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February is the month we think of romantic matches but your career match is just as important to your overall fulfillment. A 30 to 40 hour work week equates to a significant portion of your life. The people you work with and the culture of the environment can mean all the difference between waking up each morning thrilled to make a difference or feeling forced to go to a place that leaves you drained.

There are 4 key things you need to do to find your perfect career match.

Identify your core values and be prepared to discuss these in your interview.
Polishing up your resume with your skills and recent successes is important. However, many job seekers fail to prepare to answer the most important questions. You should be able to articulate what drives you in this profession. Why did you choose dentistry? How does the practice of dentistry fit into your life as a whole? These aren’t exactly easy questions to answer, but if you answer them for yourself first, you will find yourself much more confident about finding the right dental team to join.

Hint: Some of the personality testing tools and assessments on are a great place to start answering these questions for yourself!

Uncover what your potential employer values and make sure you choose wisely.
Create a clear mental picture of a place where you can thrive professionally and personally. What is their practice mission? Who are their patients? How do they treat those patients? Do they have a clear standard of care? How do they invest in or support their team? What is the environment like? Once you have this picture you’ll be able to differentiate offices that are right for you from those that will cause you more grief than they are worth. You’ll likely be able to see evidence of a match in the way they write their job posts. You can also get clues from their website, social media pages, and online patient reviews, so be sure to check these out before the interview.

Pay attention to actions as much as words.
The work interview is the chance for both the employer and the potential employee to decide if the relationship is a good fit. Up until now everyone has put their best face on. But you get to see what really happens in an office when you actually work there. Pay attention to how the leadership in the office interacts with the team. Do they make sure their staff feels respected and valued? Pay attention to how the staff interacts with patients. Do they do their best to create a positive experience? What is the general atmosphere like? Is it chaotic or organized? Do all your observations match what was promised in the job description or interview?

Stick to your standards and give yourself the best chance of job satisfaction.
For job seekers in this economy, it can be scary to turn down a position you know isn’t right for you. But you do have the power of choice. Your confidence will grow with every right decision you make. You can cultivate an abundance mindset by being proactive in your job search. Don’t wait until your perfect job match posts an opening. Make a list of the practices you would like to work with that meet your standards and start building a relationship with them. They may not be ready to hire now, but when an opportunity comes up you could be on top of the list.

The ultimate reward for following these tips will be finding a position that will give you a real sense of satisfaction. You will be able to make a bigger impact and potentially earn a better living because your qualities and skills will be invested in a practice that will appreciate and use them.


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