How to get a career in wildlife conservation | Land your dream animal job! (5 step guide)
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How to get a career in wildlife conservation | Land your dream animal job! (5 step guide)

February 25, 2020

Want to work with wildlife, but
you’ve got no idea where to start? Watch this video for a quick step-by-step
guide. Hi, welcome to Diary of a Tentwife. For videos on careers and behind the scenes
of working in conservation, subscribe to this channel, and click that bell notification
to see new videos every Sunday. If you want to work with wildlife or in conservation
and you have no idea where to start, by the end of this video, you should be able to have
some tips to get you closer to your dream job. These are things that worked for me, so why
not for you? My first tip is to start volunteering
as early as you can. I’ve chatted about volunteering in another
video, which I’ll link below. But this is really looking at volunteering
locally. Especially if you have an idea of what you
want to do when you’re younger, this is the perfect thing to do when you’re 16, 17, 18
… just got out of school, volunteering in your local area with a humane shelter, a rehab
clinic, a zoo, a beach cleanup, countryside clean up. Anything that will help you get in some kind
of conservation organization experience, or on their radar. You might feel that you want to
research lions in Kenya, for example. You might not see how starting in, say, volunteering
in the RSPCA will help you. But it will. It really will help you. I would say don’t be so restricted of what
you want to do when you’re older. Just volunteer anywhere that you can get a
chance to volunteer. It will get you a foot in the door. It will get you onto your next volunteering
task, or your next volunteering project, which might then get you closer. And remember, this is looking at before you’re
kind of studying. It’s just getting a bit of experience and
a bit of exposure to the conservation world. For this, I would suggest you
look up organizations in your area. It can be quite hard to find volunteering
positions on kind of search engine websites. Although at, there are
a few on there. For this kind of volunteering, I would suggest
you actually look at the organizations in your area. Go onto their website, onto their social media,
and just see if they’ve got any opportunities. If not, just write to them. At least get on their radar. They might have something that comes up, especially
on your school holidays, in the summer that they might then contact you and say, “Would
you like to come and help?” Even a couple of days would be very useful. And then you might end up having a regular,
say, Saturday helping out. Second thing is looking into courses. There are loads and loads of courses in the
UK related to conservation, working with wildlife, working with animals. I won’t list them all. Conservation Biology, Ecology, Animal Behavior,
that BSC level. It’s generally Zoology, and then specializes
in Animal Behavior, Wildlife Conservation, Ecology and Wildlife Conservation, … general
kind of Biology, broad degrees. There are so many. I actually looked up the courses that are
currently on offer yesterday, and I’ll list these either below in the description or a
separate PDF document maybe with the links to what universities. But there are a huge amount of courses and
they all vary slightly. They have a lot of overlapping between them,
so it’s looking at what might be best for you. Some of the courses I came across
are very, very specific. Like, Marine Biology or Marine Zoology … Zoology
and Entomology. So, insects, or Aquaculture and Fisheries. I think I saw one BSc was … That’s fine
if you know exactly what you want to do. But I would suggest if you aren’t sure what
you want to do, go for a broader degree like Ecology or Biology, just to get you to kind
of experience different aspects of it and find out where you want to go. These courses are from searching
in the UK. That’s kind of my experience. I’m not sure about other countries. I presume especially in America they would
be very, very similar courses. In the UK as well, there are a number of courses
that have kind of a sandwich year, a gap year in between them, or they’ve got a professional
placement, or kind of an extended research project in a setting, even at BSc level. I would really, really recommend doing a course
like that actually gets you exposure to conservation organizations nearby or even far just so you’re
actually getting some practical experience. Because as I’ve said in other videos, just
having your degree is not enough nowadays. You need to get experience and you need to
get your foot in the door. So, it’s perfect if you can actually do this
while you are studying. There are also other courses like
Wildlife Education, Media, Natural History Media. I will actually do another video, I think,
that’s looking at ways to get into conservation without a science background. Because I think people don’t realize that
there are actually quite a few ways to work in the conservation setting and get exposure
to animals and wildlife, and the environment, and working kind of in the field, where you
don’t have to be a scientist. There are many job roles. If it’s something you’re interested in, then
let me know in the comments below and I will make another video kind of outlining those
jobs as well. Ah! The sun is coming up. You might not need a graduate degree for what
you want to go into. If you want to get a bit more understanding
of that, then watch my video on “What is an ethologist?”. It kind of outlines things that you might
not need a degree for. I’ll link that into the video as well. There are also a lot of opportunities to do
kind of online or distance learning course if you want to kind of broaden your skills
while you’re already working. I haven’t done any online courses, but my
husband has done one through Compass in the UK, and I’ve got a former colleague who’s
done one through Animal Jobs, and they both say … Animal Jobs Direct, I think it is. I’ll link them both below. They both say good things, and
there seems to be a wide variety of courses that you can do. Again, some of them do have practical placements
in England, which I think is really, really good as well. Just have a good read through, see what it
covers, see who it’s accredited by, see if there’s any progression. Because some of them could be sort of a Foundation. And then if you get on well, and enjoy it,
and you think it’s worthwhile, then you can go on further and do kind of a higher one,
which is what Theo did. You should definitely do your homework before
you do any of them. A lot of them have … like, even online quick
chats. You can ask as many questions as you want
to. So, do your own research before you do any
of these. I mentioned while you’re doing
your course or while you’re studying at uni, getting experience is crucial. Getting even like a day or so, getting to
just have a taste of a conservation organization, exposure to them, a little bit of experience
is all really good for your CV. The more that you can do that while you’re
still at University, and you’ve not got a full time job and other pressures, then try
and get that done as quickly as possible. Okay. Sorry there’s a big shadow on my face. So, internships again … where I have looked
in the past has been Again, I’ll link below. But again, these can be really hard to search
for if you’re just kind of Googling them. A lot of pay-to-internship ones come up. Again, what I would suggest … especially
if you’re doing it locally, is just find the organizations themselves. Go to their website, look in their career
opportunities or job vacancies. Look in those sections. Again, if they don’t have them, send them
your CV. Get on their radar. See even if they have an open day, or they’re
organizing a beach cleanup day, or something that you can go and take part of, and actually
chat to someone face-to-face. Just go and do that. Again, get your foot in the door. It’s all about making connections. So, go to the websites like RSPB, WWF, Flora
and Fauna. There are so many. Again, I’ll link them below. So, you build connections where
you would want to work one day, or where they have … a lot of organizations in the UK
have projects that they support all over the world. I’ll give an example of one of our donors. The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, the
DSWF, they have their main offices in the UK. They have volunteers in the UK, but they support
organizations like ours all over the world. We’ve had people who were past volunteers
there that have become so kind of invested in the projects that they’ve come out to visit,
and then it’s kind of gone on from there. Look at organizations. You might not think you want to volunteer
or stay in the UK, but look at what connections they have in other countries. Okay. After you’ve got some experience, you’ve got
your courses down, then you need to really look at your CV. The biggest tip I would say with CVs is not
to use kind of vague words. You need to have evidence, and your experience
needs to demonstrate why you’re using these words for yourself. So, there’s no point saying I’m passionate
and I care about wildlife. It’s been a joke between me and a couple of
people I work with that the more “passionate”s we read in the cover letter, the less likely
we are of actually employing that person. Because you need to show straight away … demonstrate
why you’re passionate. Don’t just say you’re passionate. Demonstrate what you have done. You’ve spent however many days cleaning beaches,
you’ve picked up this amount of litter, you’ve gone for this, you’ve raised money for this
organization. Just always give evidence to why you are describing
yourself in the way that you are. Put any fieldwork experience,
any research experience, anything that you’ve done with charities. As I’ve said in a number of videos, your soft
skills, anything like that that you’ve done, put it in there. Really research the organization well that
you are intending to apply for. Clearly pick out things from their job description,
and show them quite prominently in your cover letter and in your CV. Some important qualities for working
in conservation: problem solving, communication skills, critical thinking skills, emotional
stamina. It’s really, really important if you’re working
with animals that you don’t get over emotional and upset, because you are going to experience
dying animals, sick animals, very upsetting circumstances. If you’re working in an environment where
there’s poaching around, there will be things that you’re exposed to. You will have to kind of demonstrate that
you are kind of not mature, but that you’re not easily kind of upset or flustered by things. That you’ve got a very kind of down-to-earth
thinking, and a very practical way of the bigger picture. I know that can be hard, but it is something
that you will have to develop when you’re working with animals. To have good interpersonal skills,
good outdoor skills. So, that’s something you can even demonstrate
from when you were younger. If you did ‘DofE’ Duke of Edinburgh Award,
if you’re keen to get out there. Did you go camping lot when you were younger? Did you do a lot of kind of mountain walking
or hikes? Anything that shows that you’re kind of keen
on the outdoors. If you can put that in your hobbies section,
and you show that you are kind of … you look like you would cope in that kind of a
remote environment, that would be really, really good. I might do another video, a more
in-depth video on CVs. Let me know below if that’s something you’re
interested in. Write, “Yes, CVs please,” in the comments. So, what jobs do people do in conservation? Again, this is from my experience. So, kind of UK, Zambia, South Africa. Work as obviously the Ethologist, the wildlife
researchers. They work in rehab clinics, animal shelters,
wildlife rescue, working for animal related charities, NGOs like myself, working as a
vet, working in zoo’s, being a game warden, being a marine biologist, wildlife officer,
and ecologists. There are a huge amount of jobs that studying
wildlife, studying conservation can get you into … both locally in England, which surprises
a lot of people, I think, and abroad. So, where should you look for
employment opportunities? Again, talking from a UK perspective, I find
that … this is not sponsored by them, but it sounds like it is. But it is generally what I’ve used in the
past, and I still get weekly emails or updates from them as to what jobs are sort of related
to my field. I obviously haven’t been looking for a job
for the last kind of five years, but I still get them, because I still feel like it’s interesting
to know kind of what’s out there. It’s interesting to see how jobs in the UK
especially get paid a lot more … Ecologists, there have been some very high paying jobs
in ecology that I’ve seen. I must have gone down the wrong career path
for making money. It’s easier to look for jobs in
general search engines, I think, than it is for volunteering and internship opportunities. Again, it’s good to go on their actual websites. Even if they don’t have jobs, just kind of
keep them on your favorites tab and have a look every now and again, get alerts on from
their social media. A lot of smaller NGOs like us at GRI, when
we advertise jobs, they actually go on our website and on our social media. We don’t tend to put them on job sites, because
they actually cost quite a lot of money to put jobs on there. It’s just something that we … we’ve got
better things to spend money on. We’ve got quite a good social media following,
so we kind of hope that we can get exposure to enough people that way. I would say don’t always rely
on the job sites and job searches. Really get a clear understanding of the organizations
that are out there. Do a bit of homework, get a list together
of them. And routinely … like, even once a week,
or once every couple of weeks, just check them and see what’s going on. You never know. And write to them directly, ask them to keep
your CV on file. It’s happened to us lots of times. Even before advertising a job, we’ve already
kind of received a few CVs for other positions, or just generally that we would kind of contact
them and say, “This job is being advertised. You might find it suitable for you. Please do apply.” Obviously, a lot of organizations
might not have time for that. Don’t be afraid to kind of … don’t pester
people, but don’t be afraid to kind of send your CV and just outline in your email. Best to put a few sentences, kind of your
hook of your employability in the actual email. Because people are busy. They might not have time to open your CV,
but it might be enough just to read a little bit about you to then put you into kind of
a file that they will then remember you, and possibly contact you in the future. Again, I’ll link to some of these
organizations below. That’s it. I will do maybe longer videos on some of these
aspects. If you’re interested in hearing about it,
just let me know. If you like this video, please let me know
by hitting that like button below. Hit subscribe, and share it with anyone who
you think would find it useful. I think that’s it. Okay. Thanks. Bye. Lisa: 16:19 Oh. Davidson better not be driving in here. “Davison: Knock Knock Mr. Theo!” Davidson, You’re messing up my video! Hold on. “Davison: Morning first of all”, “Lisa: morning!”
“Davison: I am going for firewood!” “Lisa: Your going for firewood? Okay. Bye bye!”. Haha, It’s Sunday firewood day.

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  1. I'd be appreciate if you make a video about job roles that you mentioned at 5:25 . Just discovered your channel and love it!❤️

  2. Hi there, Another great video – thank you 
    United for Wildlife used to have some great online courses for those wishing to develop their interest. There was a certificate at the end, although not a recognisable qualification. 
    They have now moved to @t anyone wish to expand their knowledge

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