harder when you make a devastating mistake while at work. Now, how do you move forward? It’s vital to understand what happened and understand the necessary steps moving forward to ensure it won’t happen again. We all make mistakes in our careers, but what sets people apart is the ability to admit it and solve the issue at hand.

5. “You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”- Ginny Weasley

Get the nerve to accomplish things you once thought you couldn’t. I truly believe after reading these books, whatever you set your mind to, you can achieve. If you have a new idea about ways to improve something, speak up. If you have a critique on something, speak up, and explain your rationale and be an advocate for yourself.

When you’re struggling with either a personal or professional matter, I can always lean back on this series to find strength. To learn more about how to improve your company culture, check out what we’re saying on Twitter @RedBranch!

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