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How do I find what's right for me?

I'm 15 in highschool and I love animals

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Subject: Career question for you

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Sharon’s Answer

Hello Odin!
I understand you're a high-school student with a passion for animals. If you're keen on pursuing a career involving animals, I'd suggest exploring professions like a veterinarian, zoologist, or wildlife conservationist. There's a vast array of potential animal-related careers out there. As you conduct your research, make a note of the careers that truly capture your interest, resonate with your passions, and seem exciting to you. This will help you to filter out jobs and refine your search. Once you've compiled this list, start researching the educational prerequisites for these dream jobs. For instance, to become a Veterinarian, you'll need to earn a four-year degree, finish a doctorate program, and pass a state exam to get licensed. Furthermore, you'll also need to check out colleges that interest you to see if they offer your preferred degree and program. I hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon I will use this advice as I prepare for my career. ALINA
Thank you comment icon thank you iam new ALINA
Thank you comment icon I love this answer and think it was a good starting point to think things through. Matt Thomas, GCDF
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Matt’s Answer

Hey Odin, thanks for bringing up such a crucial question. I'm thrilled to offer some additional insights, building on the fantastic responses you've already received.

Here are a few suggestions you might find helpful in your journey to discover your passion for animals:
- Reach out to your friends and family who are knowledgeable about animals or related fields. Ask them about their likes and dislikes, and how they found their path. This can be a great way to gather valuable information, similar to what you're doing here.

- As someone pointed out, exploring "a Day in the Life of" and consulting a school counselor can be beneficial. Additionally, you can independently research various career websites. For instance, this website allows you to watch brief videos about different careers: https://www.careeronestop.org/Videos/CareerVideos/career-videos.aspx
Here's a specific video about "Animal Caretakers": https://www.careeronestop.org/Videos/careeronestop-videos.aspx?videocode=39202100

- Lastly, consider volunteering with animals. This could turn into a rewarding hobby, and who knows, it might even lead to a career later in life. Remember, the world is full of opportunities. If you volunteer, the organization might remember you, and one day you could find yourself working there. Best of luck on your journey!

Matt recommends the following next steps:

Find friends and family to talk to
Look up different animal places in the area and ask if you can volunteer or talk to someone about their career
Review the job videos I sent over
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Sandra’s Answer

I love animals too! I would suggest you start looking deeper into what it is you love and why. For example one time I thought I could be a vet because I love animals, but Im not too big on blood or seeing them hurt, so being a vet takes that out, was my thought. So look deeper into your hobbies, your values, your likes but also your dislikes. Look into what you enjoy and be open to multiple areas. For example, I love engaging with people, I love solving problems, I loved math, and I loved singing/theatre. I thought I would be a drama major but then I didn't enjoy writing papers. Somehow I got into a computer science class and enjoyed writing programs and troubleshooting my mistakes. I ended up working in technology for Pre-Sales and I get to do all of the above. I do give presentations which is sometimes like acting/theatre :) But on the side, I am heavily involved in theatre and singing, so I met all my needs.

All in all, really reflect on your passions, your strengths, your weaknesses, and explore multiple career path, even the ones you don't think may match, and you will see the opportunities are endless. Once you see some specific areas you may be interested, reach out to people who have jobs there and ask 'what's a Day in the Life of', etc. Your school counselor should be able to assist with that too!

Good Luck!
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Mickael’s Answer

Hi Odin,

I think if you want to learn more about animals and careers there, you can:
- check for an internship in a zoo or talk with specialists there about what type of jobs are available
- check online on job search engine jobs related to animals.
- ask you local veterinarian or animal shelter what type of jobs you can be looking for. My daughter actually volunteered in one of them and discovered a lot.

I hope that gives you some hints.

All the best,
Mickael.
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Desrie’s Answer

At 15 you may need to give yourself some grace and some more time to figure out what is right for you. As your life priorities change and you gain more experience in life you may find that your personal and professional goals may change with time.

Allow yourself time to grow and make mistakes. At your age you have time to make mistakes and to learn and grow from them. Key with life is to turn every experience into a learning experience.
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Kaitlin’s Answer

Hey!

You have some great answers already but I am here to also add my input! My sister had the same passion as you and this is what she did while she was in high school and into college.

1. She did volunteer work in different areas of animal care. She volunteered at a vet office, a cattle farm, and a farm animal rescue. She spent a few weeks at each to see what area she wanted to do. Did she want to work on the medical end? The caregiving end? The rehabilitation and adoption end? or a mix?
- By the end of her time in these areas, she knew what she wanted to do! She knew she wanted to work with farm animals, so she spent the remainder of her high school years working at a rescue farm and then got a job working on a cattle farm. She knew that she did not want to do the medical side of it!

2. Once it was time for her to go to college she already knew what she wanted her focus to be in! She began searching for degrees that involved working with farm but was not medical! After her research, she knew that Agriculture was the best path for her!

3. Then she started looking at colleges and universities that were the best in agriculture. She found the college she wanted to go to and connected with an advisor who told her what she needed to do to stand out on her application, which for this school it was having prior experience in the field!

4. She worked in the field while she was in school! This helped her put what she was learning to practice to help retention and gave her the upper hand when it came time to new material!
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Marcus’s Answer

Odin, You have a bright future ahead! I agree with all of the post on this thread. You are 15 and figuring things out and i am happy for you. You love animals so maybe go a little deeper with that. What about animals do you enjoy? Look up career options that will make you happy on the daily. Utilize your resources and be great !
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Odin,

Discovering Your Passion and Future Career
Being a 15-year-old high school student with a love for animals, it's crucial to delve into various career choices that resonate with your passions. Here's a friendly guide to assist you in finding the perfect fit for you:

Self-Contemplation and Goal Setting: Start with pondering over your hobbies, strengths, and areas for improvement. Set straightforward and attainable goals to steer your career journey. Reflect on these questions:

What activities do you love doing during your leisure time?
Which school subjects are you particularly good at?
What are your immediate and long-term career aspirations?
Exploring Career Possibilities: Search for occupations that involve animals, like a vet, zoologist, or wildlife conservationist. Utilize dependable resources like the Occupational Outlook Handbook (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/) and online research platforms to gather data on job prerequisites, salaries, and growth prospects.

Connect with Mentors and Professionals: Connect with individuals already working in your dream field, such as vets or animal trainers. They can offer valuable insights into their profession and guide you on how to enter the industry.

Engage in Internships and Volunteering: Acquire practical knowledge by taking part in internships or volunteering at animal shelters, wildlife recovery centers, or vet clinics. This direct experience will help you determine if your chosen career suits you.

Networking: Join career expos, conferences, and workshops related to your desired field. Networking with professionals can keep you updated about job vacancies, internships, and other opportunities.

Acquire Necessary Skills: Depending on your chosen career, you might need specific skills like animal handling, communication, or computer proficiency. Sign up for relevant courses or workshops to boost your skills and become more appealing to potential employers.

Set Realistic Expectations: Brace yourself for the challenges that come with working with animals, such as lengthy hours, emotional stress, and physical labor. Ensure that your chosen career aligns with your values and personal priorities.

Formulate a Plan of Action: Based on your research and self-contemplation, formulate a step-by-step plan to achieve your goals. This might include finishing high school, pursuing higher education, or obtaining certifications.

By adhering to these steps, you can discover a career that's right for you and aligns with your love for animals.

Authoritative Reference Titles:

Occupational Outlook Handbook: An all-encompassing guide to various careers, including job descriptions, education and training requirements, and employment outlook.

The Animal Connection: Linking People, Animals, and the Environment: This book by David M. Gussak delves into the relationships between humans and animals and provides insights into animal-related careers.

Careers with Animals: From Zoos to Sanctuaries: Authored by Kimberley Peyton, this book provides a detailed view of different animal-related careers, including job responsibilities, educational requirements, and salary expectations.

Don't forget to check out my autobiography section about James which outlines which foods are the sources of the nutrients that boost academic performance and physical stamina. Thanks for READING.

GOD BLESS,
JAMES.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. I am glad to hear that you like animals.
Below are my suggestions:
1. Would you like to be veterinarian, zoologist, running a pet shop, zoo keeper, park ranger,etc. You can find out more animal related careers online.
2. Find out more on these careers and determine what you have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek guidance from your mentor, school career counselor, your parents, etc
4. Shortlist 1-2 careers you would like to pursue
5. Explore the entry criteria of relevant subjects in the college
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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