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Discovering your career path — Harry Potter and the four houses

What do you want to do with your life? What’s your career path? How are you going to make a living?

Ah, yes, these age-old questions that many of us hear from our family and teachers when entering our middle school years. These questions for many of us last through adulthood, and sadly some of us are still struggling to find the right career path in our later years.

Joe Elkins, director of the Adams Wells Manufacturing Alliance, is determined to help students living in the Adams and Wells County to start thinking about their career paths. Each year, during the second semester, Joe visits local middle schools to talk about career development. But more importantly, he talks about these students’ personalities and how these specific traits factor in their career placement.

In January, AWMA staff tagged along with Joe at Norwell Middle School to see how his presentation could positively influence our future youth.

Joe asked the question to 8th-grade students in social studies class, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” At first, crickets... finally, a few students chimed in and said “Marine Biologist,” “Firefighter,” and “Nurse.” But the majority of the class appeared not to know. He said, “There is nothing wrong with not knowing what you want to be when you grow up.”

Joe decided to change directions and asked the class if everyone was familiar with this wizard hat (picture above) he was holding. The students said it was from Harry Potter. Then he asked whether the class could name the four houses from Harry Potter. Instantly, the classroom was engaged. A student blurts out “Gryffindor,” another student says, “Slytherin,” “Ravenclaw,” and “Hufflepuff.”

“That’s right,” said Joe, and then he talked about how each of these houses had specific traits. Now it’s worth noting, before AWMA’s presentation, the Norwell Middle School students were asked to complete a Myers-Briggs personality profile. Once completed, the students were given a series of codes to bring back to class.

Each of the students had their codes written down. Next, Joe began reading off the codes “ENFJ, ESTP, ESFP, ESTJ, then you are part of the Gryffindor house.” Many of the students applauded and cheered when Gryffindor was mentioned. He explained the houses’ personality traits and highlighted famous people that fit into these categories. Next, everyone went through the other three houses.

Once the students were given a glimpse of their personality types, Joe asked the class to go to’s website and click on the “For Students” section. From there, they scrolled down and clicked on the link to a website called, where they looked up their codes from the Myers-Briggs personality profile and saw popular career choices that students would want to pursue.

Joe asked the class if their career path matched what they thought it would be? Later in the discussion, he explained that these assessments are designed to point you toward a career path that best suits your personality. He explained that other essential questions to ask are, “What are you passionate about?” and “What are your favorite classes?”

Through these presentations, Joe’s goal is to help middle schoolers take their first steps to determine the best career path. In less than a year, these students will move to high school. Many of these high school technical programs located in Adams and Wells counties have excellent construction, automotive, and manufacturing classes that can help develop students to gain a highly-skilled trade that can further their career development. So many of these young adults can begin living and pursuing a happy and fulfilling career.

Click here to learn more about how you can find careers suited for your personality.

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