From delivery drivers and dog walkers to cosmetic dentists and oral surgeons, there are temporary workers in every field. Specifically, temping seems to be on the rise in the dental industry.

Some dental professionals are temping to earn extra income without the commitment of a second job. Others see it as a way to quit their job and become their own boss by working temporary gigs full-time. Personally, I find the ability to choose my work schedule the most appealing.

Regardless of the reason for choosing to become a gig worker, there are numerous things to consider before agreeing to job assignments. These three key factors are at the top of the list: Schedule, Money, and Location.



Pick the right date.

The date is the first critical component of any schedule. It should go without saying, but being available for the exact date(s) requested is necessary. Offices have hired dental professionals only to have them not show when they are needed. Unfortunately, the same is true for dental professionals that have booked a gig only to have the office cancel last minute or, even worse, after arriving for an assignment.

Negotiate your hours.

The number of hours worked can be a concern, especially when you consider some practices request ten hours or more per workday. With musculoskeletal disorders on the rise within the dental community, some workers may limit their day to no more than eight hours. Breaks can help with the long workdays but are not guaranteed, so always ask before assuming you will have time to rest or eat.

Consider times that are best for you.

Dental appointment times range from very early morning to late evening, making the time of day relevant when scheduling a temp gig. Time is vital due to obligations such as needing to pick up kids from daycare or personal preferences such as being a morning person. As a temp, you have the power to choose whatever schedule works best for your lifestyle.



Know the payment schedule.

As much as we enjoy what we do, we also must pay the bills. Some offices make payments the same day, while others require waiting until their typical scheduled payday. Depending on your local state laws, taxes may or may not be taken out of your paycheck, which I will discuss more in an upcoming blog. In the meantime, familiarize yourself with your state’s requirements regarding taxes.

Set a competitive hourly rate.

Some job listings include a set hourly rate, while others may negotiate wages on an individual basis. When determining your hourly rate, make sure to include your education, experience, and skill level. Be aware of the local market rate for your area and skill set — this can be beneficial when negotiating with potential employers. Be confident and don’t undervalue yourself!



Determine if the commute is profitable.

The saying “Live where you want to, work where you have to” is especially true when temping. After all, time is money and your time spent commuting is valuable and should always be considered. Look into the office’s distance from home and how long the commute will take with traffic. Don’t forget to factor in any road tolls, gas, or wear and tear on your vehicle. After considering these factors, decide if the assignment location is within an adequate range to make the job worth your time.

At the end of the day, each job listing has its own unique pros and cons that every potential worker must evaluate for themselves. Whether you are temping full-time, part-time, or simply earning extra income to supplement your regular salary, deciding which factors are most important to you will help make the process easier and more stress-free for all parties involved.

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