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5 Personality Traits For Working With Animals

Find out if you are the right fit

Goofy dog laying on grass

Have you ever met someone who, as a child, dreamed of becoming a veterinarian? Probably, yes. Perhaps you, yourself, have already felt that caring for pets was your calling. Why is that? Possibly, because the desire to care and protect those who are most vulnerable is an instinctive feeling, and following that calling leads to a great sense of well-being and fulfillment.



Fortunately, modern times offer numerous varied options for those who love animals and want to turn that into a career.

Despite their different jobs, at some point in their career, all of these individuals will encounter similar situations, and it is in those moments that their common traits and their love for pets will manifest themselves.

5 Personality Traits

Regardless of their professional background or field of work, five fundamental characteristics are shared by those whose calling involves working with animals.

Creativity

Creativity is within all of us, ready to come out and provide innovative solutions once we are able to unleash our imagination and overcome mental barriers. In his book “The Creative Spirit”, Daniel Goleman advances that creativity is what ignites the desire to explore new ways of doing things and to turn our dreams into reality. Working with animals requires a creative approach to understand them and communicate beyond words.

Thinking outside the box is a plus when the goal is to find ways of rescuing animals in need, helping them heal, or making them and their families happier. Creative people have expanded the business opportunities in the pet industry by creating new products and services as well as the career possibilities for those interested in working with animal.

Creativity-fueled business innovation contributed to the diversification that the pet industry experiences today, allowing animal lovers to find a job relevant to their interests and passions. Finding new ways of doing things enabled the use of technology to provide online training and vocational education. So, people interested in working with animals can easily access hands-on learning to start a business or gain experience before entering the market.

Dog Lovers Wanted

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand others’ feelings and is a trait characteristic of emotionally intelligent individuals. 

An empathic person will be better equipped to sense animals’ stress, pain, or fear and use the power of compassion to find ways to calm them down and make them feel safe. 

Working with animals demands being able to interact with both animals and people while understanding their feelings and doing one’s best to help them feel comfortable. Patience is an essential tool when pets do not behave as desired. Given those inevitable situations, the ability to remain calm and radiate tranquility is vital. Click To Tweet

Empathy is directly related to the interpersonal skills that are key for building successful relationships with pet owners.  

Pets are family. People care deeply about their animal companions, so it is crucial to ensure pets and pet owners have a positive experience when working in the pet industry. Most dog lovers are empathetic and patient, so they can sense emotions, show respect for animals’ feelings and needs while being supportive and offering their four-legged friends peace of mind.

Love

Having an intuitive sense of other people’s emotions is what drives some to help others. Exercising compassion, being altruistic, caring for those in need, helping heal the ill, and offering solutions are simply ways of serving and showing love.

Dog lovers understand this well, given that our four-legged friends continuously show us that we are valuable and loved. In every wag of their tails, they reminds us our value, showing us appreciation and the power of unconditional love. So, working with animals demands not only love and respect for all beings, including their humans, but also an appreciation for our ability to make things better.

Their love for animals is what drives people to choose a career in the pet industry. However, this is also present every time people advocate, support, volunteer, and work to make the world a better place. By caring for animals, humans exercise our essential role as guardians of the entirety of creation, able to appreciate its beauty, and show respect for all creatures. Click To Tweet

This understanding gives a sense of purpose that makes people passionate about a career in the pet industry and explains why “love for animals” is the most important skill in a CV to get a job in this field. Employers know very well the effect that love, passion and meaningful work can have in employee loyalty and retention. Therefore, they are turning to soft skills such as work ethic and leaning abilities as requirements for getting a job.

So, the next time you see a dog walker battling through the pouring rain with a big smile on their face, you can understand what makes their work purposeful and why working with animals always pays off.

Why Working With Animals Always Pays Off

Communication Skills

Empathy is also directly linked to the ability to communicate and build successful interpersonal relationships. An empathetic person can attune to others emotions, connect with others and communicate through nonverbal actions to rapport.

Working with animals requires good communication skills, as they affect one’s ability to establish a connections to create a bond with the animal while interacting with their human counterpart. Nonverbal signals are part of any communication, recognize that signals and act accordingly are key when interacting with animals since body language is their way of expressing emotions.   

Even though the primary attention is on animals any job will demand the ability to communicate with people. Wether to ensure pet owners that their beloved pet is in good hands with you or interacting with collaborator and partners, good interpersonal skills are essential to success in the pet industry.  

Pet owners relay in products, professionals and business that understand their needs and address their concerns by providing animal care information and are always willing to answer their questions. 

Growth Mindset

Cats and dogs continue to be the preferred pets when looking to add a new member to the family. Moreover, the canine population includes not only pets, but also service dogs and working dogs. So, it is safe to assume that the care and services that these furry friends will require will continue to become increasingly complex and specialized. Consequently, satisfying the needs of an increasingly diverse clientele will require a wide variety of talents, training and skills from those offering these services.

The “growth mindset” is a concept coined by Carol Dweck, a researcher who studied the behavior of children when facing failure. The study concluded that a person’s underlying beliefs about learning can be categorized into “growth mindset” or “fixed mindset”, and that those with a growth mindset tend to achieve more than those with a fixed mindset.

People with a growth mindset believe their they talents can be developed with a good plan as well as dedication and hard work. They see challenges as opportunities for growth and are always looking to improve their skills. Those with a fixed mindset, on the other hand, feel that mistakes bring out their weaknesses, have a hard time receiving feedback from others, and therefore get discouraged from taking on new challenges.

A growth mindset is a trait can be found in “lifelong learners”, who believe they can always grow and expand their brain’s capacity to learn and solve complex problems. They are adaptable to change and embrace continuous improvement.

Following The Trail To Happiness

Regardless of whether you want to work for a private company, a non-for-profit organization, or be your own boss, this trait makes you a valuable asset to any pet-related project, independent of your experience, age, or technical preparation.

Having these five characteristics is important, but above all, you need to be driven to succeed and eager for a fresh start to the rest of your life. And if the satisfaction of completing a course, launching a business or great job prospects isn’t enough motivation, think about the dog kisses and cat nuzzles you’ll get when they say “thank you”.

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