side hustle

Side hustle and passive income aren’t just buzzwords that apply to a handful of people. There’s growing evidence that the US economy is in the midst of a massive workforce shift that has only gained momentum since the pandemic.

Remote offices and telecommuting were cute ideas that first gained attention as the digital age exploded in the 1990s. But while many found the concept alluring initially, the realities of technology barriers and social acceptance weren’t quite ready back then or in the years that followed.

Fast forward to 2020, as COVID-19 shut down the world economy, work from home became the new norm for many – with at least one rather large exception: healthcare, including dentistry. Though non-life-threatening support can be handled remotely, for obvious reasons, the medical and dental professions will always be an in-person discipline.

Side Hustles and Passive Income for Dental Professionals

Just because dentistry is in-person doesn’t mean you can’t get in on opportunities in the new digital economy. Your knowledge as a skilled dentist, dental hygienist, dental assistant, or dental office manager is extremely valuable.

Circling back to side hustles, you too can participate in a number of ways, including becoming a consultant. There is a growing demand for workers wanting this kind of career and a commensurate number of employers accepting it.

So how do you make a side hustle and passive income work? The cool thing with side hustles is they can operate in tandem with your day job. You and I likely know of someone (perhaps several) dental professionals working in the clinic by day while growing a business on the side (at night and weekends). These dental professionals caught a vision for what they wanted, created a plan, and are executing on it – largely at their own pace (another cool feature).

Presenting a Side Hustle on a Dental Resume

As I am a resume writer, I get asked all the time about how to account for and present side hustles on a dental professional resume. Just so you know, there are two types of resumes used by people transitioning or pursuing a side hustle. One is for people who want to work for someone, and the other is for someone who wants to work for themselves. The latter entrepreneurial resume is more often referred to as a One Sheet.

One Sheets and Dental Resumes

Like a resume, a One Sheet showcases who you are and what you have to offer. But think of resumes and One Sheets as problem solvers. They have a problem, and you have the solution to that problem. In the case of a resume, they need to hire someone to fill a position. In the case of a One Sheet, they need a service that you offer. Simple as that.

The structure of each is different based on the expectations of those receiving your One Sheet or resume. A One Sheet is going to be more colorful and include graphics, with lots of narrative. Your resume will be more list-oriented – though both resumes and One Sheets will have similar elements.

Building a Compelling One Sheet

With One Sheets you begin with a big idea – a headline statement that grabs attention and creates intrigue. From there, you craft a sub-headline that offers more detail into your value proposition – the thing that differentiates you from the competition. Here are some examples:  

  • Up Your Game: Iron-out Your Communications. This was for a professional speaker who uses metaphors from her experience competing in triathlons to teach dental clinicians about team communication.
  • Connecting with Purpose: Transforming Lives One Smile at a Time. This was for a dental clinician seeking administrative consultation work with public health agencies.
  • Questioning Your Way to Patient Behavior Change: Imagine what it would be like getting to the root of our patient’s oral health behaviors. This was for a dental consultant who teaches clinicians on how to use motivational interviewing techniques with patients.

Couple your big idea with a graphic that fully supports it visually, and you have the start of a very compelling One Sheet. From there, it’s a matter of writing up a bio, flanked by a headshot. Then provide service detail, or briefly explain the services you offer. And then finish the One Sheet with a call to action – along with your contact information. “Call Today” or “Let’s Grab Lunch” or “I’m Excited to Elevate Your Business Now” are some great examples.

Building a Compelling Resume

Contrast that with a resume that also begins with a big idea – a headline that describes you and a sub-headline that provides a compelling value proposition that distinguishes your personal brand. Here are some ideas for that:

  • Forward-Thinking and Compassionate Dental Hygiene Consultant: Ready to transition highly respected clinical career to help practices achieve unprecedented growth. This would be an example of a header section for a clinician seeking a job with a dental consulting firm.
  • Detailed, Organized, and Professional Dental Administrator: Excited to transition successful career managing meticulous details to seek opportunities as a practice administrator or manager. This example would be ideal for someone transitioning to administrative settings.
  • Energetic, Resilient, and Goal-Driven Dentistry Marketing Professional: Confidently transitioning clinical career in sales, marketing, and account management with a dynamic company in need of a proven self-starter. This is a great way for someone to explain their transition to sales and marketing work.

Like a One Sheet, you should dress your resume up a little bit. Don’t think of your resume as this stale document with no personality. You have a brand and a personality – your resume should, too. Vary the size and style of your wording, particularly your name at the top. Use lines, boxes, and colors to gently guide the recipient through your information. If you make your resume a pleasant experience employers will assume you go all out on other things, too. 

Relating Your Experience to be the Solution

Further, take a cue from the header information. Don’t fill your resume with details about what you did as a dental clinician. Think long and hard about what you did then spin that into relevance. If you learned to sell patients through education, talk about that as a sales skill to influence clients. If you were detailed and thorough in your notetaking and data entry, talk about that as it relates to administrative tasks. In short, make it easy for the employer to envision you as the perfect solution to their problem instead of a round peg fitting into a square hole.

Building a side hustle or transitioning to a different career can be meaningful and thrilling. But at the end of the day, there’s a very serious marketing element you must address through your resume or One Sheet. But you can do it – I help clients do it every day. Before long, you’ll be making important career moves that allow you to continue to change lives… including your own.

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