Many good and experienced trainers are looking for jobs at the moment, many of them comment to me about their worries and frustration. They keep asking why, with all our experience, we cannot return to an animal trainer position.
Many professional trainers with excellent experience, good human qualities and team players, are very worried about their future. They either struggle to find a job, or when they do, they often do not seem to progress too far and seem to be the first to be laid off work
It is normal for trainers to feel confused and to ask themselves what they are doing wrong. This situation makes these trainers feel insecure about their abilities and skills.
I would like to suggest why this often happens, to help explain that it is not any fault of the trainer and to encourage trainers to keep positive and retain their dreams of furthering the career they love.
Here are some important observations to remember;
- Some companies have little regard for quality and are happy to employ trainers who just do the minimum to get the job done. Much of what a good trainer can add, may not be appreciated by a new employer, so be patient and you may be able to eventually show how the extra care you take, is beneficial to them.
- Remember companies hire trainers who will easily follow the system they have in place, so you will need to fit in. In time you may be able to suggest better ways of working, but this may not always be possible.
- Where new Management comes in, a new company may bring their own trainers in or train new ones, so they retain their way of doing things, rather than have existing trainers, who may be reluctant to change to a new way of working.
- You may get offered a job but the pay is much lower than you should be rewarded for your experience. Employers will always try to keep pay down if they can, consider the market at the time and the supply, you may need to the take a job and try to better your position in time, if you can.
We know these things are not fair, but this is a very competitive environment and you must learn to ride the wave in difficult times. Do not get disheartened with yourself, do not take it personal, it just the way business works. You just need to find out what works for you and find a way to go around any problem. You are a trainer; you solve problems not give in to them. Learn about the environment and adapt your behaviour to suit the business world you are wishing to operate in.
My advice at this difficult time;
- Do to the Covid-19 virus, most jobs opportunities are frozen at the moment, many companies have laid off a big percentage of their staff, consequently you need to be patient, now more than ever.
- During this crisis, use your time wisely, take every opportunity to study and increase your knowledge as much as you can, that way you will be more prepared, more effective and provide a better prospect for employers, when you seek your next opportunity.
- Stay positive and ambitious, there will be opportunities in the future, make sure you are ready for them and stay alert to where and when they may arise.
- Stay connected, we can help each other, sharing knowledge, experience, help and guidance as well as passing alerts for new jobs. We all need support, especially now, those in work can help alert others when new jobs arise, those out of work can give support to others in their position and those who can teach, can offer courses and mentoring, to improve the chances of trainers whatever their situation.
Finally, remember who you are, as trainers you already possess the skills to modify behaviour in animals, use your skills to control your behaviour and encourage through positive reinforcement, your path through this difficult time. Remember and celebrate your own ability, be creative, be patient and above all stay positive.