How I Made It

Cady Shaw, Dog Rescuer

FLARE #HowIMadeIt celebrates 100+ talented, ambitious and driven Canadian women with cool jobs. Want what Cady has? Here's how she did it

How I Made It Community Builders Cady Shaw smiles at camera holding a puppyCady Shaw; @ccrezqsregina; Regina

Let’s say we’ve just met at a cocktail party. How would you describe, in a nutshell, what you do?

I’m a full-time waitress/bartender looking for a different job, and also a full-time dog rescuer at CC RezQs.

Where did you go to school and what did you study?

I graduated from high school in 2009 and have yet to find the drive to enroll in post-secondary education.

What was your first paying gig out of school? (In your field, or not.)

I started working at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum as a program planner when I was 16. I also waitressed on the side.

What was your BIG break? How did you land it?

My co-founder Caillin Rodonets and I were looking to find a home for the first dog we had rescued, Lady, plus a few others. We posted on Facebook, and through those posts, a local news station heard about us and asked to do an interview. Once one station released a story, the newspaper, radio and other TV stations requested interviews as well. After that we were on our feet and running!

Describe the moment in which you first realized, I think this is actually going to work out?

It was when our Facebook page reached 1,000 likes and was gaining constantly. I was like, “Oh man, people are starting to know who we are!” 

What would you say has been your biggest failure or shortcoming, career-wise, to date? How did you bounce back?

The fact that I don’t feel settled into anything I’m doing outside the rescue is my constant shortcoming. It’s almost like feeling completely uncomfortable all the time, as I feel like my potential isn’t being met. But I don’t have the motivation or confidence to search for my career-to-be. These feelings of uncertainty sometimes bleed into my rescue dedication and they are difficult to shake off, but talking with my rescue partners or even breezing through photos of the animals we have saved usually pumps me back up. It reminds me that I am already serving a purpose and that there is no rush to start a new chapter of my life. 

Name one piece of career advice you always give.

Make sure to always put yourself first. Pay most attention to your mental health and do everything you can to keep yourself happy before you do anything else for others. Ask for help when you need it. 

What’s the worst career advice you’ve ever gotten?

“Just do it for the money.” 

Did you deal with barriers in your field because you are a woman? If so, what were they?

The field of animal rescue is actually predominantly women, so I haven’t come across any discrimination. 

Are you making a fair income for your work? Why or why not? Do you have a side hustle for extra cash? If so, what is it?

We are 100 percent volunteer-run. I would love for CC RezQs to be a large enough business one day for us all to earn an income, but that day is not soon. I am confident we are moving in the right direction, however! In the meantime, it’s full time jobs on the “side.” 

What’s the worst stereotype you’ve heard about millennials at work?

That we don’t work hard enough and we have it “easy” compared to past generations. The economy, housing market, cost of education, wages, taxes, et cetera? The statistics speak for themselves.

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