Do you like working with quality or successful co-workers and employers? Who wouldn’t, right? I mean the opposite has no appeal. But how do you find and align yourself with them?
First, you have to identify them. And as many of you know, that can be the hardest part. There’s a sifting process you have to go through if you want to land in a quality office with great employer. It means you have to accept that not every job opening is acceptable or worth your time.
There are three phases to sifting out the crappy employers and find the quality ones.
If you really aren’t that satisfied with your current employer, then put down on paper what your ideal is for a quality employer. Is it an office that’s five minutes from your house? Is it a certain pay range? What about benefits? Co-worker or boss relationships – what do they look like? What’s your ideal approach to serving patients? Do you need to be challenged in some way?
There are lots of questions and ways to evaluate what you want – I couldn’t possibly come up with a checklist that’s right for everyone. So take some time to ask yourself lots of questions, but focus on your pain points or things that bother you.
You should also ask yourself if there are things you are willing to compromise on from that list. Ranking them from most to least important to help with that.
Discovery Phase – Part 1
Now that you have a good list of what you want from an office or employer, it’s time to find them. I would begin by listing out all the offices you have experience with from the past, be they temp jobs, permanent jobs, or even jobs you have interviewed at or are familiar with because of friends or other circumstances.
With that list of offices, how do each one of them stack up in terms of your ideal office – those questions you prioritized earlier? Where are they strongest and where might they be lacking? You may get the sense from doing that that no office is perfect. And that’s okay, it shouldn’t discourage you. Frankly, it may be true and consider, too, that offices sometimes morph over time – people and cultures change. Sometimes one person leaves and the entire office is a much happier place.
The next part of this phase is for you to determine a strategy to get yourself out and into other offices – either by temping, interviewing, or networking with people from other offices at conferences and seminars. Don’t just go to conferences to get CE hours – if you do that you are missing out one of the most important parts of the conference for your career. You should come away having met new people – and I would focus on quality encounters with people, not quantity. One great contact can be way better than 100 forgettable ones.
One other strategy is to go online and start looking up the offices that are in your target area. Make some notes there from things you observe. What seems to be their philosophy? Do they appear different than most offices? What can you learn from reading the bios of the staff or employer? Start following them on social media and take note of things you learn from their postings – they often give a lot away about their culture and personality by the things they share.
The long and short of it is, you are only going to find a quality office and successful employer if you go looking – it’s pretty rare when they come looking for you.
Discovery Phase – Part 2
The other important part of this phase is to begin keeping a log of who you meet, what offices you learn more about, small or big details – whatever you find helpful. This information is what you would use to determine if that office is worth keeping a closer eye on.
As part of this, I would start even ranking the offices you might want to work at. Not a best-to-worst type of ranking, but rather a ranking of classes – a class of offices that look really appealing to a class of offices that you want to stay away from.
Granted, those first phases can take time and work – and they should be on-going (you are never really done). But once you have some good information, you can really focus your energy next on marketing yourself to the offices that really matter and ignore the ones that don’t. All the time you put in upfront will now save you from making potentially big mistakes in marketing yourself to bad offices or employers – mistakes that could cost you untold time and money, not to mention discouragement!
Now you can begin to deploy some of the many different marketing techniques I talk about each week, from postcards, resumes, cover letters, websites, LinkedIn profiles, emailing, thank you letters, interview strategies, and on and on. But best of all you can target those activities and really focus on making them as meaningful as possible. When your marketing effort or field of candidates is too large it’s harder to get that intense focus that can make you really stand out in the minds of quality employers.
Now the Secret Weapon
Okay, one final tip to help you align yourself with successful or quality dental offices. It’s called GRATITUDE!
I know what you are wondering – what does gratitude have to do with making yourself more attractive to quality employers?
Turns out, a study published by the Templeton Foundation indicates that 94% of women and 96% of men agree that “a grateful boss is more likely to be successful” as compared to 18% who felt a grateful boss can be viewed as “week.” Gratitude is perceived by almost everyone as hugely important to success!
What does that mean for you? It means that to align yourself with a quality employer, they want to see that YOU have gratitude. Amazing! Now, there are for sure other qualities you need to display, but it really shouldn’t be that hard for you to show that you are a gracious person, right? Anyone can do that, but not everyone does – so she who does gets advantage over those who show less or no gratitude.
So how do you show gratitude? Hopefully this is instinctive for you, but if it isn’t work on some different ways you can show it in your job seeking materials (especially cover letter), and most importantly in your job interviews. That’s where they can see and feel it from you – that’s one way you can win them over!
- When you first meet for your interview – thank them.“You probably have many candidates to consider, so thank you for including me.”
- When you talk about your experiences, give people kudos or credit (not just all you). “I owe a lot of my success to the hard work the front office, assistants, and boss put in.”
- When you leave the interview, thank them again. “It was great to meet you – thank you for giving me the chance to share with you my experiences.”
- After the interview, send a thank you letter. “I appreciate the opportunity it was to learn more about your office and the great work you do.”
These kinds of statements, even though they have nothing to do with your skills, create a positive buzz or energy about you that is hard to miss. If you leave an employer with that kind of feeling, it will be very difficult to dismiss your candidacy or not want to help you succeed in landing a great dental hygiene job.