Working with unemployed or underemployed people as I do, I often hear statements like, “I’m not really a people person, I’d like a job with animals; maybe a Vet.” So many fail to understand that almost all those animals they want to work with have an owner; someone they are going to have to interview to find out what the issue is with the pet they are about to treat, and to recommend how best to keep that animal recovering so they get the best chance at getting back to their full health.
Now, I’ve no issue with listen to the musings of people as they consider various occupations. No, I actually believe this is a good thing. Listening to someone express their thoughts about what they might like to do and more importantly why they feel that way is very helpful. Listen attentively and you can really understand their motivation. However, I also find people don’t have the necessary information on a job to really decide if they are cut out for it or not. Almost inevitably, there’s been no research done into a possible career. That Vet they are thinking about becoming does a lot more than spend time scratching a hard to get itch or getting a thankful nudge of a muzzle.
When I talk about how they feel about putting an animal down or dealing with an owner who works all day and can’t take the dog out for a walk, they often tell me such people shouldn’t own dogs at all, and that they’d never be able to intentionally end an animal’s life just because the owner doesn’t want to pay for needed operations.
Now at the other end of the spectrum are those that want to work with people but don’t know how. “I want to help people” is how some of these first conversations start. What kind of people? Helping the wealthy invest their money and watch it grow? Blasting out natural terrain to build roads or pipelines that will carry oil? That would help many people. “No! No! No!” Not that kind of help!” You see, helping people can be done in a lot of ways? So what do the people look like that you want to help?
One key thing needed by both groups of people; those that want jobs working with people and those that want jobs with as little people interaction as possible, well, its education. Not the kind of education you can get in front of a computer monitor but the kind you can only get when you’re receiving formal in-person instruction.
This is typically where a barrier comes up; sometimes derailing an entire dream. “I can’t go to school.” When asked why, often those who want to avoid interaction with people at all costs will cite their discomfort or anxiety at having to be around others. Those that enjoy other people cite the debt they’d rack up. Nope, schooling is out. Well, you would think that the goal would change to something that didn’t need formal education. Sadly, it often doesn’t. 10 years will pass and that person will still tell people they meet that they’d like to be a Vet. They still won’t invest in formal education, but somehow they are holding on to that notion of being a Vet.
There are other occupations however that don’t involve years of education, excessive debt and will still meet the desired goal of working with animals or helping people. However, somehow the people involved have to first become aware of these occupations and then they have to understand the scope of what those occupations do on a daily basis. When this happens, possibilities surface and forward progress can take place.
A Dogwalker for example often visits a home when owners are out and spends their time in the company of the animals they love. It’s not a bad way to stay in shape yourself by the way as you’re out exercising more than just the dog. Independent work for sure; maybe not rich, but then again that was never a stated goal. Productive, helping, less people contact and yes, some income. A little interaction with owners of course, notes explaining how the animal behaved, collecting payment etc. Pretty minimal stuff most of the time.
But be warned. When you are talking to others, do more than say you just want to work with animals if you expect them to really help you discover your dream job. Case in point; see what you think of this job posting:
Hiring 10 people to work with animals. $16.00 per hour plus bonuses. Overtime available. Job requires kneeling, bending and standing for extended periods. No education required, no previous experience needed. Will train on the job. So how does that sound? Interested? Great! You can start immediately as well, which is always a good thing. The job? Catching and killing chickens.
Oh it’s a real job – but when you said you wanted a job with animals you weren’t specific. You say you don’t want to kill animals and that you figured this was obvious? Maybe it was obvious to you but you didn’t say that. Good to know. We’ve just learned you don’t just want a job with animals, you want a job with animals where you don’t kill them. Our search is narrowing down.