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Charity, Not-for-profit & NGO careers


Why animal charities?

If you see yourself as something of a Dr Dolittle, or better still, the next Bill Oddie, then there are literally thousands of job routes you can choose from. It’s a popular belief of many Hollywood directors that working with animals or children isn’t worth the bother, but they weren’t talking about charity work (and they clearly haven’t seen the 1992 hit American comedy, Beethoven).

What skills do I need to work with an animal charity?

This line of work is for the animal lovers out there. Sure, some people dedicate their time to causes which help young people, cancer sufferers or the environment, but animals need help too. People who work in this area of the charity sector are the people that rescue abandoned puppies, implement policies to crackdown on animal cruelty and generally provide care for injured animals. Ever heard of the RSPCA? Like their style? Keep reading.

Before deciding which avenue you want to pursue, it’s imperative that you have a genuine love for animals. This is essential for any career path you follow in this subsector. There’s no point in becoming an animal care assistant if you can’t stand the sight or smell of them.

Although job roles can vary, there are certain personal skills required across all the careers in this area. You’ll find that having a certain degree of patience, confidence and politeness will get you far. The essential technical skills required are dependent entirely on the specific job role.

How can I get started with animal charity work?

If you want to work on the care side of animal charity work, an ace starting point is to become an animal care assistant. You’ll be providing hands-on care for animals whilst they stay in your organisation’s facilities, making sure they are comfortable, clean, well-fed and safe. You could be supporting any kind of animal, from cats and dogs, to gerbils, hamsters and monkeys. If you stick at it, you might even get promoted into an animal care manager position.

The RSPCA also employs officers and inspectors who work to enforce animal cruelty laws and policies. These guys are the front-line staff that work towards the ultimate aim of thwarting cruelty and promoting kindness to Britain’s vast menagerie of creatures.

You could even work as an animal rehoming officer on behalf of animal rescue centres and be responsible for finding new homes for neglected, abused and abandoned animals. These roles may even require a good knowledge of social networking and other innovative ways of interacting with potential owners.

Animal charities, such as the RSPCA and the PDSA, offer the whole range of charity careers. You could use your marketing skills and get involved with the campaigning, communications and marketing side of things. You could use your organisational talents and take on an administrative role. You could kick off by getting involved as a volunteer, before moving into a volunteer coordinator position. Alternatively, you could use your research skills to help influence policies on animal health and welfare.

Volunteer work is an especially great way of getting onto the animal charity career ladder. It’s also a good way to display that you’re motivated by passion for helping animals.

Are you a fan of the fluffier species in life? Do you spend your evenings watching Animal Planet? Does the thought of the animal cruelty send you barking mad? If the answers to these questions are ‘yes’ then you might well be purr-fect for a career working with animals!

For those of you who wish to become the people that patch-up our small friends, check out the Veterinary Sciences subsector here.

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