|Last week I went in for my bi-annual dental check-up and had a new dental hygienist. She was brimming over with good cheer so I asked her the usual questions about how long she’d been at her job. She gave me permission to share her story.
She has only been a dental hygienist since the spring. Previously she had been the office manager for a criminal defense law firm, but after nine years she felt she had to make a career change. Being part of a system where people were constantly trying to get away with things was dragging her down. She said there was even a murder case that she didn’t think she ever would be able to forget, even though she wanted to.
So she decided to make a career change and did some job shadowing for a couple of different options. She returned to school. It was very hard, both because she was the oldest in her class, and also because almost none of her previous credits were transferrable, so it was another four years of tough studying. She got married and her husband was in school and they took turns supporting each other.
But eventually she graduated, and now she loves her work. She joked (but with a serious flavor). “I live for removing coffee stains. I just love giving people their smile-and their confidence back.”
It’s so obvious she enjoys what she’s doing. There are possibilities for promotions and she’s valued for her intelligence and helpful attitude.
If you are unhappy with your job, take courage. Start investigating other options. Do some job shadowing if you need to make a radical career change. Know that every day, people choose to transform their lives.
And they are successful at it. There might not be a lot of fanfare for them, outside of their family and friends. But when they choose to change, they impact other people for the better. And who wouldn’t want to have their teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist who loves what she’s doing?
As we celebrate Labor Day, may we pursue our paths, knowing that our ‘labor’ matters, and that we all deserve to do work we enjoy.