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The Pros and Cons of… working at Hogwarts

Working at Hogwarts might seem like a dream job for some, but with Peeves causing mayhem, and Filch as your co-worker, is it really all that it’s cracked up to be?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

A job at Hogwarts is far from ordinary. We imagine the watercooler chat is slightly more off-kilter than a standard Muggle office, and the profession naturally comes with a side order of magical chaos. There’s a lot to deal with – whether it be poltergeists causing havoc or the looming threat of a Dark wizard coming to visit, a job at Hogwarts is probably more dangerous than being a dragon-tamer, especially if you have to pop down to the Forbidden Forest every now and then.

But there are some staff members who have been at Hogwarts practically forever, so there have got to be some perks of the job. So, would it be a job of a lifetime or a bit of a nightmare? We weighed up the pros and cons.

PROS

The food

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Yes, our Muggle jobs might have a great biscuit tin at the office, but Hogwarts staff and students alike get wonderfully cooked meals every day in the decadent Great Hall – thanks to the house-elves. Also, Professor McGonagall has a great biscuit tin anyway (it's tartan!) so it sounds like Hogwarts has the best of both worlds. As well as the traditional dinners, Hogwarts also knows how to throw a fabulous bash – which involves even better food, including magic plates that will fill with whatever you ask for. We would take a thousand run-ins with Peeves for one of those magical plates.

The location

Crimes of Grindelwald Hogwarts
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

So we know that the food is good, but the exquisite views that Hogwarts has to offer really are breathtaking. With the castle located somewhere in the highlands of Scotland, you’re spoilt for choice in terms of immaculate lunch-time walks. And then when you get inside the castle, things get even better – with Hogwarts’ seemingly endless secret passageways always offering you a new adventure. And if you happen across the Room of Requirement, that’s when things really get interesting.

Of course, be prepared for the castle to offer up some surprises – such as a trick step in the staircase or a visit from the Giant Squid in the Great Lake. So much for a peaceful lunch break.

Dumbledore’s your boss

Dumbledore Sprout Sanpe and McGonagall in the corridor
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Whilst he has his flaws, having Dumbledore as your kindly boss would be pretty lovely. Professor Trelawney found this out when the temporary headmaster Dolores Umbridge tried to turf her out, but Dumbledore stayed loyal and used his power to protect her.

Letting Hagrid stay on as gamekeeper after he was expelled from Hogwarts was also a testament to Dumbledore’s character – and he even got him a teaching role based on his interests in magical creatures many years later. So you can sleep at night knowing you probably won’t get fired without just cause – after all, even Lockhart managed to make it through an entire year...

However, with every pro comes its cons, so let’s explore what might make a job at Hogwarts a little less desirable.

CONS

Incredibly dangerous magical creatures

Working at Hogwarts has definitely got a couple of down sides – yes, the castle is very secure from outside threats, but that doesn’t divert the attention away from your workplace being right next to a forest full of Acromantula, werewolves, Thestrals and a rogue Ford Anglia. Indeed, the Forbidden Forest is home to many a terrifying creature and has even been known to feature Lord Voldemort on rare occasion. Bumping into him – or any of the aforementioned forest dwellers – on your Sunday afternoon walk wouldn’t be top of our to-do list, to be honest.

Foes who want to attack your place of work

Sirius Black pointing his finger in the Shrieking Shack
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Speaking of Voldemort, he’s another reason why you may approach your Hogwarts letter with trepidation. Working where his greatest enemy studies (Harry Potter, if you weren’t sure) has got to make one feel uneasy every now and then – there was that time Sirius Black (who, at the time, was thought to be an escaped Azkaban convict and murderer, lest we forget) broke into the school leading all the staff to herd the students into the Great Hall. Even without Harry being there, Hogwarts’ reputation as the safest place in the wizarding world was often tested.

Certain poltergeists

© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Despite their escapades, the ghosts of Hogwarts can be a great addition to the castle. A chuckle with the Fat Friar sounds lovely, and despite his poor taste in post-death cuisine, a chat about Nearly Headless Nick’s chequered history sounds like an interesting way to spend an afternoon. However, there are a few ghosts and ethereal entities that almost make the castle walls shake – and Peeves is the first to pop to mind. Floating around, disturbing lessons, singing usually-offensive songs, causing general tomfoolery, Peeves is guaranteed to get on anyone’s nerves, especially poor old Mr Filch. In fact, every time Hogwarts tried to eliminate Peeves, he would find a way to stick around. Our advice would be to try and not be like Filch – who clearly got targeted by Peeves because he was the most openly annoyed.

It’s fair to say there are pros and cons to any job, but the pros of working at Hogwarts definitely outweigh the potential of being devoured by a three-headed dog or perhaps worse – dull small-talk with Professor Binns. But what’s life without a little risk, eh?