Tuesday, 29 May 2012

2nd Letter

I've had no reply from Ten-Minute as yet.

So I'm now writing to another Practice a short drive away.  I'm going to try and send out at least one letter per week, allowing time for an initial reply before sending out the next.

I'm not so keen on sending out multiple letters at once because I have limited availability each week for interviews - my current job doesn't exactly allow for time off at short notice.

So, second letter off to East Village practice in the post first thing in the morning.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Best laid plans

I had it nicely worked out.

I would deliver my application yesterday evening after work.  The letter would be read this morning and perhaps by the time I finished my shift I might receive a call this afternoon, or Thursday when I'm free most of the day.

Then 'things' happened, as they do and I was unable to deliver my application yesterday.  No worries.  I'll deliver it today!  That still gives me most of tomorrow to anticipate any immediate response (unlikely perhaps, but not impossible to hope for).

I've just been out and posted my application to Ten-Minute and just as I turned to leave I noticed the practice opening times pinned up next to the door.

They are a bit different to what is on their website.

Namely, that they are closed on Thursdays.

Wonderful.  Now they won't see my application until Friday morning and I'm at work pretty much all day.  Any phone call they may make won't be picked up (except by my voice mail) and I won't finish work in time to return any calls because they close mid-afternoon.

So I have to wait even longer.  Yes, I'm a tad impatient and probably expecting too-quick a response from them, I know.  I was just hopeful that I'd hear back fairly swiftly and am a tad annoyed that their website doesn't give accurate opening times.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Signed and Sealed

One freshly re-vamped CV plus one covering letter complete!

Signed, sealed and ready for delivery.

I finally put a reasonable covering letter together.  I say reasonable because I'm not 100% happy with it but if I don't send something out soon I'll never get anywhere.  It's good enough for a first attempt.

This evening I shall be hand-delivering it to a nearby dental practice.  Wherever I find employment I shall of course be bound by confidentiality, so for this reason any practice names will be fictional, as will any names of work colleagues and patients.

So I shall be referring to this practice as Ten-Minute Ltd - simply because it doesn't take me ten minutes to walk to it!   That would be incredibly convenient - no need to drive, ergo no parking charges or petrol to pay out for.  Easy commute, minimal disruption in bad weather and I'm home in no time at the end of the day.

Ten-Minute is also only open weekdays - no need to work weekends at all!

Convenience is the main allure for this one.  Although I'm not expecting miracles with my first direct application.  It's nice to hope but I have to realistic at the same time.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Covering Letters

I can quite readily admit that I'm pretty good at putting together a decent CV.  In fact, I quite enjoy it.  Yes, I know, that sounds weird to say the least but being a perfectionist a fusspot I love to draft, re-draft, and amend until I'm happy.

Covering letters on the other hand ... not so much.  I've rarely had to write one; typically I've filled in a form or simply been asked the CV.   Applying via email I have had to cobble something together:

"I am writing to apply for the position of XYZ, advertised on ref ABC ..."

Followed by a quick run down of what skills I have that are relevant to the job, please find attached a copy of my CV, when I'm available for interview, sign off.

That's worked fine for email applications when I was just trying to find something to provide an income.  But now that I'm set on a specific career path I am trying a new route of writing directly to potential employers to enquire as to whether they have any vacancies (either available now, expected to become available and so forth) but if they don't, perhaps interest them enough to keep my CV on record should something come up.

It was rather a surprising discovery when I read that most jobs are not in fact advertised.  Perhaps as many as 3 in 4.   And these days I can believe that.  Where I currently work I talk to at least one person a week who had come in to ask whether we have any jobs going.   We've not advertised but that's not to say someone hasn't just put their notice in.  (Believe me, a fair number of people are looking elsewhere.)   Someone is sure to come in at just the right time and a CV could be accepted on the spot and considered.

Why waste time and money on advertising when people are knocking on your door regularly?

Not that I feel that I can just waltz in and hand my CV over.  It just seems lacking in the professionalism that's expected.

Thus I am spending a stupid amount of time putting together a decent covering letter.   It will obiviously be tweaked for each person but getting the bare bones of it down is harder than I'd anticipated.

The bit that's giving me the most trouble is the part where you say exactly 'why' you want to work for this particular company.  What is it specifically about them?   I'm thinking it's a lot easier if you're already in a specific field of work and applying to a bigger / better company to further your career, but when you're brand new and trying to start a new career it's a bit harder to convince someone that you are a potential assert to the company since you have no experience.
Why does everything I write look wrong??

I currently have a pile of CV books next to me, all chapters on covering letters marked and I'm still ever so slightly flumoxed as to how to re-phrase "I like the look of your company, do you have a training position available?" into something a tad more professional!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Caught Up

Well, that's all my 'archive' posts completed.  From now on, all new posts here at Nothing But The Tooth!

And I guess the first order of business is to break the news that, unfortunatly, I did not get the job I was interviewed for recently.

I was informed that myself and the other candidate were very similar and that the only difference was that she had come across as 'slightly' more confident ... and that's what got her the job.

That doesn't exactly do much to help my confidence really!

On a brighter note, I was enlightened as to the many other applicants; there had been 40 job applications for the job, not one was a qualified dental nurse, we had all applied in the hope of getting a training position.

Only one in ten were invited to an interview.  Out of those four, myself and the other woman went through to a second interview, then the third and final.

Now that the initial disappointment has worn off I think I can say with some certainty that I will eventually be successful.  If I'm good enough to come 2nd out of 40 applicants then I'm damn well good enough to win a position elsewhere.

The practice offered to keep my details on record, explaining that they were still growing and expanding - reassuring but not something I can pin my hopes on.  It's lovely practice and I'd be thrilled to work there one day, but for now it is not to be.

On the plus side, I do have a shiny new electric toothbrush, as promised.

Almost there

[Originally posted on Working to Live, 30th April 2012]

When the phone rang early in the morning and I could see by the number that it was the dental practice, I was braced for the news.

The tone wasn't entirely upbeat so my heart sank, certain that I'd missed out and that someone else had secured the job.

Turns out - not quite.

It's down to me and one other woman. Seems that an agreement couldn't be made on which of us should get the job, since we 'both have good qualities, but different qualities'.

So we've both been invited back again.

It was hinted that I ought to get my head into the textbook and absorb some knowledge, perhaps to prove that I am reading it. This is a relief in a sense because my mind did go horribly blank when asked what I'd covered from the textbook. Truth be told, I hadn't read it as studiously as I should have.

It's difficult to know what to focus on - do I try to learn a little from several subject areas or concentrate on one or two main topics? Prevention of cross-infection is pretty much the main focus but there's a lot more. Today I've learnt something about oral cancer, sterilisation, and fungus (really, it's interesting!).

I'm trying not to panic, just to try and absorb a little bit of information that I can recite when asked. I'd rather get a little bit firmly in my brain than try to read the whole book and just get flummoxed.

There's also something of a consolation prize for whoever doesn't the job. A brand new electric toothbrush. Quite a pricey one. I only have a manual toothbrush so it would be nice.

But I don't want the toothbrush. I want the job.

Round Three commences on Friday morning.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Interview Part Two

[Originally posted on Working to Live, 26th April 2012]

Guess my eagerness outweighed the nerves - I was phoned up on Tuesday morning and invited to spend a morning at the practice, observing and getting a feel for the work I'd get to do (if offered the job).

Needless to say, I was chuffed to bits and we made arrangements for me to come in Thursday morning.

Initial joy wears down a smidge and I go to bed willing myself to wake up dead on time. I'm not known as an early riser by any stretch of the imagination. I'm mentally setting an alarm for 7am ... I proceed to snap awake at 6am. That's not so good when you're on the late shift at work that evening. After an hour of dozing I get out of bed, get dressed, and head off allowing about 50 minutes to get there - whilst I'm very familiar with the route I've never taken it early in the morning so I'm uncertain as to the traffic conditions - better to be early than risk being late.

Thankfully, in spite of a bit of slow moving traffic, I make it in good time and head inside at 9am. The arranged time was 9.15am but that can show that I'm more than punctual and considerate of their time.

I'm shown into the staff area, get a nurses shirt to wear and get the tour.

It's much larger than my own dentist's practice (which is a small converted house) with several surgery rooms, a big waiting area, own car park (free - bonus!) and a reasonable sized kitchen/staffroom.

I spend the morning with the head dentist, observing a new patient getting a checkup, someone enquiring about tooth-whitening, another with a broken tooth getting repaired, an elderly lady with an abscess beneath her tooth needing advice having come from another practice feeling dissatisfied with her treatment. It was quite varied with several x-rays taken, I watched the computerised charting system (my own dental practice still uses the paper version) and some of the terminology was familiar from the textbook, and I got to try out using the suction tool on the dentist himself.

I think it was clear to him that I was a lot less nervous than during my interview.

However I didn't do very well when he threw some mental arithmetic questions at me. I'm terrible at mental maths - give me paper and a pen and I'll work it out before too long, but in my head I find it very difficult to visualise numbers and solve an equation. I don't know how much of a stumbling block that is but I made it clear that I really wanted to improve my maths.

He also mentioned that whilst some older more experienced nurses had applied (whether he meant for this position or in the past generally I'm unsure) because the practice is so modern and computerised, a lot of them just didn't have the computer skills necessary to do the job; a few apparently had hardly touched a computer. Not ideal for a modern practice. But then I suppose there's little to stop them going on computer courses to learn; certainly in my area there's plenty of introduction courses for adults wanting to learn.

My view is that regardless of whether you tick all the boxes, you can still have a good chance if you can prove that you're keen and willing to learn. My CV includes my attempts at learning a foreign language, various university level courses, plus obtaining the textbook and the Hepatitis B vaccinations - it all works in my favour, showing the effort I put in to learning and wanting to get into the profession.

All in all, I have mixed feelings about the day. It was insightful but I just wish I'd come up with some intelligent questions or at least been able to get the maths right.

I was told that there were a few other candidates to see and that I should find out one way or the other by the end of the week or else early next week.

Granted, this is the closest I've come so far to securing the job I want yet I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high because I know how upsetting it'll be if they chose someone else.

My next post will obviously let you know the result one way or the other.


[Originally posted on Working to Live, 23rd April 2012]

I've had an interview this morning!

I received a voice mail on Saturday whilst at work asking me to come in Monday afternoon. I was at work so didn't pick up the message until after my shift was over, by which point the dental practice was closed for the day.

I phoned up this morning to discuss other possible days and times for an interview and essentially asked if I could come straight over.

About half an hour later I'm dressed and prepped and on my way!

The practice itself looks lovely and spacious - my own dentist has a small converted house which is rather cramped but this is custom built building.

I met the practice manager, the lead dentist and the trainee practice manager. All were lovely and did their best to make me feel comfortable but I was extremely nervous.

Overall I think they were pleased with my Hepatitis B vaccinations and that I'd got the most up to date textbook, so I genuinely think that's going to go a long way to helping me get the job.

However, there are a few other people they'll be interviewing this week so I probably won't hear anything until maybe Friday.

Very excited but trying not to get my hopes too high. They may prefer someone qualified already and I've no idea how many other people are to be interviewed.

At the very least, it's very encouraging to have been offered an interview in the first place. It's not the first offer and if I'm unsuccessful this time, I'm sure it won't be the last.

I'm heading in the right direction. Just a matter of time to reach my desired destination.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Huh, ok

[Originally posted on Working to Live, 19th April 2012]

Last Saturday (the 14th) was the cut off date for a job at a good dental practice I applied to. I really wanted to at least get an interview so for the past two weeks or so I've been waiting as patiently as I can for Saturday to roll by and await a response.

Thus far I've not heard anything. Granted it's only been a few days, who knows how many applications they received and whether they went through them as they arrived or waited until the cut off date.

I went on a job site not twenty minutes ago just to have a look at what was about and I saw an advert for the same dental practise.

It's pretty much the same advert.

Is it the same job or a second vacancy? It went up on the site on Monday.

Were none of the applications for the previous advert good enough? Why advertise twice if you've got a good selection of applicants from such a recent advert?

My heart sank a little. Surely I've got the basic skills required? I've got two of my three Hep B jabs now, I've worked as a receptionist before (which is part of the role), I'm obviously keen and willing to learn ... how am I not good enough to asked to interview at least?

I'm applying again. It's requested that applications go to someone else this time so perhaps he'll think I'm worth seeing. I've also brushed up my covering letter (or e-letter I guess as they want applications via email) so it might present me in a better light.

Closing date is next week which seems a little short compared to the last advert. But as ever it's a case of wait and see what happens next.

2nd Jab

[Originally posted on Working to Live, 17th April 2012]

Had my second Hepatitis B vaccination today - yay!

I now have to wait until September to get my final jab, but hopefully this ought to be enough to help me with my job applications.

Got my eye on a few places so I'm now going to brush up on writing a good covering letter to enquire about vacancies. I wonder sometimes if maybe my previous covering letters (or emails as the case often is) aren't quite up to scratch.

Shall get right on that tomorrow after work.

One step closer ... one small step closer ...


. .
My apologies for the delay in posting - things have been a little hectic but I shall be back on track with the 'archive' posts very shortly.
. .

Saturday, 5 May 2012


[Originally posted on Working to Live, 20th March 2012]

Just had my first vaccination for Hep B - one done, two to go! Next one is in a months time, the last six months after that.

The things you have to do to get a job these days, eh?

Friday, 4 May 2012


[Originally posted on Working to Live, 13th March 2012]

In order to get one up on other applicants, I've just made an appointment to start on my course of vaccinations for Hepatitis B.

It's a requirement of the job considering that it is an environment where you are going to come into contact with blood.

Whilst some employers will pay for you to get it, I personally feel that already having the jabs will make me appear more committed to the career path and make me a more preferable employee against someone who doesn't already have it.

Plus I've started to see adverts pretty much stating that they'd prefer applicants to already have it.

So I get the first jab next Tuesday, then two follow up appointments. Not certain how long the course takes (I shall check with the nurse when I go next week) but if I can start to include this information in my applications I'm surely going to have a better chance of at least getting to the interview stage.

Two Steps Forward ... One Step Back

[Originally posted on Working to Live, 29th February 2012]

Lack of posting tends to indicate 'busy' and this has certainly been a busy period.

My main news is that I applied to two trainee dental nurse roles and got a phone call back from one of them. Thus commenced a telephone interview which I subsequently passed.

The woman I spoke to was very informative. She clued me into the availability of a text book that DN's study which I promptly ordered from Amazon. And she also told me about the vaccinations I would require; Hep B being one of them, makes complete sense.

Anyway, the phone interview went well and I was then assigned an essay. Kind of a new thing for me, being asked to write an essay for a job. I don't know if this is standard practise for potential DN's. If I wrote it to their satisfaction I would then be invited to a face-to-face interview and a visit to a surgery.

Lot of hoops to jump through.

Now, the possible offer a job - fantastic.

Taking a second look at the location however - not so good.

I think I was a tad hasty in my application. At first glance, I didn't think that the location was too bad. Not in a great area, I'll admit, but it would get my foot in the door. Then I did the maths - distance to travel every day there and back, petrol and parking. Time and money wise, I was not getting a good result.

Accepting the job, would also tie me down to a two year contract.

Truthfully, I had doubts about the commute. I've been down that road (literally) before and it proved quite stressful. A stressful DN is a careless DN - that would do me no favours.

I did take some time to seriously consider the options in front of me. And I've chosen to be optimistic. In the past I've always taken the first job opportunity I've been offered. I've never stopped and thought 'is it worth waiting?' Yes, the economy is crap, but I'm starting to think that I shouldn't compromise on this. I've picked a career path, I want to get the job that's right for me, and it should be in the right place. I overshot a reasonable commute by applying to this particular position, but if it's not right then it's not right. It's two years to complete my training - I want to stay put in one place if at all possible.

I went with my gut feeling and wrote back to withdraw my application. I'm disappointed I didn't get a reply to at least acknowledge it.

So I'm now taking a little time to read the textbook - I think that in itself will help with future applications, to say that I've been studying the required book in my own time. How does that not look good?

Renewed Efforts

[Originally posted on Working to Live, 6th February 2012]

Right, had enough.

I am very grateful to my current employer - taking me on as a Christmas temp, then offering me an extended contract ... but the vague promises of being made permanent and no indication as to how many extra hours I might get as a result ... well, I can't hang around.

Don't get me wrong, it's a nice job. Much nicer than some of my previous jobs. But 'nice' doesn't pay the bills. Location is very convenient, but what good is that if I'm not able to progress? The hourly rate isn't particularly high and without working Sundays (which is time and a half pay) I'm really not earning much at all.

A permanent offer of employment would be nice. But ultimately I intend to move on regardless. I don't want the spend the rest of my working life sat at a till.

I still want to get into dental nursing. This morning I decided to try an alternative route into the profession. I come from an administration background, so why not start applying for receptionist roles in dental surgeries? Gets me into the right working environment for a start! And it's something I'm already very well qualified to do.

My many applications for trainee dental nurse roles have not so much as yielded a single interview. Time to change tactics.


[Originally posted on Working to Live, 17th October 2011]

I know, I know, it's stupid.

Dental Practice A - the local one I really like but has not responded to my website-application, nor my letter - which they would only have received on Friday.

Dental Practice B - further away but looks promising, application was sent off the same day as the advert appeared. They should have received it (via post as requested) this morning.

So it just doesn't make sense for me to jump every time I think I hear my phone ring. Does it!? Particularly when it hasn't even rung!

Really hope they respond within the next few days. Hate waiting. I get impatient waiting on other people like this.

Even my cup of tea isn't helping my nervous state. Think I might need a chocolate biscuit as well ...

Thursday, 3 May 2012


[Originally posted on Working to Live, 14th October 2011]

My first letter should have arrived at that Practice this morning (then again, who knows with Royal Mail?) I haven't had a call or email so perhaps I shall get a letter in reply some point next week.

I've just finished another letter application - new advert found, posted online today, requesting applications by post. Mine is done - after printing off the covering letter and kicking myself for spelling dental 'practise' not practice. All ready to go in the postbox tomorrow morning before I head off on for another fun-filled day at the Shop.

The wage for this job isn't wonderful; hourly rate is lower than what I'm currently on, but the flip side is that it is 40 hours a week so I'd be earning over £900 per month (minus tax) which is a hell of a lot healthier than my income right now!

I always try to do my best with a letter - some people don't know where addresses should go, how to address the person you are writing to, good grammar (although I don't pretend to be an expert on that in the slightest!) and spelling (practise / practice - don't get those wrong!) and even how to sign off a letter.

Even the envelope is important - crisp and clean, stamp perfectly aligned and address in perfectly neat handwriting. If it sounds like I'm a perfectionist, it's because I am in this regard. I'm always concerned that a messy address makes my application look bad or that a spelling error I've missed will reduce my chances of an interview. You just don't know what might rule you out, especially when so many people apply for the same job these days. Some little thing could cost you the job.

I do make a note regarding my notice period - I can provide one week to my current employer, which gives them an indication of when I can start with them. Sounds blissful! One week!

I live in hope. I'm tempted to write my resignation letter in preparation for that glorious moment but I don't want to jinx it!! ;)

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Another Route

[Originally posted on Working to Live, 12th October 2011]

Found another trainee post to apply for. Not in an ideal location but it's worth a shot regardless.

Now, re-visiting those three applications I sent last week - one I got a reply from (the sorry-too-late-but-we'll-keep-your-details one) and the other two have been silent.

That's not all that surprising these days; you tend to only be contacted if you're shortlisted for interview. I don't often get a 'sorry, we've filled the post' or 'you have not been shortlisted' reply - I do like them because you can stop needlessly getting your hopes up.

However, I'd rather like to work at one particular place I applied to which has not responded. It was the one I had to apply a second time as the email address apparently didn't exist so had to go directly through their website.

It's been a week and no reply. I don't know how often those messages are checked, who checks them or what happens. Emails are easily ignored or simply missed, read and then forgotten about.

A tangible letter and CV that's in your hand, however, is something that is more likely to be dealt with. So I wrote out a covering letter, much like the one I tried to email in the first place, and have posted it this evening. I imagine they'll receive it on Friday morning.

It might just garner a response from them. It's just plain rude to ignore a letter after all. So many people apply for jobs via email these days it does make me wonder if the old fashioned letter works better at getting the attention of the employer.

Just an idea really but we'll see what happens. If it's a no, then fine, it's just nice to get an answer, don't you agree? And it's not like there's a closing date either, the advert is constantly on their site - if you're not accepting applications then it shouldn't be there, so it makes sense that they'd consider each application that arrives.

As always: fingers crossed.

Not a Bad Result

[Originally posted on Working to Live, 7th October 2011]

Out of the three jobs I applied to, I've had one reply so far.

Unfortunately, I was too late and the vacancy had already been filled (they go so fast!) but they obviously liked my application and have offered to keep my details on hand should another vacancy come up in the future.

So that's a positive in my book!

So Nervous

[Originally posted on Working to Live, 6th October 2011]

I was somewhat gutted to get back home last night after applying for that dental nurse job to discover that the email address they had supplied did not appear to exist and my application had not been sent.

Stomach knotted, I had to apply again, this time through their website - something I wasn't thrilled about, having to fill in various boxes instead of the covering e-letter, but oh well! That should have made it to them, so I'm just waiting for a reply.

Then I found a second job to apply for and a third this afternoon. All training positions so I'm praying to whatever deities may exist that one will give me an interview.

My stomach is still in knots with nerves. Shouldn't be this nervous about it, surely?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Stomach in Knots

[Originally posted on Working to Live, 5th October 2011]

After working quite hard on re-vamping my CV to a more concise and professional format, plus researching dental nurse roles ... I have just applied to a dental practice.

My stomach is giving me the weirdest twisting and flipping feeling.

I have hopes for this one as it seems that most if not all of their dental nurses are in training for their qualification - so what's one more to the team? Plus the post is advertised on their website and it's clearly updated regularly; a new receptionist has been added to the team page, so clearly they are hiring people.

So why do I feel the urge to run away from my PC, nerves jangling uncontrollably?? Just getting my hopes up and fearing the potential disappointment?

I'll admit it's a scary process. It probably doesn't help that I've not applied to anything in for a while, what with being on holiday and busy whipping my CV into shape.

Oh god, I bet there's some idiotic spelling mistake in there somewhere - or else there's a dumb grammar mistake in my covering e-mail letter. "I have an excellent eye for detail ..." yesss, except when extremely nervous about applying for a job I really want, not just a 'job' to get an income but a proper career.

Great. Going to listening out for my phone all day tomorrow, no doubt thinking I can hear it ringing ... done that before, quite often it wasn't ringing at all!

OK - heading out with some friends for the evening - take my mind of this for now, I hope.

Wish me luck people! Fingers crossed for an interview!!

Car Insurance

[Originally posted on Working to Live, 21st July 2011]

My car insurance renewal is coming up - I recieved my reminder in the post recently. I had to phone them up to make a few changes to the policy, including my job which is specified on the policy.

What I didn't realise was that my profession has an effect on the pricing. Whilst I was temporarily working in web development, the price was quite low - my policy was up for renewal just as I'd accepted the job. But now that I'm a shop assistant, the price has leapt upwards! This is because that more shop assistants have accidents than web developers - yet statistically, there's a lot more shop assistants in the country so of course the accident rate is understandably higher given that there's more of us out on the roads! Odds are, we'll be in accidents sooner or later.

I was slightly miffed at that, being judged as a higher risk because of my job. I honestly don't see how it has a bearing on the likelyhood of me personally having an accident. Shop assistants are not auotmatically worse drivers, there's simply more of us.

But then, out of curiosity I asked what it would be if I were a dental nurse.

Surprise surprise, it's at the lower end.

Mental note - change car insurance policy the minute I gain new employment!


[Originally posted on Working to Live, 13th July 2011]

When I first became unemployed I pretty much kept all my options open and applied for any job going. All I wanted was an income - hence the acceptance of two jobs of leafleting and shop assistant.

Now that I have an income, albeit limited, I can actually afford the time to consider what I really want to do. It's a daunting prospect when I think that I'm not far off turning 30 years old. A few years will go by alarmingly quickly. I can't even believe it's been nearly nine months since I was last in full time employment - that's just scary.

So I've sat down, taken stock of what my current skills are, what I'm good at and what I'd like to do. Strange as it sounds, but I do enjoy admin work - I love being organised, typing letters and things being 'just so'. I like order and being professional. I want a job where there are things to learn all the time, where my knowledge and skills are valued and that I'm doing something that benefits others.

As much as I liked my office job, it was endlessly frustrating that people earning 3 or 4 times my salary were so oblivious to things like the filing - it's the freaking alphabet! It's not hard to put something back in the right place! Oh, and that flashing 'no paper' warning on the photocopier? That means you need to reload the paper, not run to me whinging that it's broken and you have no idea what to do. Yet you are an 'officer' with a higher standing and get more respect than the lowly administration team that you rely upon so heavily for everything that you do. That kind of thing drove me up the wall. I want to work with professional individuals who take pride in their work.

This is has all nudged me in the direction of dental nursing. Admittedly a random search result on a job website flagged a vacancy up and that led me to look into it more in the first instance.

I've looked into how I become registered, what's involved with becoming qualified. I've printed off the prospectus for the examination I'll need to pass.

I like what I see. There's a lot to learn and I would be learning on the job and attending a course for some time. There's progression to other areas of dentistry available once qualified. Ongoing learning is something I thrive on. I can't not be learning something new. The first few weeks of unemployment were almost like a nice break, a mini-holiday to relax - but it honestly does not take long for me to start climbing the walls for lack of mental stimulation. I need a regular working pattern (Monday to Friday is ideal) and I need something to focus on, to learn new things.

You can tell I lived for school. I hated the long summer holidays by the end - they were far too long and I wanted to go to lessons! Even now, I'm learning Japanese and new RPG systems purely because I find so much enjoyment in learning.

Dental nursing is becoming a more appealing option to me. It incorporates some administration tasks which is great and the skills and knowledge required are leaving me salivating! I'm perfectly happy to wear a uniform. I'd be supporting a dentist in his role and helping the patients; we all need dental care at some point so it's not like the profession is going to go away - it's all important stuff and I want that kind of responsibility.

I want to learn! Truthfully, if I were rich enough to never need to work I would either spend my life attending courses and reading or else work for free at a job I could learn something from.

Research into the role of dental nurses is well underway. I'm making a contact list of all the dental surgeries in my area and any areas I can travel to. I'm looking into advice on how to write a better covering letter. My CV will need polishing up again.

Ultimately, once I return from my fabulous holiday in September (the blog will go quiet for maybe 3 weeks that month, sorry!) I will be sending out CV's with a covering letter to all the dental surgeries explaining my desire to be a dental nurse. With any luck, even if some don't have any vacancies, there'll be one who will be happy to consider me as a candidate for any post that is or will become available.

I'm loath to send out letters just yet because of my holiday. Been saving up for it since last year and it's being booked now - don't want to contact a dentist only to turn down any interview / informal chat / job offers because I can't attend for a few weeks. That does kind of suck, but then again, I've got to be positive and view the time I have from now until I leave as time to be spent on research and preparing my covering letters and CV's.

Perhaps this method of direct contact will be more fruitful than simply hunting all over for job adverts.

Fresh Start

[Originally posted on Working to Live, 1st June 2011]

New month, a new start.

I've decided to branch out a little with my job search.  Office / Administration skills can be applied to a lot of different businesses so whilst I was searching online last night I spotted a receptionist / trainee dental nurse job advert.

Dental nursing is not something I would have considered a year ago, but having had a good look around, there seem to be a fair number of vacancies for qualified dental nurses as well as trainees.  I figure, why not?  It's worth a shot, so I have applied to five jobs alone so far today.

Most ask for receptionist experience (check) and either a qualification or a willingness to train (hell yes).  If this opens a new career path, then it gives me more options.  There are dental surgeries all over the place so I'm not limited as to where I could find work.

So the CV was again tidied up a little, covering letters / emails written to express my desire to learn blah blah blah, and five applications made.

Two are in my home town - who knows if that gives you an edge, being local.  One is hardly a five minute walk from home, but the downside is that that one is only 2 days a week.  However, if it gets me some experience in the tole then that's something that will add weight to future applications.

I feel much better having found soem jobs to apply to.  I keep hitting these periods of depression whilst job hunting - one minute I'm pumped up and eager to apply, the next I'm convinced I'll be stuck at the Shop for ages and that there's nothing out there, why aren't I even getting an interview for some crappy filing job I could do blindfolded?  Moods go up and down like a yo-yo.  I'm also finding it hard to discuss this with friends - seems the only thing they can think of to say is 'Oh, you'll find something!' then change the subject.  Thanks for the moral support guys, real helpful.

Hence, my hope that by applying to a new work field I may have better luck.


Welcome to Nothing But The Tooth!

Follow the journey of a dental nurse, from job hunting for a training position, learning on the job and towards professional qualification.

Well, that's the plan at any rate!

Previously starting out on another blog, Working to Live, my endevours to train as a dental nurse demand a blog all to itself, hopefully proving insightful as to what the profession is all about.

In an effort to avoid confusion, I'll be starting with re-posting some of what was originally on Working to Live - no need to skip between two blogs now, is there?

I hope this blog will make for some interesting reading.