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.
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.
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.
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.
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