For many professionals, pursuing a change at the height of their career can be a bit daunting, especially when it’s a completely different field. Erin Stokes dove right in, and went from being a probation officer for more than 20 years, to a receptionist at McAfee Animal Hospital (MAH). It was a dream come true.
“I just wanted something that I was happy to be doing every day. Money isn’t the most important thing, but happiness is,” Stokes said. “Just like with anything you’ve done for a long time, you can feel like you’re stuck in a rut and that you need to change it up.”
Stokes’ advice to anyone wanting to make a career change is simple: listen to your heart when it comes to what will make you most happy.
“This was something I wanted to do for a while, but I was scared and felt comfortable where I was at. After I retired, I took about a month off of work trying to figure out what I wanted to do,” Stoke said. “I was thinking about what kind of job would make me happy, and then I thought to myself, ‘Well, I love animals.’”
She started researching various animal hospitals around Northwest Indiana. She applied at a few, but her heart landed quickly at McAfee Animal Hospital.
“McAfee was the first animal hospital I interviewed with, and I immediately knew this was the place I wanted to work,” she said. “It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
Since joining the MAH team in May 2019, Stokes has taken every chance to learn about the business and conquer more difficult tasks with stride.
“Now, when people ask me what I do for a living, I say ‘I love it.’ It’s very much a job that can be stressful at times, fast-paced, but it’s rewarding, and I love the people I work with,” Stokes said. “I think that what MAH does every single day to help animals is just amazing. Plus, how can you not have a good time when you look at all these sweet faces every day?”
This is her first job in the vet industry.
“I worked in law enforcement, and I’ve never worked at a doctor’s office let alone an animal hospital,” she said. “I knew nothing and everyone here has been really helpful in the on-the-job training.”
When Stokes first started her training at the front desk, she admits learning how to juggle all the aspects of being a receptionist at MAH was going to tricky, but she was ready to embrace this new opportunity.
“The woman I was shadowing was talking to someone on the phone and answering all their questions about how to help their animal and having to greet and check-in patients, and I was worried I wasn’t going to catch on, but you just do. I learned so much in a short amount of time,” Stokes said.
For more information on McAfee Animal Hospital, visit their website or call (219)-462-5901.