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Linda Miles loves to find a needed niche in business and life then fill it. At age 35, in 1978, she founded a successful INC 500 dental consulting business: Linda Miles and Associates (Now Miles Global). After 29 years she sold it to a dentist client. Simultaneously in 1997, Linda founded the Speaking Consulting Network to advise others how to build their own successful dental speaking, consulting and writing businesses. In 2010 after 14 years, she semi-retired and sold that business which had grown from 11 mentees to more than 150 attendees at the annual conferences. She continues to participate in the annual session and personal coaching of new members. She can be reached through www.AskLindaMiles.com.
The seven most dreaded words a dentist hears during a workday are, "May I speak with you after work?" Does this mean she's quitting, needs maternity leave, or does she want a raise? Whatever the situation that will be discussed, the dentist only hopes he or she will handle it well.
For the employee who feels a need to ask for a raise, it often takes days or weeks to muster up the courage to even ask! With the slower economy of the past few years, raises have been far and few between. Some dental employees have not had a raise in two or three years, yet they feel they are working harder than ever to maintain the practice’s goals. They report often going above and beyond their call of duty to keep the schedule full and work in emergencies. It's much harder now than when the practice is fruitful and everyone's happy.
The best way to ask for a raise is to keep a record of the date of the last increase in pay along with the history of what you have personally done for the patients, practice, and coworkers since your last raise. What CE or online courses have you taken? What above-the-call-of-duty projects have you done recently? An example might be that you volunteered for community activity/service which promoted the practice, worked on the marketing committee which met during lunch six times in the past six months, developed on your own time an in-school program for elementary schools, and participated in the reactivation process of inactive patients. Think about how good it would feel to say (and for the dentist to hear), “I personally called 45 patients and rescheduled 17 of them as well as getting four new family members by asking about family members who might not be seeing a dentist.”
In defense of dentists, they are busy taking care of patients and running a business. They are often not in tune to when anyone's last pay raise was nor what each employee has done for the practice since that pay raise. Don't go to your doctor with the, "I need a raise because I DESERVE it attitude." Go with an attitude of gratitude and show your personal value to the practice. Dentists are human. They like the fact that you come to them with the right spirit of, "Here's how hard I've been working. Can we discuss it please?" Does this guarantee a raise? No, but it greatly increases your chance of being considered. It also lets your employer know that you are not only assertive but you value yourself.