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Dental practice owners and office managers enjoy hiring temporary workers. It’s a great non-committal way to see if someone has the skills the practice needs in a permanent role.

You’ve been temping for quite some time. Now, you’re ready to move on to something more stable and you’re hoping that a permanent position will open up at one of the places you’ve temped for.

Well, you can do more than just hope!

These tips will take you from the instability of temping to the security of permanent employment.

Be reliable.

First and foremost, show that you are someone the dental practice owner can count on. Take your temping job seriously and show up on-time and consistently do your best work. This will demonstrate your potential to the dentist and office manager.

Be a team player.

Are you interested in joining the dental team permanently? Make sure you can play nice with everyone.

If you’re a temp who puts down or bosses around members of the regular dental staff, then no one is going to want to work with you more often.

Instead, try to cooperate with everyone in the office and help others out as much as possible. You’ll become a valued part of the “family” and the decision to hire you will be an easy one.

Stand out from the rest.

You may have a little competition if the office you’re temping at has other part-time staff. Your fellow temp dental assistants or hygienists may likewise have the goal of landing a permanent job and the practice probably isn’t going to hire everyone.

This is why it’s crucial that you stand out from the other potential candidates.

Avoid being the wallflower who quietly shows up for work and then quietly clocks out. Try to let the positive aspects of your personality shine through when you interact with the dental team. Strive to make the patients feel comfortable so that you leave them with a good impression of the practice. Jump at the chance to do tasks you know you’re good at such as taking impressions, calming nervous pediatric patients, selling whitening kits, or coordinating patient schedules.

With your talents and personality on display, you’ll make an impact on the hiring authorities in the dental office.

Take your job seriously.

Never think that it’s just a temporary position.

Whether you assist a dentist, pour up models, or do a dozen prophys in one day, give your best in all you do. Believing that your job isn’t really important because you’re just a fill-in will show through in your behavior and communicate to others that you have a poor work ethic.

You’re more likely to be hired permanently if you give 100% even in a temporary position.

Go the extra mile.

No one likes a suck-up, but putting forth just a little extra effort could be the ticket to getting noticed and offered a job. 

Going the extra mile in a temp position could mean helping out in sterilization or at the front desk during slow hours. It could mean restocking your own unit instead of waiting for an assistant to do it. Maybe you could occasionally bring in some donuts for the morning huddle.

Just think of small ways to do more than is expected of you and you will stand out for consideration as a potential permanent hire.

Network and stay in touch. 

Make friends with other respected dental professionals in your area. Join online groups and set up professional social media accounts like LinkedIn. Even after you move on from a temporary position with no offer of permanent work, you should still stay on good terms with the practice you’ve worked for.

By maintaining a healthy professional network, you’ll be one of the first to find out when a permanent position is available at a local dental office.

Let people know you’re interested in a permanent position…

Here’s a tip so obvious that you might not have thought about it: ask for a full-time job!

At the very least, you can let a few individuals know that you’re up for permanent hire. Mention it in passing to the dentist or ask the office manager if there are any long term openings. If you never express your interest in working there permanently, then you might never get a position offered to you.

…But avoid coming across as pushy.

While it’s only sensible to let others know you’re looking for work, you don’t want to pressure anyone. 

In fact, saying that you’re hoping for permanent work could deter a dental practice owner from hiring you for temp work in the first place. The office may not want to hire someone who is expecting to get more hours that they simply can’t offer.

It’s best to let your glowing work ethic shine, mention casually that you’re interested in more permanent work, and then be ready for hire as soon as the perfect opportunity comes along!


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