I have a friend who practiced as a pediatric dentist for more than a decade but quit after she had her last two children. Now that her kids are in their teens, she wants to go back to work. Since it’s been about 15 years since she’s practiced, she’s so doubtful she’ll be able to find employment that she’s too afraid to even try. She has kept her state dental license and controlled substance license active the entire time she’s been out of practice, and she does she have any adverse actions or anything that would be considered a negative in her employment history.
Is it realistic that she can find work? Will she need someone to proctor her, or are there programs in which she can enroll to prepare for getting back into the profession? Could your agency help in this type situation? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I know she would apply if she knew there were possibilities out there. I’m hoping to give her some confidence in going back to practicing dentistry, and I think finding resources to help her get back into practice-ready mode would be the first step.
Thank you kindly,
While I believe it’s realistic that she will find work, I think it will take time and effort. Finding employment and the road to getting there should now become her full time job. She will need to overcome her doubt and fear, or the doubt and fear will start to hold her back.
Here are a few tips:
Volunteer – This may be the easiest, cheapest and most fulfilling way to get her abilities up to par, gain confidence and get back on the bike, so to speak. She needs to network in her local dental community and offer her services or be part of a volunteer program, targeting the skills she would like to regain. There are no rules about volunteering when it comes to gaining confidence and experience, so she can be creative. The local dental society should have a volunteer list and know of programs seeking volunteers. If she has the desire to step out of the gate quickly, dental mission trips are also a great way to jump back in to rekindle her passion.
Network – Attend dental meetings, study clubs and conferences. She will need to be up-to-date in the latest happenings and trends in the industry. She needs to make professional connections with dental lab owners, dental sales reps, etc. They know who’s hiring! Networking is the most effective and efficient way to land a job. You’ll be surprised, as she will probably be able to connect with someone who has been where she is now and can relate to her situation while offering additional assistance. Networking on social media would be to her advantage.
Get Social – She should create a LinkedIn page with a professional head shot to create her ‘brand’ and market herself to employers through social media.
Research – Hop on the Internet and look at reliable sources in the dental industry. Subscribe to professional journals to learn about the latest research and discoveries in the dental field. Her timely knowledge would be highly impressive to potential employers. Many national corporate dental companies (Heartland, Great Expressions, Coast Dental) hire entry-level dental professionals. She should Google the companies, check their online job boards and post her CV.
Depending on previous years experience, a 15 year gap would often be considered starting over. Working for one of the aforementioned companies might be a great option for her to get her foot back in the door. Is she willing to relocate for employment? Often, you need to go where the work is. Something for her to think about. I’m glad you reached out to me, Alice. It’s my pleasure to offer some guidance and tips to help you lead your friend down the path to landing employment. I wish her every success.
P.S. Reminder that she can upload her resume to our dental job board, too.