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5 Hacks for Dental Professionals: Land Awesome Jobs by Changing the Way You Look to Employers

5 Hacks for Dental Professionals: Land Awesome Jobs by Changing the Way You Look to Employers

If you’re a dental professional or thinking about becoming one, you’ll be happy to hear that the job outlook in the dental industry is bright. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook rates the growth in jobs for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants at “much faster than average.” While many industries are slowing down or stagnating, the dental industry keeps growing.

Working as a dental professional can be incredibly rewarding. But, like any job, it comes with its frustrations. Maybe you’re unemployed or underemployed. Maybe you’re unhappy in your current job. Maybe you’re not getting enough hours or the schedule isn’t right for you. Maybe your pay doesn’t match your skills and experience.

If you’re a dental professional who wants something different, these five hacks could give you the boost you need to take your career into your own hands.

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1. Explore the possibilities

A lot of people think full-time employment is ideal, but they may not see all the benefits of part-time or temporary jobs. If you can’t get full-time work or are unhappy in your full-time job, there is another way.

Consider going freelance. Being your own boss puts you in charge of your schedule. Filling your schedule with small jobs allows you to work the hours you want, schedule vacations without having to ask permission, and decide how many hours you want to put in.

If you’re currently employed full time, consider whether you’re happy in your job. If you want to make more money, adding a few hours of part-time work on the side can make it happen. If you’d rather be working somewhere else, working in other practices in your free time lets you see what’s out there.

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2. Avoid temp agencies—the pay is too low

Temp agencies set your hourly rate based on their own criteria, so your pay may not be in line with your experience and skills. And, practices may not be able to pay well when they hire through a temp agency. Filling a vacancy through a temp agency is an expensive process. The dental practice pays a high markup on your hourly rate. That means that much of the money you’re working for is going to the agency instead of to you.

Instead of a temp agency, contact dental practices directly or check out some online job boards. Better still, create a profile with an online job matching service. New, cloud-based dental temp agencies are emerging that take advantage of internet technology and don’t charge exorbitant fees. One example is Cloud Dentistry, which offers free access to professionals looking for work and a low monthly rate for dental practices looking to hire.

3. Build an online presence to stand out

To get the jobs you want and revamp your career, you need to stand out. Resumes can show your experience, but they don’t always set you apart from others. Whether you’re looking for work on your own or through a temp agency, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd.

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Having your own space online to build and boost your personal brand makes you visible, inviting potential employers to find out more about you. A good online job-matching platform provides that space, giving you a highly visible way to show off your qualifications and your reviews from the dental practices you’ve worked with.

4. Communicate, communicate, communicate

When you’re looking for work, make sure you give dental practices an easy way to contact you by including one phone number and one professional-sounding email address in your resume. (It’s standard job-hunting advice, but it bears repeating.) If you’re sending a digital resume, you can include a link to your professional profile.

To bring your communications into the 21st century, consider using a popular professional network to show off your resume and keep your messages organized. If you decide to use a job board, temp agency, or online job matching platform, make sure they have real-time messaging capabilities and allow you to contact dental practices directly. Most agencies and boards don’t, and delays can cost you.

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5. Read reviews

When you’re offered an interview or a job, you want to know as much as possible about the practice. A great way to augment your basic knowledge of the practice is to get online. Read reviews from the practice’s patients to see if it’s the kind of place you’d want to work. Even better, see if you can find reviews from dental professionals who have worked with the practice. There are websites that allow workers to review their companies, and some online job-matching platforms host reviews. See what you can find out before accepting a position.

Changing the way you look to employers can change your whole life

When you take your career into your own hands, you decide how to run your own business. Bring more flexibility to your schedule or fill your hours with work (and your pockets with cash). Decide where and when you work, set your own rates, and enjoy the freedom that comes from being in charge of your own career. With the right tools and the right mindset, you can do great things.

Featured photo credit: Daniel Frank via pexels.com

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Jane Hurst

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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