Bobbie Baeder and the Rockaway Animal Clinic
Some people pick one career and stick with it until retirement. To say New Jersey native, Bobbie Baeder, took a different approach to her career is an understatement. So, how did Bobbie go from corporate America to running an animal clinic? Well, her journey is an interesting one!
“I grew up in a generation where women were basically nurses, teachers, airline stewardesses, or secretaries,” said Bobbie. “I knew I didn’t want to become a teacher or a nurse, so I went to junior college and ended up working as a secretary.”
Bobbie got married, had children, and worked part time as an office manager for a medical dictation service. She and her family then moved to western Pennsylvania where there were no jobs. So, Bobbie decided to become a Mary Kay sales woman. She worked her way up to “red jacket” status and recruited six people to her “sales force.”
“I loved sales and educating women on how to properly care for their skin,” said Bobbie. “I was also in awe of the women who became directors and of their poise and professionalism when speaking to huge crowds at Mary Kay’s annual meetings.” Bobbie also said she was inspired by many of the women who came into the Mary Kay business with no college education and some with no formal business training.
When she and her family moved again, building a new client base for her Mary Kay business just didn’t appeal to her, so it was on to something new!
“I had always wanted to be a realtor, so I did that for the next five years,” said Bobbie. “My next career adventure was going into business with my husband. We opened a recruiting franchise in Lehigh Valley.”
Due to a poor economy and some other factors that business was short lived, and unfortunately the loss of the business led to the loss of her marriage.
“I then moved with my kids to Bergen County, NJ and began a career with Dean Witter Reynolds at the World Trade Center,” said Bobbie. “I got the job through a friend, and worked as the executive assistant to the director of sales.”
In 1993, Bobbie moved back to Pennsylvania so her daughter could go to high school with her childhood friends, but she still worked in New York City. She survived the bombing at the World Trade Center in 1993 and continued to work there until 1998–she then took a job at a subsidiary in Pennsylvania.
“After working for two more years for the national controller, I was offered a position as the executive assistant to the head of the legal division of MetLife Investment,” said Bobbie.
Bobbie worked in California until 2006, and she loved it! At that point, Bobbie (and her daughter) wanted to head back East to be closer to her sons. Bobbie’s daughter got a job in New Jersey, and Bobbie was offered a position back in New York. So, back to the East coast they went.
“Because of my 15 years experience with Morgan Stanley, I would have had to commute into the City every day for work, and I was no longer interested in busses, trains, or long car commutes,” said Bobbie. “So, I posted my resume online and within two days I was offered a job as the executive assistant to the legal division at MetLife.”
Bobbie’s career consisted of a series of good fortune, and the next good fortune Bobbie encountered was meeting a veterinarian who ran his own animal clinic. This man became her husband.
“My husband has owned Rockaway Animal Clinic for 35 years,” said Bobbie, who is now the office manager there. “I have always had pets and loved animals, so this is a perfect match!”
Bobbie says one of the more challenging aspects of her career has been learning new computer systems along the way. Bobbie adds that in her new career at the animal clinic, the most rewarding part is when a dog or cat is brought into the clinic really sick or injured and they are able to bring that pet back to a healthy condition–the pets (and the owners) are happy and the animal clinic staff are elated.
She and her husband have a total of eight children, six grandchildren, and 23 employees,–balancing everything is a challenge. But, Bobbie says positive people who are passionate about what they do and her love for learning new things is what inspires her to balance everything.
“My husband is actually the entrepreneur, and I’m very proud of the man and doctor he is,” said Bobbie. “Together our business is well rounded–our clients love him as he is very caring to all our ‘special friends’ and my background at Morgan Stanley in office management helps as I’m the office manager at the clinic.”
Although, according to Bobbie, people her age are already enjoying retirement, she and her husband have plans to grow their business.
Bobbie adds, “It has been quite a switch from swanky office to animal clinic, but I wouldn’t go back for anything!”
In keeping with Identity’s mission of ‘Accept, Appreciate, Achieve’ below are some questions, known as the Identity Five:
1. What have you accepted in your life that took time?
Bobbie: First, I had to accept the fact that I had to get over the anger I had from a bad first marriage, and the treatment I received. That was holding me back. Once I shed that, I really took time to figure out who I really was and what I wanted to achieve. I’m a believer in taking a chance.
2. What do you appreciate the most in your life?
Bobbie: I really appreciate the most wonderful man I am married to, and also my children who are successful in their own right. I worked hard a being a mom, and they are making me believe it was all worth it. They are awesome. My husband’s children are too, so we are really lucky.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life?
Bobbie: I have many, but right now I would say that being able to assimilate into a totally new career, along with the skills I have developed over the years, and being an appreciated advisor to my husband regarding important business decisions. I feel totally respected for my knowledge and ability to make things happen.
4. What is your not-so-perfect way?
Bobbie: I can be somewhat of a critic, and I know that is not good. I have a hard time tolerating people who have a horrible work ethic.
5. Complete this sentence, “I Love My…”
Bobbie: I love the little bits and pieces of time my husband and I get to spend quality time together out on our porch admiring our pretty flowers and listening to the waterfalls in the little pond that is there.
Identity Sponsor, B.I.G. (Believe, Inspire, Grow) is an nationwide networking, support and education group for women entrepreneurs. Together Identity and B.I.G support women like you to make or continue your move in life. Follow your passion. You deserve to be featured and spotlighted.