I had a client recently who is passionate about animal care…always has been, since childhood.
At least once a year, for the past 30 years, someone like her enters my practice. Sometimes young, or middle age, male or female—what they all have in common is this inner longing to take care of animals…for them a stronger desire than taking care of people.
And yet, none of them had been able to move beyond the care of their own pets. Most of them tried pet-sitting or dog-walking or some related low skill, low pay job but couldn’t make enough money to make ends meet.
Finding the right path
Like my client this week, they go into other careers, usually because they had no desire or inclination to be a vet or a vet’s assistant. As my client said, “I want to care for them, not kill them!” This is a typical rationale for such clients: when the most obvious option that society offers (e.g., be a vet) is not one that interests them, they give up on their heartfelt aspiration.
In her case, she worked as a cashier, custodian, martial arts instructor, and finally trained and worked as a Rehab Assistant, caring for individuals recovering from accidents…but she quit after two years because it didn’t meet her expectations.
She’s determined now to find a career working with animals, which is the only thing she really wants to do. I assured her that there were dozens of animal care jobs, including many she’d never of heard of, and many that don’t require a lot of education or training.
Choosing the right path
In general, jobs with animals fall into three categories: service (care & feeding), resource development and conservation.
I gave her a list of all the jobs related to animal care, everything from animal trainer to bison farmer to wildlife photographer. I gave her a list of education programs for Resource Development and Animal Conservation.
She loved the idea of wildlife rehabilitation but didn’t want to go back to school.
In the end, she decided to start with Kennel Attendant and work towards owning and operating her own kennel someday. She may even return to Rehab Assistant part-time, or on contract, to save money to buy some property for a kennel near Winnipeg.
She is finally accepting who she is in terms of her right work and taking responsibility for what she wants in life.
Living the right path
Very often our right work shows up early in life, but other values, priorities, advice, or circumstances get in the way of us following our instincts, intuition, or heartfelt desires.
We often get knocked off our right path early in life and end up surviving on another one…but not thriving.
It’s never too late to get back on it. Sure, it might not be ideal, but it will certainly be deeply satisfying and rewarding in ways that are often hard to explain to others who have different values or priorities.
Be who you are…you won’t regret it.
JobJoy Smile – Animal Puns
Q: What do you call a sleeping bull?
A: A bull-dozer.
Q: How do you fit more pigs on your farm?
A: Build a sty-scraper!
Q: What did the farmer call the cow that had no milk?
A: An udder failure.
Q: Why do gorillas have big nostrils?
A: Because they have big fingers!
Q: Why are teddy bears never hungry?
A: They are always stuffed!
Q: Why do fish live in salt water?
A: Because pepper makes them sneeze!
Q: What do you get from a pampered cow?
A: Spoiled milk.
Q: Where do polar bears vote?
A: The North Poll