Change Your Job & Change Your Life

Change Your Job & Change Your Life gives animal career seekers tips as to how to plot their course and learn that being an animal lover does not mean that one is suited for a career with animals.

I read a disgusted note from an “animal lover” who picked up an animal career book and didn’t like that she read about livestock production and management. She was so disgusted and threw the book aside.

Right, that solves everything.

Personally I think that is what is wrong with many of the applicants seeking animal jobs these days. There is no reality check on belief systems. Just because you want to believe something, or ignore something, does not make it true—or go away.

Sticking your head in the sand just because you don’t like reality is not the answer. Labels like “prima donna” or “snob” come to mind. Perhaps the person was too sensitive to be able to handle the truth. Either way the reaction was a poor one.

The reaction kind of reminds me of book censoring. In many cases, I’ve talked to people upset about a book title only to find out they had not read it!

People in animal careers (or who want a career with animals) do not have the luxury to avoid reality because it is their day-to-day existence. When you work with animals you also have to feed them and feeding a predator means feeding it with the flesh of other animals.

You know what? Some of those animals need freshly killed animals—not prepared diets.

Instead of putting your head under ground, the better idea is to get into a career with animals so you understand it and can find new ways of doing things or implementing change.

Early in my career, for instance, we had to kill animals to feed animals—especially birds of prey and reptiles. This remains true today for a variety of reasons BUT some prepared diets do exist and you can also purchase fresh frozen whole food for predators.

The big one for me was when I suggested implementing the training of captive species in zoos–people wanted to lynch me.

I actually was chastised for suggesting that training could make an animal’s life better. Hey, guess what—it does. Today (fast forward twenty-something years or so) it is a standard practice in zoos and captive animal collections across the nation AND it keeps pets out of places like the dog pound and animal shelters.

My take is that a successful animal person has a unique perspective, attitude, and drive that will revolutionize the industry and change things for the better. It is not all fun and glory—it is hard work.

Since I am heading in that direction, chance or luck has nothing to do with a successful animal career. Very few people get what they want by accident or luck.

Here is my take on the whole thing:

To get a career with animals…

  1. Define your objectives and set goals.
  2. Take personal responsibility for following your plans and implementing strategies to get the career with animals you seek.
  3. Readjust those plans by monitoring your progress and changing things when you are not progressing as planned.
  4. Persevere when you stumble or experience a setback.
  5. Keep an open mind.
  6. If you don’t like something–don’t complain, whine, or stick your head in the sand–find an alternative.

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 if the founder of the Animal Career Secrets coaching course which opens to new students a couple of times a year. Interested? Subscribe to her animal careers newsletter.

Photo Credit: David Reece

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