Skip to Content

AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Need Advice: Trouble getting into desired field

Hello everyone. This may be long, sorry in advance.

My name is Kimberly, I'm 34, from Maryland, and now live in North Carolina. I am legally blind, and partially deaf. I have always loved animals, and being around them, and would love to find a job working with them in some way. When I lived in Maryland, I worked at a boarding kennel that also did daycare, vet, and grooming services.

I was never given the chance to try my hand at different jobs, so remained a kennel tech for almost nine years, but still enjoyed most aspects of the work. There was also a clique-y environment, but I tried my best to get along with everyone. I was fired in April 2011 when I put two dogs who were from the same household in an outside pen, and they mated. Us Kennel Techs had always put same household dogs outside together, unless told otherwise. There was no notes on the female's card saying she was possibly in heat. A few weeks after my firing, the owner and general manager of the company told me that I could tell future employers that I voluntarily resigned to try to find work in my field of study, cyber security.

Since then, I have not been able to get another job working with animals. I interviewed with a kennel, and a vet in MD, and a MD PetSmart, and didn't get a job at either place. I only found a job at a local grocery store. When I moved to North Carolina in November 2013, I used the services of a Vocational Counselor for the Blind. While I submitted applications to three vet and two kennels, I never got called for interviews. The only place that interviewed and hired me is the grocery store I'm working at now. I applied to those same places without going through VR two years later, and still never got called for interviews.

I have heard of prospective employers calling previous employers before they interviewed candidates. I have also heard that while a former employer will let someone voluntarily resign, they go on to bad mouth the former employee. Is there anything I can do? Are there ways for me to find out what my former manager has been saying about me? Thank you.

There are currently 2 replies

Sort Replies Oldest to Newest

Re: Need Advice: Trouble getting into desired field

Hi Kimberly, I agree with Shannon, if there is a Humane Society or animal shelter in your aria contact them and ask about volunteering there. I have heard of other people with disabilities volunteering at animal shelters so I don't see why it would be a problem. As far as your previous employer talk to them, maybe they can give you some answers. If you do get an animal-related career would you consider becoming a registered mentor for other job seekers? Maybe contact AFB and see what they have to say. My dream is to become a dog groomer even though people don't think that I can do it. Keep us posted, good luck! Take care,

Re: Need Advice: Trouble getting into desired field

I am sorry to hear about your frustrating, disheartening situation. I think if I was you I would consider contacting your former employer and asking for constructive criticism; if you hear only positive comments, ask for the feedback in writing and submit the glowing report to future potential employers. If you receive critiques, thank him for the honest feedback and take personal time to address the issues and concerns. Perhaps there are skills to be learned. Furthermore, I would recommend volunteering in a vet office or pet rescue clinic. Oftentimes getting a job requires getting your foot in the door through volunteering and establish relationships with those who work at the facility. I hope this helps.

Keep us posted!

Log in to Post a Reply