It's hard to know how to feel or what to do if your dental practice is sold. Often, these things happen quickly and staff aren't informed until the time of sale or even after. Here's how you can prepare.
Acknowledge Your Emotions About the Situation
It's normal to experience a wide variety of emotions after learning that your dental practice was or will be sold. It's important to acknowledge and process both "good" and "bad" emotions as you move forward. Don't buy into the idea that it's "just" a job change. It's well-known that career changes, along with moving, divorces, and the death of a loved one, are significant life events that can deeply impact a person's emotions.
Negative emotions are often prevalent after learning that you may no longer have secure employment. You may be worried, frightened, angry, frustrated, sad, and anything in between. Allow yourself to experience these negative emotions and acknowledge that they are part of a difficult situation you're in. If you continue to struggle or you have difficulty with getting your stride back, consider talking to a trusted friend about what you're feeling or even working with a counselor.
There may be some positive emotions as well. If you were previously struggling at your job, a part of you may be relieved that you will no longer be working in that environment. You may be excited about new and different opportunities, especially if you enjoy the challenge of learning new things and growing in your career. It's important to experience the positives too and to allow them to bring balance to your emotions about the situation.
Discuss the Transition with HR
Talk to your employer or the human resources department of your dental practice (if one exists) about how the sale will affect staff. Is the ownership simply transferring? Or was the business liquidated? If so, will you be offered a severance package or other benefits? How will your 401k be transferred? These important questions should be answered by someone on staff at your practice who can let you know what to expect as a result of the sale.
Begin the Search for New Employment Opportunities
You know your dental practice is going to be sold, or perhaps the sale is already final. If you don’t intend on sticking around, or are unsure if you’ll get the opportunity to stay, now is the time to start searching for new employment opportunities if you haven't already. Make sure you:
Sharpen Your Resume
It's best practice to give your resume a once over (or a complete overhaul) when you leave one job and begin looking for another. If your resume is mostly up-to-date, you may just need to add your most recent work experience. If your resume is really lacking, polish your resume up yourself or consider working with a skilled resume writer.
Apply Where You Want to Work
While your first inclination may be to search various dental related publications for job opportunities, don't miss potential opportunities with dental practices that aren't advertising an opening. Submit your resume to practices that you'd like to work at and follow up once or twice to check if they're interested. In many cases, dental practices may be looking for someone but haven't had the chance to put it in the paper. Or, they may like you enough to create a position for you.
Interviewing comes naturally to few people, so it's important to practice before you schedule a slew of face-to-face meetings with potential employers. Practice answering common interview questions with friends, ideally ones who also work in the dental field and can ask industry-specific questions.
Get comfortable coming up with good answers on the fly– you never know what the person interviewing you is going to ask. You don't want to get flustered, so instead of trying to prepare an answer for every single possible question, learn how to compose solid responses quickly under pressure.
Was Your Dental Practice Sold? Keep Your Head Down and Your Chin Up
If your dental practice was sold and you don’t have an opportunity to work with the new management, acknowledge your feelings first, then make a commitment to find a new opportunity that is an even better fit for you. Start by making sure you review the transition with HR and that you're ready to tackle even the most difficult interviews.
About Treloar & Heisel
Treloar & Heisel is a premier financial services provider to dental and medical professionals across the country. We assist thousands of clients from residency to practice and through retirement with a comprehensive suite of financial services, custom-tailored advice, and a strong national network focused on delivering the highest level of service.
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Treloar & Heisel, Inc. and its divisions do not offer career consulting advice. Please consult a professional concerning these topics.