Reaching Your Dental Career Goals
The steps you take today can shape the path you take tomorrow. As you grow your career in general dentistry, you have many choices to make and options to pursue.
This blank slate offers incredible opportunity! How will you use the days, months, and years ahead to create the dental practice of your dreams?
While you can expect to make some mistakes along the way, there are certain actions that are surefire wins. Today we’re sharing 10 regret-free decisions that will put you closer to your ultimate vision.
1. Investing in Your Personal and Professional Growth
The beautiful part of professional development is that it’s never-ending. There’s always something new to learn or someone more experienced to learn from.
Think about the skills and talents you want to sharpen over the next decade. What tools and resources can you pursue now to jump-start your growth? From podcasts and books to courses and lectures, the list is extensive.
As you grow your career, don’t forget to focus on your personal growth, too. Carve out time to spend with your family and friends, and invest in relationships that build you up and encourage you to become your best self.
2. Adding a Specialized Service
As you map out your future plans in dentistry, have you considered pursuing an area of specialization? Offering a specialized service not only sets your local practice apart but also gives you the freedom and flexibility to achieve a greater work-life balance.
Think about a particular passion you have within the dental field. This might be orthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics, or a range of other dental services.
Any area that sparks your interest is worth pursuing. And every time you deepen your knowledge of a specialized skill, you offer a different perspective to your patients than the dentist down the street.
3. Building a Great General Dentistry Team
A dental practice is only as strong as its weakest team member. A solid workforce is a critical asset, so it’s important to give careful thought to whom you add to yours. By thoroughly vetting your employees and investing in their professional training, you can build a reputation that speaks for itself.
As you hire dental assistants, hygienists, and receptionists, consider both their professional competencies and their personalities. The employees you bring on board should work well together and motivate one another. This creates an environment that’s comfortable and rewarding for everyone.
4. Investigating Your Cash Flow
Behind every successful dental practice is a smart budget. While it might not be the most glamorous part of the job, you should know exactly where your numbers lie.
Put simply, cash flow is the movement of money into and out of your practice. Inadvertent overspending can affect not only your practice but also your personal life. So it’s wise to work with your accountant in this area. They can provide tailored suggestions, run monthly reports, and help you strengthen your practice’s finances overall..
While this step can take a little time, it’s always worth it. A financially sound company is worth its weight in gold, and you’ll rest easier knowing that you’re in a comfortable position.
5. Writing Down Your Career Vision
It’s much easier to remember something when it’s written down right in front of you. As early as possible in your dental career journey, take time to write out your dream career vision.
Then list the goals that you’ll need to achieve to get there. This exercise is a great way to put words and actions behind the visualizations that once existed only in your head. For more reasons why it’s a smart move, check out our recent post 5 Reasons You Should Develop Your Vision for Your Dental Career.
6. Writing Down Your Practice Goals
Next write down the specific goals that you have for your practice. In which areas do you want to grow? Are there certain issues you need to resolve to get there?
List them out and post them in a public spot at the office. Talk to your employees about them and listen to their feedback. When everyone is working together toward a common aim, you’ll get there much faster.
7. Taking a Break
You can’t do your job well if you’re running on fumes. While it’s important to pursue your passions, make sure you aren’t doing so to the point of burnout.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a step back as needed. Spend time with loved ones, get out in nature, and recharge your internal batteries. Your patients need you to be focused, dedicated, and alert, and you can’t be those things if you’re denying yourself the basic luxury of free time.
This goes back to the importance of creating a solid team around you. These are the people who can step in and support you while you press the reset button and take charge of your mental health.
8. Giving Back to Others
Dentists have so much to offer their communities. Have you thought about ways that your team could volunteer or give back in a charitable way?
From sharing about your job in a classroom of kindergarteners to offering dental services to underserved regions, there are many ways that you can make a difference. These pursuits are just as noble and necessary as work-specific ones. As you enrich the lives of others, you’ll find that you enhance your own too.
9. Finding a Mentor
The road to your dream career can feel long and winding. It helps to walk it with someone who’s already made it to the finish line you’re trying to reach. Find someone you can confide in and emulate as you shape and grow your practice.
This should be someone you can communicate with easily and who is willing to share their time and insight with you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, listen intently, and apply their lessons to your own life.
As you do, however, keep in mind that there’s no one like you, and you don’t have to be a carbon copy of someone else. Rather than following in their direct footsteps, use their guidance to help shape and navigate your own journey.
10. Networking and Joining Professional Organizations
The more visible you make yourself as a dentist, the wider your network of opportunity becomes. While you don’t have to join every dental association or attend every meet-and-greet event in your city, look for ones that interest you.
From the American Dental Association (ADA) to the American Association of Endodontists, there are many different places to plug in. These organizations can help you expand your education, access exclusive resources, and build a career you love.
Finding Success as a Dental Professional
There are many ways you can expand your knowledge, achieve your goals, and stand out as a dental professional. These 10 steps can empower you to turn your career dreams into reality.
If you’re curious about expanding your practice beyond general dentistry, our courses and seminars can help you get there. Contact us today to learn more about our programs!