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What Is Your Career Goal?


Dental team members should know what their career goals are for the coming year, how to reach them, and what their employer can do to help them achieve those goals.

What Is Your Career Goal? | Image Credit: © Uuganbayar - stock.adobe.com

What Is Your Career Goal? | Image Credit: © Uuganbayar - stock.adobe.com

So often we start a job without thinking about what goals we want to achieve in the first year. For some, it is to not screw up, learn the job, and hopefully get a raise after our work anniversary. But what if we went a little deeper with this idea? Stop and think about it for a minute. What is your career goal for the next year?

Some employers have you fill out your own self-evaluation before they meet with you for your annual review. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I think that it is the easy way out for the supervisor to get the employee to do all the heavy lifting. But, then again, they don’t really know what you want. Maybe you want to go to Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA) school and are trying to figure out how to do work and go. In cases like that, having a boss that can support you whether it is with a flexible schedule or tuition reimbursement, can be helpful.

Maybe you want to learn new techniques or technology. These are all things that will make you more valuable to the practice as well as to the next opportunity you are looking for. Currently where retention is a huge challenge, developing deeper relationships with your employees is a good start. When you know that I am hungry and want to grow, that is a huge asset to your practice. If you don’t pay attention to this, don’t expect that employee to stick around.

As a recruiter, I am absolutely stunned as to how many dental professionals are moving from one job to another. It is like marriage. Instead of working to solve issues, they are divorcing and moving on. The downside is that they may never find what they are looking for. I am not a cynic. I believe that we create our own happiness. Working out issues and problems is what deepens all relationships. But then again, sometimes you just must keep moving. When things happen repeatedly and there is a pattern, it behooves you to look at it. Are you the common denominator in each difficult situation?

I am sure I will hear from my readers on this point. No, I am not trying to be snarky or raise the temperature. Instead, I am just trying to point out that if history keeps repeating itself, you need to accept that the rest of the world isn’t “out to get you.” You might be the problem.

I believe that people are good. Yes, there are some bad apples out there, but I just can’t believe that the universe is out to ruin a life. As a social worker, I helped clients look at their lives through a different pair of glasses. They would ask, “Why do things like this keep happening to me?” I would suggest that they need to slow things down, listen to themselves, and make some goals. When you make a goal, write it down. Put it on the refrigerator or the mirror in your bedroom. Carry it around with you. Be specific about what you want. If it is to be happy, how are you going to measure it? If it is to go to the gym 3 times a week, that can be measured. That can help you to get to your goal.

For me, when I don’t have a goal, I feel a little lost. I want to be able to work towards something and accomplish it. There is nothing like crossing things off my list. It makes me feel good about tackling my short-term and long-term goals.

What about you? What are your career goals for this coming year? How are you going to reach them? What can your employer do to help you cross the finish line? I believe that if you invest in yourself, you will achieve those goals.

Email me at diana2@discussdirectives.com and share what they are. I am very interested in hearing them.

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