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Overcome career stagnation

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  Posted by: The Probe      6th August 2022

Career stagnation can make an individual feel frustrated and dissatisfied. Dentistry is a field rich in new technologies, techniques and modalities, offering a wealth of opportunities for dental professionals to advance, shape and enhance their careers. However, different factors can affect your career’s mobility and your access to the support you need, thus altering your job satisfaction levels, confidence, professional relationships and mental health.

Recognising these negative factors will help you find ways to prioritise your career progression and fall back in love with your role.

What causes career stagnation?

Job satisfaction is important for professional growth, motivation, work performance and mental health.[i] [ii] However, job satisfaction is also vulnerable to many different influences relating to the workplace. Career stagnation is one such influence which can cause dissatisfaction.[iii] What causes career stagnation? How can you combat it?

Career stagnation can be caused by a lack of opportunities for growth and learning. Although the field provides many training pathways for dentists to develop and broaden their clinical capabilities, a lack of the relevant support can make prioritising training a challenge. A systematic review[iv] on healthcare employee motivation noted that organisational factors, such as managerial support and career advancement, are core aspects that can affect healthcare professionals and their levels of motivation. If you aren’t provided with the scope to learn and develop, you may begin to feel unappreciated and unheard. The inability to recognise professional growth can be incredibly demoralising – it can even lead to a decline in mental health. 

Burnout is a particularly worrying issue within dentistry, for a large number of dental professionals.[v] [vi] Researchers[vii] noted that professional burnout levels increase with the lack of career opportunities; it was also noted that factors relating to career development can affect a worker’s mental health and productivity.[viii] Stress, a common cause of burnout, can also trigger a lack of motivation,[ix] which further prevents you from setting goals and taking the steps to progress your career. 

Some dentists who have been in the field for years may start to feel too ‘comfortable’ and moving out of their comfort zone, especially into emerging digital trends, may seem daunting – feelings of stagnation may develop because of this. Now more than ever, patients have a lot more choice when it comes to dental treatments. If you cannot provide something they’re looking for, they may simply go elsewhere. Thus, assessing the ways you can adopt new skills and knowledge is vital for your patients and the progression of your career.

Prioritise your voice

How can you combat career stagnation? Recognising where you want to go and the skills you want to develop is a good place to start. If your current job is not offering you the chance to undergo training and education, looking elsewhere may be a suitable solution. Ensure you find somewhere that not only caters to your career progression, but supports and encourages this growth, too.

Different dental providers offer various benefits, so make sure to look around and find one that best suits your needs. Some dental providers provide extensive support and invest in the relevant pathways you’ll require in order to progress and develop your career further, such as continuing education and skill advancement resources.

Other benefits alongside career progression may include the handling of administrative tasks, dealing with compliance, human resources, accounting, payroll and recruiting. Different budgets for technology and equipment may also have an impact on the patient care you can deliver, especially with regards to high-quality materials and modern facilities. Leading dental providers ensure you have the clinical freedom to do things your way; plus, with a strong and likeminded team around you, you can strike the perfect work-life balance without affecting the workflow of the dental practice.

The right place for you

Rodericks Dental provides exceptional opportunities for dentists to achieve their career goals. They provide a hands-on CPD programme and support for speciality training. Rodericks Dental also provides opportunities for mentoring. Plus, with the provision of high-quality materials and state-of-the-art facilities, you can provide excellent care for your patients.

All dental professionals join the field to educate and care for their patients’ oral health. However, feeling ‘stuck’ and unable to progress can leave you dissatisfied with your role. Taking the steps to prioritise your job and its progression can help you fall back in love with dentistry and put you back into the driver’s seat of your career.



For more information on the career opportunities available at Rodericks, please visit,

or contact Ashley Lillyman at or on

01604 970988 (option 1)



[i] (n.d.). Relationship between Job Satisfaction, Job Performance Attitude towards Work and Organizational Commitment. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Feb. 2022].

[ii] Faragher, E.B. (2005). The relationship between job satisfaction and health: a meta-analysis. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Feb. 2022].

[iii] Abele, A.E., Volmer, J. and Spurk, D. (2012). Career Stagnation: Underlying Dilemmas and Solutions in Contemporary Work Environments. Work and Quality of Life, pp.107–132

[iv] Afolabi, A., Fernando, S. and Bottiglieri, T. (2018). The effect of organisational factors in motivating healthcare employees: a systematic review. British Journal of Healthcare Management, [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Feb. 2022].

[v] Collin, V., Toon, M., O’Selmo, E., Reynolds, L. and Whitehead, P. (2019b). A survey of stress, burnout and well-being in UK dentists. British Dental Journal, [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Feb. 2022].

[vi] Molina-Hernández, J., Fernández-Estevan, L., Montero, J. and González-García, L. (2021). Work environment, job satisfaction and burnout among Spanish dentists: a cross-sectional study. BMC Oral Health, [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Feb. 2022].

[vii] Dagli, N., Kulkarni, S., Duraiswamy, P., Desai, H., Vyas, H. and Baroudi, K. (2016). Stress and professional burnout among newly graduated dentists. Journal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry, [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Feb. 2022].

[viii] Pinheiro, M., Ivandic, I. and Razzouk, D. (2017). The Economic Impact of Mental Disorders and Mental Health Problems in the Workplace. Mental Health Economics, [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Feb. 2022].

[ix] Hsu, H.-Y., Chen, S.-H., Yu, H.-Y. and Lou, J.-H. (2010). Job stress, achievement motivation and occupational burnout among male nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing, [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Feb. 2022]. Offers UK Dental Practice Owners The Chance To Sell Their Practices For A Premium Price. We Are One Of The UKs Leading Company's In The Sector.

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