Animal Career Secrets: Handling Adversity on the Path to a Career with Animals

In this fourth introduction article in the Animal Career Secrets see how one person handled adversity when seeking an animal career. All content copyrighted 2007 by Diana L Guerrero. Some rights reserved.

Okay, back to my introduction story…as I continued working at the ranch I remained a peon for what seemed like ages but what was really happening was that I was forced to watch everything and learn.

I saw how the trainers worked, what the animals liked and disliked and eventually proved myself reliable and truly dedicated so that I was asked to work with some of the creatures.

Some of those creatures included dogs, snakes, and livestock. It might not sound exciting but these trainers found interesting ways to test our ability and to train us on the basics with animals that could probably hurt us but that wouldn’t have the capability to kill us or do serious damage like some of the other animals might.

That proved to be wise as it sorted through the crowds and only left those who were truly dedicated. I finished their training course and eventually began to work around some bigger animals—tigers, elephants, bears, lions, and more.

In the meantime, I continued to work at Marineland receiving multiple promotions in a short amount of time while driving two hours each way to the animal acting ranch on the weekends to volunteer for 10-12 hours.

Then tragedy struck—I got sick. Doctors were stumped and could not diagnose what was wrong. I lost my job, lost my apartment near the beach, and had to move up North to recover under the roof of one of my parents.

To say life sucked is an understatement…at least I had a roof over my head and didn’t have to worry about that. We also finally found a clinic that began alternative therapy treatments…and I started the road to recovery.

Then the final blow hit—the animal training college DID NOT accept me.

Why didn’t they? I had over a year with hands on work with wild and exotic animals and was dedicated. Now what?

One of the things I have always done when faced with adversity is to seek out another direction. When I was young, disaster usually meant it was time to redirect and head elsewhere so during my recovery I pondered what I might do.

One day it hit me—I’d move to the ranch and get more experience by the time the application cycle for the college ended I’d have two years of experience under my belt. So, on my way to recovery I made plans to move away from the ocean and inland near the ranch—enrolling in a junior college in the meantime so that I could at least get some basic courses under my belt.

When seeking a career with animals things are not always easy or fun. In fact, you may encounter obstacles or hurdles that you won’t know how to get through or around. If an animal career seeker is truly dedicated a new path will reveal itself.

Adaptability is a “must have trait” and so is tenacity–but the last thing you want to do is be obnoxious or whiny during challenges.

Coming: The dark side of the story…

Diana L Guerrero is an animal career specialist and has extensive experience in many areas of the animal world. A well known animal expert, she has worked professionally with animals for over thirty years. Guerrero is the author of several books and the host of the syndicated, Ark Animal Answers.

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