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    5 ways to advance your career in 2018

    The thought of advancing your career may seem overwhelming, but there are some simple steps you can take to position yourself for success.

    With a new year comes new possibilities. Whether you’re hoping to make some extra cash to make up for overspending during the holidays or you’re unhappy with the current practice you work for, there’s no better time than the present to start thinking of ways to advance your career this year.

    While the thought of advancing your career may seem frightening or overwhelming, there are some simple steps you can take to position yourself for success. Strategically planning and thinking about areas where you need some improvement can go a long way.

    Here are five way you can advance your career this year.

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    1. Bring in more patients. I know that you don’t think this is part of your job, but whether you work at the front desk or on patients in the chair, bringing in new patients will benefit not just the practice but you, too. Are you wondering how you’re supposed to do this? Start with marketing. Become the social media czar of the office. Find ways to promote the business. Let people know where you work. Keep track of how many new patients you have brought into the practice, and make sure that you get credit for the referrals. You should be compensated for going above and beyond your job responsibilities and helping to grow the business.

    2. Find ways to cut costs in the practice. If you aren’t bringing in the bacon, then look at what you can do to cut costs. Are there processes that can be improved? Can there be more recycling? Are there things that you don’t absolutely need that can be cut back on? If you have ideas, write them down and present the list to your boss. Be proactive!

    3. Get more education and training. In order to be promoted in this industry, you may need more training. Be the first to sign up for any industry training that your boss will send you to. This gives you the opportunity to improve your skills, but more importantly, it allows you the chance to network. Networking is how people get jobs. If you don’t know anyone outside of your practice, then it will be tough to find another position. Get involved with your associations. Take leadership roles. Go back to school and see if your dentist is willing to foot the bill. If not, make the decision to pay for it yourself and move on to a higher paying job.

    4. Change jobs in the practice or leave. When there are openings in your practice, apply. So often women don’t apply because they think that they don’t have the experience to get the job. That is nonsense! If you are a hard worker and your work demonstrates that, then try new opportunities. You can do anything you set your mind to. Believe in yourself. Apply for jobs both inside and outside of your practice. There are no reasons why you can’t go for it.

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    5. Research technology for new devices, new procedures or new understandings of old problems. Stay abreast of your industry. Ask your vendors explicit questions about how and why things work the way they do. Become an expert with the materials you work with. Google or YouTube things you have questions about. Show that you are invested in this practice and want to do the best you can for your patients. That is what will make you more valuable to the practice.

    Advancing your career takes time and work, but by making yourself valuable to the practice you’re currently at, you’ll reap the rewards. Remember that the only person stopping you is yourself.

    Lisa Newburger, LISW-S
    Lisa Newburger, a master's level social worker supervisor, helps audiences find humor in talking about tough topics. Her "in-your-face" ...

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