20 Years!

It’s my 20 year anniversary in dentistry!

Not bad considering when I first started I told myself that I was only going to do it for a year. I had no idea back in 1997 that applying for this job would change the entire course of my life.

I applied for a “No Experience Necessary Dental Assistant Position” the summer after I graduated from high school. It was a tough summer for me. My mom was moving away and not taking me with her and staying with my father wasn’t an option either. I knew I wanted to go to college, but more importantly at that time, I had to find housing to survive on my own. I had a job then, but I wanted and needed more to be able to take care of myself and put myself through college.

Anyway, I found this ad in the paper that said I didn’t need experience and my first thought was, “It has to pay more than what I’m making now, and how hard could dental assisting be?” (Famous last words!)

I applied and got called in for an interview. I showed up early and was brought back in to an office to wait for the doctor. While sitting there, I saw a stack of resumes on the doctor’s desk. I leaned in a little closer to read the one on top. It was from an experienced assistant who knew dental terminology and had worked in dentistry for years. A moment of panic washed over me because I knew nothing about dentistry. It was then I realized that I was in over my head. I did not have any experience or knowledge. I barely knew the difference between a molar and a canine. I thought about walking out, but the office was so small that everyone would have seen me. I was a wreck. I thought I was going to hyperventilate, so I took a deep breath.

That’s when it dawned on me.

I probably WOULDN’T get this job. They clearly had a stack of candidates who were better qualified than me. It was then I realized that I had nothing to lose. For some reason, that got rid of my nervousness.

As the doctor came into the office and sat down across the desk from me, I realized all I could do was be myself. It was LITERALLY all I had.

I was hired the next day.

The rest is history.

It’s not at all where I thought I would end up, but it’s exactly where I need to be.

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