I was laid off from my career in October of 2008. I had been employed by the newspaper industry in some form or another for almost 35 years. Since being laid off, despite the bad economy, I have not been without a job. In fact, for a while I held two jobs; a full time one and a part-time one just to make ends meet.
Through all these jobs, I have continued to look for a job within the animal welfare community so I could do what I love to do and get paid for it. I did have a couple of jobs working in kennels and although I loved working with the dogs, I am simply too old to do that kind of work for minimum wage. I have too many responsibilities to meet each month.
When I first began applying to organizations, I actually had several phone interviews and one in-person interview out of state. It was an Executive Director position with a small no-kill in North Carolina. According to the board president, I had the job, but then a local candidate applied at the last minute. She had the local connections I lacked in the area and she was hired.
It is hard to convey in a resume, the life experience which would make a good director or manager of a shelter. It doesn't matter how much you have, if you cannot translate that on paper.
The last job I applied for within animal welfare, I was told I had a great resume with all kinds of animal experience. The one thing I didn't have was a degree in Animal Welfare Management. So once again, another opportunity was lost.
I have come to the conclusion I was not meant to work within this field. I have a degree. I am an excellent writer and PR person. I have extensive budgeting and management experience. I am smart and can learn anything quickly. I am passionate about animals and where the field is going. But I can't get a job within the field.
Leaving the state of Florida is not an option at this point. I have traveled extensively during my life and unless you can plop me down in the city of San Francisco making enough money to live there, or transport me to the western slope of the Colorado Rockies (Glenwood Springs is nice) for a part time , in the summer job, Florida is where I want to be. My family goes back seven generations in the state and I love living here. I don't need lots of money, just enough to live and take care of my dogs.
So I will keep working where I do, volunteering where I do, and trying to share the animals with the public when I can. But, should you happen to hear of any jobs within the state where the organization is looking for a person like me, please send me the information.The dream is still there, just not the reality.