How to Spring Clean Your Career as a Dental Professional

By Julie Morris, Life and Career Coach

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to stop with your house. While your banishing dust bunnies from your home, consider giving your dental career a little organizational attention as well. Take a look at your professional life, think about what you would like to do differently, then develop a plan to refresh your career this year. Whether it’s making a career change or aiming higher in your field, these tips can help you organize your professional life and focus on your goals.

Consider a Career Change

Dental career paths can go in a number of directions. If you’re not thrilled about the work you’re doing right now, start thinking about jobs you would enjoy more. According to the American Dental Association, many dentists and dental hygienists find employment in non-clinical settings such as education, marketing, public health and research. Finding a career in one of these fields gives dental professionals an opportunity to use their valuable skills in a different way.

Rework Your Resume

Before you start job hunting, take the time to revamp your resume. Career Builder reports that nearly 40 percent of hiring managers spend less than 60 seconds looking at a resume. You’ve got to make your first impression quickly! When written and organized properly, a resume will help highlight your best features. A functional resume is best for people who have employment gaps, several past jobs, or no work experience in the field they’re applying to. Functional resumes put your skills and expertise on display instead of listing your work history by date. For dental professionals who are switching careers, this is essential.

Manage Your Online Reputation

Online reputation management is another important part of making yourself look exceptional to hiring managers. Hate websites or scam alerts can be extremely damaging to your future career prospects and business endeavors. Many times, these kinds of online reputation attacks are illegal. If you can prove the information they’re spreading is false, consider taking legal action. A skilled legal professional and online analysis team can help you find information on your attackers so that you can begin the process of having this content removed.

Even if your online reputation hasn’t been attacked, it won’t hurt to clean up your online presence. It’s easy for employers to discover how you conduct yourself in your social and professional life. Do a simple Google search of your name. What comes up? Delete anything questionable from your social media, including posts about controversial topics, like politics or religion. Finally, polish up your LinkedIn profile to emphasize your professional expertise.

Grow Your Network

While you already have a professional network, finding new networking contacts can speed up your career change and open up new opportunities. Stay in touch with your old network, though. These people offer motivating encouragement and may have connections with contacts that can help you out. Then, seek out experienced professionals in your desired career. Connect with recruiters, media, academics, and industry analysts. Branching out your network may help you land a job you would not have found otherwise.

Identify Gaps in Your Skills

It’s never too late to go back to school. While your dental training may carry over into your new industry, improving your skill set can expand your opportunities. This is true even if your desired job doesn’t require any special qualifications. Every professional will benefit from learning some key skills — public speaking, management, negotiation, research and critical thinking skills can boost any career.

You can take some classes at night or online while you continue to work your current job. Identify areas where you could improve and look into classes that can help you out. Classes in business writing, communication, electronic marketing, software, programming and entrepreneurship are all excellent options.

Even if you’re not switching careers at the moment, these tips can come in handy for organizing your current professional life. Keep your resume up to date, be careful about what you post online, grow your professional network and continue learning new skills. Cleaning up your career will keep you focused on your bigger goals and help you identify areas where you can make improvements.

Julie Morris is a life and career coach. More information can be found on her website at juliemorris.org.

House Considers Dental Loan Repayment Program in Florida

A House health care panel is moving forward with a bill that would allow Florida dentists to qualify for up to $250,000 in student loan repayments. Click the image below to read the article and to view the video.

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Florida Needs Incentives for Dentists to Practice in Underserved Areas

The FDA is urging support for Senate Bill 716 and House Bill 465, introduced by Sen. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, and Rep. Mike Grant, R-Port Charlotte, to bring immediate care to Florida communities and patients who need it most.

Click here to read the article in Florida Today.

a1b0b1d1-7db2-4fc4-8751-d12aa58740fe-dentaltherapy1A dentist demonstrates to a child the proper way to brush teeth in order to prevent tooth decay. (Photo: Courtesy/NM Voices for Children)

 

Stress-reducing Tips for Busy Professionals: How to Change Your Focus

By Julie Morris, Life and Career Coach

Letting go of stress when you’re a busy professional is never easy. If you’re in the dental field, you probably already know how much stress and anxiety can affect you on a given day with so many people counting on you to help them. The mental and physical fatigue that can come with job stress can take a huge toll on your mood and your health, so it’s imperative to look for ways to reduce those feelings and focus on the things that matter most.

One of the best ways to do this is to get organized. Figure out what priorities need your attention first and make lists, checking off your tasks as you complete them so that nothing gets overlooked. Then, look for ways you can take a time out during your day to focus on yourself. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes at a time, learning to take care of your own needs even as you’re doing your job can help you learn a healthy balance that will stick with you for a lifetime.

Get organized

Declutter. Keep a journal or planner. Make sure you have contact information for your clients in one spot, where it will be easy to find. Getting organized means making your life easier, and it can help you become better at what you do while simultaneously reducing the stress and anxiety that comes with working long hours or being your own boss. Take the time to make sure your calendar is up to date so you can keep track of your engagements and keep communication open with your family members so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your time. This is especially important if you’re working from home.

Manage your time and money wisely

Good time management is the mark of a professional, and it will allow you to stay on top of your responsibilities while reducing the stress that comes with a busy week. It’s nearly impossible to stay calm and focused when you’re rushed to complete jobs, so sit down and work out a timetable for each project you have on your plate and think of ways you can ensure they’re done without delay. Hint: The solution will rarely be to work more hours or take on more tasks.

Typically, the answer to better time management is actually better money management. Maybe you need to hire more staff, invest in better equipment or increase your efficiency. While the thought of taking out a loan can be stressful, it’s more than just another payment. With proper planning and implementation of resources, more capital means more business. Qualified employees can free up your time by completing tasks that steal your time — like bookkeeping or answering phones — and allow you to take on more projects. It also can mean faster, more efficient equipment or increased inventory so you can sell more, faster. In the end, any of these investments can mean less stress for you.

Outsource

When it comes to managing your time, it’s also a good idea to outsource tasks at home. Some days, there just aren’t enough hours to get everything done without sacrificing eating and sleeping, and that’s when it’s necessary to hire someone to help out. Whether it’s to assist with your lawn work, cleaning your house, running errands or walking your dog, there are companies that can assist you for a reasonable fee. Look online for your specific needs to find one in your area.

Take care of yourself

One of the easiest ways to reduce stress is to take good care of yourself. From eating right to getting daily exercise, it’s important to make sure your body and mind are in good shape. If you’re a dental professional, this can be difficult when you work long hours, so make an effort to keep healthy snacks at your desk, and work in some activity during the day. Get up, walk around the office, do some stretches at your desk, or run up and down the stairs a few times to get your heart rate up. These small actions will help relieve stress and will keep you feeling good at the same time.

Getting rid of stress isn’t always easy, especially when you’re working long hours to achieve your goals. However, it’s important to look for small ways you can change your lifestyle so that the stress doesn’t take over. With a good plan, you can start feeling better in no time.

Julie Morris is a life and career coach. More information can be found on her website at juliemorris.org.