Last Updated on July 23, 2023 by Anna Baumann
What to Do When You’re Bored with Your Dental Job
Every job gets old after a while. The first five to seven years doing anything seems to be the sweet spot. After that, we get itchy for a change of pace and scenery. Although lately in dentistry, I don’t think the pace is the biggest problem. Right now dental staff is in such high demand that we’re all short-staffed and working at a frenzied pace. But doing the same job more quickly doesn’t make it more interesting. It just encourages quicker dental office burnout. I’ve been there. In fact, I’ve been there several times throughout my long dental career. So, here are my tips on what to do when you’re bored with your dental job and feeling the beginnings of burnout.
Talk to your boss
Consider your options. If you’re an Assistant, you could think about switching to the front office. Or vice versa, if you’re in the front office and haven’t worked in the clinic, ask if there’s room for you there. For Hygienists, your options for change are more limited. But you might think about office management. Sadly, you may take a significant pay cut. But it’s definitely something new and different! Whatever your current position is, don’t assume that leaving dentistry is your only option. Talk to your Doctor or Office Manager about how you’re feeling. I’m sure they’d rather work it out than lose you. Those conversations can be uncomfortable, but you’ll never know unless you try.
You may not even need to make a full position change. There might be a project you didn’t know about or a new system they’re planning to implement that you can help with. Or maybe you could get more involved with your office’s website or social media marketing. Sit down and really talk it out because just one small new thing could make a big difference! It’s not about having more work. It’s about adding some variety to your days and feeling challenged. All you may need is something to spark your passion and get you to look forward to coming to work again.
So, see if your office is able to work with you. Whether it’s a position change or simply taking on a few different responsibilities, start where you are and go from there.
Make changes outside of work
You could even start your own side business. I know there’s some negative energy surrounding Direct Sales and Network Marketing, but there are a lot of legit companies out there. Find a product you can get behind and see if you can make something of it.
If that doesn’t appeal to you, there are a lot of other side hustle options to explore. Get some ideas flowing by searching around Pinterest. Or Google “side hustles” and find what interests you. Focusing on something that you’re passionate about outside of your day job will give you a whole new energy and outlook at work.
Take a break.
How long has it been since you took a vacation? One where you actually left home and traveled to a new place? Maybe you aren’t tired of your job. Maybe you’re just tired! Take some time off and get away. Then re-assess your feelings when you’re back at work again. It might just do the trick. And if it does, then make it a point to get away to recharge a couple of times a year. In fact, start planning your next vacation as soon as you’re back from one. We all need something to look forward to, and planning a trip is almost as fun as being on it.
I know what you’re feeling because I’ve been there. I worked as an Assistant for a lot of years and then thought maybe I’d switch to Hygiene. That’s when I realized I’d just be switching from one routine to something that was even more routine. Sure I’d make a lot more money. But money wasn’t the reason for my unhappiness. I decided to make the move to the front desk. It’s not always a thrill-a-minute, but I’ve switched focus in other areas of my life and that’s made all the difference. Plus, I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I love dentistry. It feels like home. If you love it too then please, take a breath and weigh every option before you jump ship.
“Whatever is good for your soul. Do that.”