Skill in Life: Get a Career, Not a Job

I got into the dental industry about 20 years ago, handling the marketing for an air abrasion company, Kreativ. My dentist introduced me to the brilliant founder, Bill Brown, who desperately needed some product introduction materials for the Greater New York Dental Meeting. I did my homework, created the materials, and delivered them to New York. The rest, as they say, is history.

I’m honored to work in this ever-changing industry that continues to produce better materials, improbable technology and innovative customer-based services.

When I started in this industry I had a job, but I built a career. As a dental sales rep, do you have a job or a career?

There are two elements you need to build a career: excitement and perseverance.

As I landed my second and third dental accounts as an independent marketing consultant, my enthusiasm for this industry began to develop. I dropped my non-dental accounts; dentistry, I quickly learned, was an industry of growth, fostered by new products and corporate enthusiasm. Dentists were on a high and their suppliers (your companies) saw new life. The manufacturers of materials and technology found a market ready to buy new products and invest in new technology. I was excited by the potential of this industry — and this excitement remains alive today.

You can go to work each day with a ho-hum attitude or a sense of excitement. You can fall into a rut or study all the new technology, the new chemistry of materials, and the new mechanics of improved instruments. Your choice to go after the industry, not just your customers, will change your daily work from a job into a fulfilling career. And when this happens, you realize the vibrant world is yours to explore, understand, navigate and conquer.

Perseverance is the other requisite for a career. I persevered in dental marketing and made it, by my own choice, a career. As I look at monthly editions of Mentor and other journals, I see stories about men and women I have known for years. They share the same basic story — promotion, advancement, and upward career mobility. Some of these leaders were once young marketing assistants who couldn’t write a well-structured sentence — let alone one with some real punch in it.

Now many of these once-novice employees are vice presidents of marketing for some of the world’s finest dental manufacturers. Rather than complain about how insignificant their job was, these individuals stuck it out. They decided early on in their careers that they would work hard, put in the extra effort, earn advancements and, in time, work in upper management. They knew it wouldn’t be easy, but they commited to the journey. They were willing to marry their excitement with their perseverance. This long-term commitment allowed them to graduate from a daily job to a fulfilling career.

And so can you. Go for the career.

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