What is your occupation, career, job?
Office Coordinator at a dental practice
·How did you get into the field?
I stayed home when my kids were really little. I needed to get out of the house and started working at a dental office 2 Saturdays a month. A few months later, when the part time weekday person left, they offered me the job. At the time my 2 kids were in preschool. I hadn't planned on going back to work at that point, but it was part time and the money was decent. 6 months later, the full time office manager left and I was given her position. By that time I was thinking about getting divorced and decided it was a good opportunity to get back into the full time working field to help set myself up for whatever the future held. I got divorced 18 months later.
· Does your education background reflect what you do for work?
I have a Masters in Finance.. so ... no? ha ha. It does to a point, in that I still work with numbers all day. But nothing like I did in my pre-children days.
· Give me three reasons why you like it?
1 - I love the patient interaction. I get to talk to people everyday and have actually met some great friends at my job!
2 - I love the challenges that come with putting together the perfect schedule. It's like a puzzle. I need X amount of patients and need to produce X amount of dollars. What the best way to do that?
3 - At the end of the day, it comes down to making people happy. When people come in here, nervous, absolutely HATING the dentist, and leave here happy, smiling and no longer completely afraid. I know my whole team has done their job!
· What would you consider the stress level of your current occupation (1-10, 10 being the highest)?
7! People think all I do is sit around and answer phones and how easy that must be! It's the total opposite. I'm the front lines and the face of the office. Which means I have to be "on" all day. No one wants to come to the dentist - no one! It is my job to make people feel comfortable in a place they don't want to be. Some people have genuine fear. Who talks them down? Me. Someone is upset about a billing or insurance issue. They come to me. Someone needs treatment ASAP, I need to rework the day and get them taken care of - work with specialists if need be etc. I do community events to recruit new patients. When that phone rings with a potential new patient, it's my job to sell the practice to them. Never mind the day to day office happenings, HR, Accounting, vendors etc. I answer emails at night and on the weekends.
If money was not an issue, would you still choose the same career path?
Yes! BUT that's mostly because I am lucky enough to work for an amazing dentist. If I was still working at the practice I worked at 2 years ago, then no. If I hit the lottery I wouldn't have been able to tell him off fast enough. I still loved my job, but the atmosphere I worked in was awful. Right now, I could hit the lottery tomorrow, and I'd still come to work the next day.. well maybe I'd take a vacation THEN come back to work. ha ha!
· What is the hardest part about your job?
I can't have a bad day. I can't just be grumpy and sit in my cube and do my work. I'm front and center and if I have a bad day, then everyone knows it!
· Did you always know this is the career path you wanted to take or were you diverted a few times?
Nope I fell into it completely by accident!