Key to Success: Own a Dog

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) — When it comes to pets, chances are you identify yourself as either a cat person or a dog person. While some might argue that the identification says a lot about a person’s character, what does it mean for your career path?

CareerBuilder.com, with the help of Harris Interactive, set out to answer this question by asking more than 2,300 workers with pets about things like their salary, position and job satisfaction.

The differences between cat and dog owners are not as stark as fans of either may hope, but in relation to those who keep other animals as pets, some interesting findings emerged.

So, who’s the most successful? Dog owners, apparently. Masters of man’s best friend were more likely to hold senior management positions (CEO, CFO, senior vice president, etc.) than other workers.

And as for the richest, according to the survey, people with snakes and reptiles were “most likely to report earning six figures.”

The happiest, surprisingly, were those who believe in keeping birds in cages. These owners were “the most likely to report being satisfied with their jobs.”

Beyond these key findings, the survey came up with statistically-significant likelihoods of different pet owners holding certain types of jobs, and the picture is nuanced at best.

For example, medical professions appear to be dominated by cat lovers: They were found more likely than other pet owners to be physicians, lab technicians and personal caretakers. At the same time, though, the nursing profession is dominated by dog owners.

And beware of the stereotypes that you may attach to certain pet owners, as some are debunked by the survey. You may think that snake-lover you met at a party must be a weirdo tech guy, but it turns out that dog owners are the most likely to be information technology (IT) professionals, while the most likely careers of snake and reptile owners are engineer, social worker, editor, writer, police officer and marketing or public relations professional.

Now, how about people who actually work with animals? It turns out fish owners are more likely than any others to work as farming, fishing or forestry professionals.

Harris conducted the survey of workers with full-time jobs between Aug. 17 and Sept. 22, so there are no conclusions here about the pet choices of part-timers or those who happen to be between jobs. But just as recession has been hard on American workers, so has it been on pets, which have increasingly been abandoned by owners in financial difficulty.

Before you rush out and buy a snake though, remember that owning a pet sometimes leads to stressful situations that can easily affect one’s performance at work. Take a look at these 14 appalling pet stories for a look at what might be in store.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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