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Wizard For Hire

Stay with me, I’m going somewhere.

1st point: Wizards are cool. Indisputably.

2nd point: While not technically a wizard, I aspire to be one when I grow up.

3rd point: Yes, I’m grown up already but maybe not yet enough to be a wizard.

It's a bit silly, sure—but are you still with me?

To clarify, I don’t mean Harry Potter. Without starting internet beef, the Boy Who Lived is more accurately a witch (maybe a warlock). I’m basing this on traditional references: he lives in a coven, makes potions, keeps a familiar, and maybe the biggest clue, he flies a BROOM!

What I’m talking about is the archetypal Wizard. Examples include: Merlin, Gandalf, Faust & Prospero from literature; Nostradamus & Celtic bards from history; Obi Wan Kenobi & Yoda from science fiction; and even Odin & the Three Magi from religious beliefs.

The word “wizard” takes its roots from “wise.” It is an older figure of learning, power, and influence. And yes, the archetype is traditionally male while the female version is often known as the Crone or Old Hag. I could go on at length about how deep cultural misogyny has denigrated and vilified the wise, powerful, independent woman into something sinister and malicious—but that's a whole book in itself.

Yet do archetypes and metaphors have any room in modern job-speak?

So what's a Wizard For Hire? What skills would you find on that resume? What would he be tasked with?

Not only is the wizard educated; but moreover, he’s a student devoted to life-long learning. Knowledge plus time equals wisdom. He studies all manner of subjects, whether languages, history, mathematics, culture, or natural sciences. So he seeks not just to know, but to learn. That seems a worthwhile pursuit, right?

A wizard counsels and mediates, but he also tells stories and commands an audience. Usually existing beyond the borders of kingdoms and nations, he provides outside context with a sharp eye for the macro and micro. With different experiences, the wizard is a problem-solver with unique perspectives. And unless he’s a dark one, his path is often one of service to something greater than his own self-interest. Solutions-driven, he collaborates from a broad viewpoint with a wide range of stakeholders. Or does that not sound useful?

And as for casting spells, if we think less literally, what is “magic” but the will made manifest through words and actions? A wizard’s magic is his ability to conjure results through imagination and force of personality. He’s a creative dynamo with the power to captivate and charm. And how is that not magic? Or did you expect actual lighting bolts and wind gusts in an office setting? What would HR have to say about that?

Is a wizard really such a silly aspiration? Are these not desirable traits and marketable skills? Where would you need one in a corporation or really where wouldn’t you need one?

Did my spell charm you? Cast aside doubts and conjure my presence.

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