Did you know that in an ordinary week more than three million people work as temporary and contract workers in companies across the United States? These people are working in what’s known as freelance jobs or temporary positions. Many Dental Professionals love “temping” because it allows them to set their fees, choose when and where they want to work.
For some, temping allows them to work a little during retirement. For others who have young families, it’s a way to bring home income until their children are in school. And dental temping works both ways: while dental temps love the freedom it affords them, dental offices find it ideal to have someone on hand whenever someone at work goes on leave or calls in sick. Presently, dental temporary staffing jobs welcome all dental professionals: dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, and dental laboratory technicians.
Skills and Characteristics That Will Get You Noticed As A Dental Temp
Although technical level skills vary, there are soft skills that can be more important than your technical skills. Excellent communication skills are a huge asset; interacting with patients and the ability to effectively communicate with the entire dental team is something that can’t be overlooked. Attention to detail, dexterity, compassion for patients, and a genuine passion for the work will certainly get you noticed. A can- do attitude accompanying a professional appearance and the ability to work well with others will certainly get you called back at a future date.
Why Should I Consider Dental Temping Position?
Temporary work is a big part of America’s employment landscape. According to industry stats, every year almost 17 million workers are hired through temporary staffing agencies. The number of people taking on temp work, including dental temp jobs, is expected to go higher by 2025.
If you’re concerned about age, don’t be. Temp work is evenly distributed around different age groups, with people from the mid-20’s to the early 40’s, demonstrating the majority. However, there are still plenty of people doing temporary work at 55 and older. Obviously, temping isn’t for everyone, but some people thrive in it so much that temping as a Dental Professionals has become an attractive alternative to full-time work. Their motivations? Read on.
1. You can make your own schedule
You can work whenever it’s convenient for you. If you’re a parent with young children, you can choose to work when your kids are at school. Perhaps you’re working toward an advanced degree and need a schedule that allows you to attend your classes and time to study. If you have your whole day planned,
you can decline a work call if it has not been agreed upon previously. Temp jobs also allow you to take vacations and travel without needing to align your plans with the dental office’s vacation schedule.
2. You can work where you want to
Maybe you’re planning to relocate; dental temp jobs allow you to scout new workplaces and determine where you want to work/live. Think of temping as test driving a practice; it gives you a peek into how each office and community works. Does their work ethic align with yours? Do they practice proper policies and protocols? Dental temping offers you control over where you choose to practice.
3. You can build confidence
Having access to different offices will expose you to a lot of dental practice knowledge, which in turn will build your confidence in your abilities. You’ll also become more accustomed to meeting new people and interacting with them. As a bonus, you can add ‘adaptable’ to the list of soft skills you use to describe your professional self.
4. You can demand higher rates
Dental offices in need of a temporary need extra hands to meet the demand of the days schedule/production. To reschedule patients because of a team member’s illness, pregnancy or personal emergency is not a favorable outcome for any dental practice. Further, a full-time position typically includes benefits such as health, dental, and job security. For these reasons, dental temporaries can set higher fees as they are undoubtedly preserving production goals for the dental practice.
Are You Concerned About the Unpredictability? Use Temping to Get Hired Full-Time!
There’s freedom and flexibility in dental temporary staffing work, but, there’s a downside too —unpredictable income. Since the work is part-time, each assignment will only last for days up to several weeks. If you’re not a good money manager, income can be unpredictable. If you have decided to leave temping behind and go entirely on board, check these steps below that will help you turn that dental temporary staffing work to a full-time one.
1. List your accomplishments
To make sure you stand out to potential employers, ensure that your resume is fully updated and polished. Include all the certifications and licenses you have and any extra continuing dental education you’ve taken. Employers love dental professionals who never stop learning.
2. Demonstrate unwavering reliability
This means getting to work on time, delivering consistent quality work, and commitment to the job. Step up when needed and work as a team player.
3. Take your temporary dental position seriously
Treat your position as if you’re already a regular employee with the Dental Office. This means that you don’t only do what you’re told, you anticipate your boss’s or co-worker’s needs. By taking a proactive approach, you are showing your employer that you are interested and invested in the dental practice.
4. Share your knowledge
If you know of a way to make a system more efficient, don’t be afraid to speak up. Diplomatically contribute ideas and suggestions and if you can, take an active approach to implementing improvement. Keep in mind, however, my experience has shown me that dental assistants can be very resistant to change.
5. Build friendships
Get to know the people around you, even if you were contracted for a short period of time. Colleagues can be a great source of information about job openings. Networking is an important skill when leaving a dental temping position and moving into a full-time dental professional position.
6. Blend in
Different dental offices have different work cultures. In a more casual culture, you can be laid back. However, in a more business culture behave in a more disciplined manner. As a dental temporary, you need to adapt to the culture of the temporary position. If you’re looking for a full-time dental position, consider the culture when deciding if the dental office is the right fit for you.
7. Ask for a permanent role
Some employers won’t hesitate to ask you if you can take on a permanent position if they like your work. Since they may not know that you are interested in a full-time position, don’t be afraid to ask!
Are you a Dental Assistant who’s taken a break from work and now you’re ready to get back to it? Are you having a difficult time finding full-time job openings? Or, maybe you’re a new grad and have no idea where to start? We’ve got an answer for you —temp work. Post your profile on dentalstaffing.org and don’t forget to post on the temp board! You may find just what you need to enter the workforce and enjoy the benefits that temporary work has to offer.
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Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path
unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost.
Dr. Deborah Marynak is the owner of DentalStaffing.org, a dentist with over 30 years experience, and is committed to helping Dental Professionals find the right fit for both employees and employers. She also works with Dental Offices to help them streamline their clinical systems and teach Dental Teams how to effectively document to avoid risk.