There was a time, not too long ago where I wasnt sure that I was going to enjoy working. Dental school had dentaled me out. People would approach me and want to talk about my future and my future career and it was all I could do to not scream at them. I'd try to hedge and turn the conversation somewhere else. Anywhere else. Because in the back of my mind I wasnt sure that I would even be able to stand having to do anything dental related. It felt like a chore. And I was terrified. Because whether I was ready to or not, whether I liked it or not, a job was very much in my future. A dental job at that.
But I pushed onward because that was the only place to go. As much as I love and greatly admire my father, his passion for his dental profession is intimidating and creates a job satisfaction insecurity. Because I know in my heart, that while doing dental work is fine and mostly enjoyable, I could walk away from it and never look back. I don't love it above all else. I dont love it like my dad does. It's a great job and provides some implicit benefits (hello never having to buy toothbrushes), it is still, at its core, a job for me. Not a hobby, not my only or even major interest. A job. And if I had to choose between it and living a life of comfortable leisure, I wouldn't hesitate to spend my days reading and lounging.
That being said, I do really like my job. And feel incredibly grateful to have it. I have days where I wish I didnt have to work. And sometimes I want to backhand patients and staff alike. But most of the time I can see that the office I was hired at is exactly what I needed. It suits my personality. And is absolutely the perfect first job for me. The staff I work with, I generally adore. And overall, the work is good. I'm not so busy that I have dental school flashbacks (because yes, that was the most stressful and worst time ever). But it is challenging. If I finish early on a patient, I get to read my book. And I love finishing early. Its this wonderful mini reward slash confirmation that I'm doing well (despite that my receptionist keeps trying to book me tighter to eliminate such a reward). And I love that I have my Dad to call if I don't know something, or even to just check in with and make sure that he would do what I have decided. Because there are few people that I would ask for help from and it's very convenient that my dad is so knowledgeable.
People told me that I should enjoy my time in school because when I finished I would miss it. And I'm here to say that is a straight up lie. School sucks. I love leaving work and mostly never thinking another thought about it. And I love that my time is my own, to do with as I please. Without the burden of upcoming tests and assignments. Working is awesome. Having a set time that is dedicated to work is awesome. Even thinking about going back to school gives me a little PTSD. There really, besides my friends, is nothing that I miss about being a student. Even the added responsibility of money and banking and insurance is worth not having the hassle and stress of school.
There are downsides to working of course. For instance, the topic of money is a constant strain and stress of my mind. And I often feel out of my depth. People dont tend to sympathize with the fact that even when I am unsure about what to do, I have to pretend I know, because no one wants their licensed professional to be out of their depth. And sometimes people who aren't smart enough to take responsibility for their own mouths, yell at me. And I hate getting yelled at, or when people say mean things to me. It turns out I'm a rather sensitive soul and its hard when people who know very little about dentistry, treat me like I've done something wrong, when they're experiencing a consequence of their poor care of their own teeth, like I made them not brush, or choose to not see a dentist in the last decade or get their teeth extracted.
But I'm happy and content to be a working soul now. Which considering where I was at when I graduated is quite an accomplishment.