As a self-proclaimed dental hygiene nerd and RDH Under One Roof conference lover, as soon as I heard the RDH Evolution conference announced, I knew it was for me. This conference claimed to help guide hygienists who want to further their careers; I have always been interested in advancing mine but lacked the know-how on how to move forward.
Ahead of the conference, I was super excited to join; however, as the day approached, I began to feel anxious, wondering how I would fit into the room with so many highly accomplished members of the dental community.
My imposter syndrome was quickly diminished as I walked into the room and was greeted with smiles, hugs, and enthusiasm. The room had an amazing energy with a mix of people motivated to get started, those already on their way and many accomplished veterans. Everyone was eager to hear about one another's goals and to help.
We started day one hearing about the legacy of how our instructors’ lives and careers evolved. We then shared with one another who we are, what we currently do, and what we hope to do in the future. Our sponsors attentively listened, noting those whose career goals matched their needs.
All the insights
Day two we really dialed in, having several sessions where we were guided on specific career paths and exactly how to go about pursuing them. We had focus sessions on public speaking, writing, working with corporate sponsors, and how to transition into corporate culture, if we so choose.
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We also learned things like building your personal brand, social media strategies, and creating a mindset upon which success is built. Our sponsors also alerted us to green flags to look for when searching for corporations we’d like to work with, and red flags to avoid. As someone who has always worked clinically, my mind was blown learning about ways to avoid irritating our corporate friends.
A spirit of support
What really blew me away about the program was the generosity and kindness of the women leading the program: Jackie Sanders, Josey Sewell, and Amber Auger. They were invested in our success and growth. On day three I sat with Jackie and shared my career goals; she thought for a few seconds, and the most connected woman in dental hygiene gave me recommendations on who to talk to and what to say. I had a few ideas regarding an article I’d like to write, and she gave me some feedback on how I could improve my articles.
Josey, an expert in business and public speaking, gave practical advice on how to create a business plan and command the attention of an audience. Amber taught industry know-how and keeping your interactions consistent with your brand. She also gave tips on improving our clinical skills. The corporate sponsors were interested and listened to the courses and thought about how they can work best with and support dental hygienists. They acknowledged that they were among hygiene leaders and were happy to have “first pick” from a group of passionate professionals.
Throughout the RDH Under One Roof conference that followed, I would run into my fellow Evolution members and be greeted by friendly smiles and listening ears. They were happy to share their experiences and knowledge and were interested in exploring how we could collaborate. I never experienced a feeling of competition or superiority but rather one of encouragement. When I saw them on the trade room floor, we high-fived when I told them I had found my ideal corporate partnership. We gave away each other's business cards when we found someone we thought was a good fit for them. We gave recommendations for the best coaches to work with and offered to be accountability partners and to check in on our success.
Don’t think—just book it!
If you’re a passionate hygienist looking to grow, I wholeheartedly recommend the program. It will reignite your love for hygiene and your hygiene community. Let’s all rise to new heights by supporting one another.
P.S. If you’re reading this: I got published, y’all! Let’s celebrate and be hygiene homies @oliviatalkshygiene.