Have you always wanted to work with pets? Do you spend the last part of August wondering where the summer went and if there’s still time to make those big life changes you had planned to implement around Memorial Day? Well, I have some good news for you – it’s never too late to plan for that career change! Here are a few good ways to get your paws wet before jumping into the deep end.
Educate yourself. With the growing popularity of online education, it’s easier than ever to get a good basic foundation in fields as diverse as canine behavior, business administration and equine husbandry. Check out resources like FetchFind, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Coursera.
Become a volunteer. Volunteering at a local shelter or animal advocacy group is probably the single best way to prepare yourself for a career working with animals. You’ll receive hands on experience, and see if you really enjoy the work. At large shelters, you can volunteer in areas such as dog and cat care, veterinary clinic, marketing, fostering and public relations. Advocacy groups often need researchers, marketers and lawyers, so if you already have those skills you can gain valuable industry-specific experience.
Apply for an internship. If you want to take a more formal approach to learning about the pet industry from the ground up, considering applying for an internship. Many established companies as well as small startups offer both paid and unpaid internships in areas from dog training to social media. One of the great things about internships is that if you like the company, you’ve already got an “in” for a regular job. And, at the very least, you will have gained a portfolio of skills, contacts and references that can help you later on.
Dip your toe into the wonderful world of online education with a subscription to FetchFind Monthly Pro or one of our standalone courses, such as Canine Evolution & Ethology or Canine Development: From Birth to Old Age.