Animal Career Secrets–What is Your Question?

Okay, I am pretty wiped out today so this is going to be a quick answer post…and probably not the most gracious.

Many of you are aware that I get questions sent in as a result of my Unusual Animal Career series pretty frequently. If it is clear that people have not read the series, I save the questions for forums such as this. Why? Because if they are not motivated enough to take some time to read before sending in a question to get expert advice, I am really not too motivated to respond to questions already covered in the series and figure they are lazy and not serious about their quest. Those of you reading this series are already aware of that.

Anyway, someone sent me a question because he wanted to have a career like Steve Irwin. Since there was nothing else in the email, I can only believe that the person was seeking a career in the media. Which is not going to happen unless you have an organization behind you, connections, media savvy, or some other kind of in…but perhaps you can get on a reality show and then you will have it made!

I met Steve and Teri fairly early in their media career. The first episode of the Crocodile Hunter, if I remember right, was done for an amazing $20,000–at a time when such projects averaged between $100,000 and $150,000. Irwin was a great showman and the format created a bunch of knock off shows.

Back then the focus was on male hosts, then the tide looked like it would change. When Rachel  Reenstra finally got her own show it was only after submitting an audition video–she also has worked as a comedian for many years. So, that is one strategy you could try–it worked for those hosts and it may work for someone else.

Just so you are aware, when you see animal people in the media most have worked in their fields for years or have been affiliated with large zoos or similar facilities. Joan Embry (San Diego Zoo), Julie Scardina (Busch Gardens/Sea World), Jack Hanna (Columbus Zoo), and others are some examples. Their jobs were as ambassadors. Steve Irwin and his family were no exceptions as the organization behind them is the Australia Zoo.

So, the answer to your question might not be so simple because I didn’t have much to start with–you have to define what it is you want to do–any specialty area of animal work–or do you simply want to be a host?

Just a hint, if you want a comprehensive answer send in more details. Be sure to include where you live or want to work, what you envision in the future, and what efforts you have made toward your goal so far.

It would help if you started answering some of the questions from early in this series…

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