|Purred: Tue Jan 12, '10 6:37pm PST |
I don't know if you've had your interview yet, but whether you have or haven't, I've worked in an animal shelter and I have some tips for you!
First of all, good for you for becoming a foster parent! That is a great way to gain some hands-on experience and help out some needy kitties to boot. This really shows you're serious about helping animals. Be sure sure and put that on your resume (if you haven't already), and ask the person you're fostering from if you can use him as a reference.
That's also great that you've got an interview with the director of your local shelter! I can understand why you're nervous, but consider this: this is also YOUR opportunity to ask tons of questions and get tons of info from the director! You can find out all about how they got into their animal career, what steps they took, what degree they have, etc. If you've already had your interview and forgot to ask about this stuff, just call or e-mail again and see if you can ask a few follow-up questions! If you haven't written your thank-you note yet (that's important!!!) you can ask at the same time you write that!
As far as getting your vet tech certification, there are at least a few online schools (Penn Foster is one that I know of) and some community colleges offer it as well. You will be required to work in a vet's office as part of your studies, so you're smart to look around for a position now.
One way to get a vet job is through a local animal shelter that also offers veterinary services, or has a vet on staff. I worked at a shelter starting off at the front desk, and then moved up to kennel technician. I could have moved on to clinic assistant if I had wanted to, and in fact as a kennel technician I did help out with some light medical care. There were also some volunteers there who got hired as full-time employees. Most shelters are always looking for volunteers. If one isn't currently taking volunteers, don't give up! Go to the next one and keep asking! Keep showing your face and getting to know the people there! Be an "informal volunteer" by going in and just sitting with/playing with the animals, if they will allow you to do that. Show them you're serious about working with animals (which obviously you are since you became a foster mom!).
Well, sorry if this has been long-winded! I am in the middle of a job search myself so I understand how nerve-wracking the resume/interview process can be. The most important thing -- DON'T GIVE UP!! It can take awhile to realize your dreams, but it will be totally worth it, knowing you're doing a lot to help animals. If you have any questions or need any advice, or just want to talk, don't hesitate to ask!!
BEST OF LUCK!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!
Terrence, Merrin and Merlin's mom
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