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    Do you really want THAT dental job?

    Taking the first job that comes along can be tempting—but is it really the right move?

    How many of you are in the dreaded job search? Or are  wondering, “Is the grass any greener somewhere else?” Let’s presume you are in “the search” and that you just had an interview at a dental practice where you’ve always wanted to work.

    While a certain practice or position may seem perfect in a hypothetical situation, sometimes the reality can be much different. So, what are the questions that should be racing through your mind?

    Related reading: When is it time to exit a dental practice?

    1. What vibe did you get when you were in the office? (Were people friendly and warm, or did it feel like there was thick tension you could cut with a power saw?)

    2. Will you make more money than your last job? (You know, the one where you were terribly underpaid?)

    3. Do you feel like you will be happy here? (Define happiness my friend!)

    4. Do you want to work for this dentist? (Maybe the question should be why you want to work for this dentist in particular?)

    5. What are the benefits? (There are benefits… right?)

    6. What is the process for getting raises? (They are giving raises, aren’t they?)

    7. How many patients a day will you be seeing? (Clarification: How many “nice” patients a day will you be seeing?)

    8. Do you have to work weekends and evenings? (You have a life. The ability to sleep in on the weekend occasionally is also much appreciated.)

    Trending article: The best and worst states to work in a dental practice

    9. Do you get sent home if patients cancel appointments? (You need a  paycheck—a full paycheck. Will it be your problem when the patient is a no show?)

    10. Can you do the job or is it out of your scope of experience? (Do you have to tell anybody the truth about that one?)

    11. Will there be flexibility with your schedule? (You know…summer Fridays!)

    12. How far a commute is it? (You’d ideally like to roll out of bed and be there.)

    13. Can you come and observe a day once an offer is made before giving them your answer? (They checked you out—can’t you check them out?)

    14. Is there a probationary period once hired? (Why would anyone want to get rid of you?)

    15. Do you like the job that is being offered? (Or are you just jumping at any opportunity for a job?)

    16. Why do you want it? (Is it the money, or the people or the office culture? Make sure there’s something enticing!)

    Related reading: 5 tips for landing the perfect job

    There are all sorts of variables involved in making this decision. What is important is to not jump into something too quickly without getting answers. Remember, you are interviewing them as well. The big question is do you want the job? In some places, jobs are hard to come by. You don’t always get to be as choosy as you want to be when the bill collector is knocking down your door. Even in those circumstances, ask questions. Get answers written down.

    If you can’t get the hiring manager to put in writing some of the promises made, then you document them. Send it in writing to the manager via email and say you are reiterating what was said in your interview on such-and-such date and time. It isn’t much, but it is something. The old adage is true: If it wasn’t written down, it didn’t happen.

    Job seeking can be one of the most stressful experiences you will go through. Be sure to do your homework ahead of time. Get your questions answered. Go online and see if there are any reviews—good or bad—about this practice. Talk to the staff before making a decision. Observe a day in the practice to see how things go. Pay attention to what the staff is saying to each other at the front desk. This is an important decision. Make sure you are prepared to make the right choice for you.

    If you have had any unusual experiences happen during the job search, email me at [email protected]. Keep in mind that if you have a burning issue to be discussed, send me an email. I’m happy to be your voice.

    Lisa Newburger, LISW-S
    Lisa Newburger, a master's level social worker supervisor, helps audiences find humor in talking about tough topics. Her "in-your-face" ...

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