Creating a Dental Career You Love
If you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. We’ve all heard that mantra, and it’s certainly inspirational! But have you ever wondered how to actually reach that point?
Every career has its downsides. There are always going to be aspects of your dental career that you aren’t as passionate about. However, it’s entirely possible to create a dental career that you love, find fulfillment in, and wake up embracing even on the most difficult days.
The key is knowing how to manifest that vision and live it out. Today we’re sharing 5 simple steps that can move you in the right direction.
1. Write down your dental career vision.
Did you know that your brain is actually wired to remember written words longer than spoken ones? While we’re all for speaking your dreams into the universe, don’t just stop there.
Go ahead and write down the vision that you have for your practice. Think both short-term and long-term and don’t be afraid to go big. Then break that vision down into a list of concrete, actionable goals. Put the list somewhere visible so you’re reminded of them on a regular basis.
Looking for a little more inspiration as you prepare to write down your dental career vision? Check out our recent post, 5 Reasons You Should Develop Your Vision for Your Dental Career.
2. Strengthen skills that fit your passion.
Have you felt the need to excel in every single aspect of the dental industry? While that motivation is admirable, it can also lead to burnout and keep you from achieving that coveted work-life balance. As humans, we aren’t designed to overload our minds and workdays with the constant pursuit of perfection in every area.
However, dentists are just wired a little differently! Most of us would admit that we’re meticulous, type A personalities with an insatiable curiosity, pursuing excellence and achievement at every turn. It’s time to take a gentler, more realistic approach that gives you the freedom and flexibility to build a career you love.
Think about your passion, natural skills, and abilities. Use these to direct your professional training efforts. By giving careful thought to the skills you strengthen, you can ensure that your expertise and goals are directly aligned.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t usually mean charting an entirely new career course. Start by asking yourself what niche within general, family, or pediatric dentistry you are truly passionate about.
Is it education? Is it a category like smile makeovers, prevention, holistic dentistry, or a specific procedure like crowns or orthodontics? From there you can focus your efforts on a specific area of the field that you’re genuinely interested in.
This passion will give your patients added value and an additional reason to choose you out of all the other dentists in their town. Studies show that there are around 60 dentists per 100,000 people in the United States. Differentiating yourself with a specialization can help you stand out!
Not sure where those interests lie? Try taking a course in an area that you’ve been curious about!
3. Take an altruistic approach.
By nature, professional development requires looking inward and performing a great degree of personal evaluation. However, it can be easy to go off track if all of the attention is self-focused.
To clear your mind and stimulate much-needed clarity, try volunteering! Not only is this a great way to give back but can also give you the chance to explore other areas of dentistry that you might have otherwise missed. It offers a great mental health boost too.
Look for opportunities to perform charitable work in underserved areas, and you’ll walk away inspired, fueled by a newfound motivation you didn’t know you needed.
4. Surround yourself with positive influences.
Whether we mean to or not, we naturally emulate the people we spend the most time around. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on whose influence you choose to follow.
To that end, surround yourself with positive people! Find mentors or inspirational leaders in your field whose dental careers you admire. These might be famous speakers or writers, or they could be colleagues or team members from right within your practice.
Watch seminars, download podcasts, or read books that encourage personal growth and inspire you to be your best self. There are many ways you can seek out positivity and apply it to your daily life. Even a simple conversation with someone whose advice you value can be life changing.
Learn from these people and see what they have to teach you. Apply their principles to your own life and use them as beacons to help light your own personal and professional journeys.
5. Become a mentor.
Now let’s flip the coin! While you’re reaching out to mentors and personal heroes that you admire in the dental field, consider becoming that person for someone else. As you help coach and counsel up-and-coming dentists, you’ll naturally reignite that spark you felt when you first started.
Remember that enthusiasm you had when you graduated from dental school? There are plenty of recent grads who likely feel the same way. However, just like you may have been at one time, they might be clueless about how to run an actual practice.
By guiding them along the path, you can re-explore what made you fall in love with this field in the first place. As their green enthusiasm rubs off on you, you’ll become motivated to excel even further in your own career and pursue advanced skills that may have daunted you years ago. That new drive coupled with the life experience you already have is a great way to encourage mentees to stay the course.
Fall in love with your dental career.
You deserve a dental career that’s as fulfilling as it is rewarding. If that dream feels out of reach, then that’s even more of a reason to start mapping out your future today. You’re only a few steps away from achieving your full potential, and the right people and plans can help you get there.
Is it time to turn your life vision into reality? Our courses and seminars can help you transform your dental practice and fall in love with your job all over again. Contact us today to get started!