Careers: The Truth about Cats and Dogs - Let Your Pet Choose Your Job; Forget Star Signs, It's What You Walk, Feed and COO at That Reveals the Ideal Career for You. No, We're Not Barking Up the Wrong Tree. New Research Presented at the International Conference on Human Animal Interactions Shows Your Pet Could Be the Biggest Clue to Your Purrfect Job

Article excerpt

Byline: Text by Nathalie Gibbins.

CAT PEOPLE Just like their feline friends, cat lovers have a strong competitive edge and aren't too concerned about trampling on others to get what they want. They're not very social (could a lack of friends be to blame?), preferring nights curled up at home to going out on the tiles (owner of the Bacardi Breezer cat excluded). Cat lovers are ambitious and assertive - no pussy-footing around here - and their love of beauty means they're creative and interested in the arts. They don't lack confidence and can look down on those who do (a case of the cat's whiskers versus the proverbial dog's dinner), but their sense of adventure makes them exciting company. They're also reliable - something their moggy mates definitely aren't.

Pet-tastic career: `People with these traits are often highly strung and a bit unstable, which gives them their drive,' says Professor Ivan Robertson, occupational psychologist from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. `Performing arts would be ideal, providing competition and creativity but not too much social interaction. Consultancy work would satisfy their ambition and need for change, as would any entrepreneurial role, such as running their own business.' Creative and autonomous jobs, such as writing, painting or graphic design, would also suit cat lovers.

Career pet-astrophe: Anything that involves caring or dealing with the public - retail, nursing or counselling, for example. `Their competitive edge is a disaster in bureaucratic jobs such as tax collecting or supportive roles where they couldn't be in the limelight,' says business psychologist Dr David Pendleton, director of the Edgecumbe Consulting Group.

THE RAT PACK In terms of career, being a rat owner does you no favours. According to the research, this minority group are dissatisfied with their status, struggle in relationships and are altogether rather complicated. They keep people at a distance and have an unconscious need for power, influence and status, which is unlikely ever to be realised due to their poor communication and lack of people skills. Oh dear.

Pet-tastic career: `The only suitable role for this group is IT, where poor communication and people skills seem to be a qualification for the job!' says Professor Robertson.

Career pet-astrophe: `Most jobs. Although this type of person is forever striving to do well, their lack of focus means they never actually get anywhere,' says Dr Pendleton. …