My boss is retiring, and the new owners want to cut my pay. What should I do?

“My boss has confirmed his retirement in the next few months. I’ve been with him 8 years. My current OM position pays about the same as our hygiene positions. Applying to other offices, so far 4, corporate & private combo, all would like to pay the salary I was making 20 years ago as a front office employee. I’m wondering why dentists in my area (Pennsylvania), do not value this position? Looks like I’ll be heading back to school for hygiene. Just looking for insight or advice from other office managers on how they are able to grow in this position? Almost 25 years in dental & I feel defeated & like I’m searching for a unicorn looking for another job. So frustrating. Any insight or tips from others that have experienced the same?”

Stay hopeful.

I’m really sorry to hear about your current situation, but I want to encourage you to stay optimistic. First and foremost, it’s important to remember that you only need one great boss who recognizes your value and is willing to invest in you. It can be disheartening when you encounter multiple employers who undervalue your experience and skills, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find the right fit eventually.

In life and career, you often don’t get what you deserve, but rather what you negotiate. It might be worth sitting down with the new owners and discussing the unique value you bring to the office. Highlight your 25 years of experience in the dental field and how it has contributed to the success of your current office. Make a case for why you should be compensated fairly for your skills and expertise.

Additionally, if they plan to let you go but are hesitant to pay unemployment benefits, it could be their way of pushing you out. I would advise against acting out of emotion. Instead, be strategic in your approach. Find out the details of unemployment benefits in your area before making any rash decisions.

Remember, you have a wealth of experience in the dental field, and there are employers out there who value that. Don’t lose hope in your search for the right opportunity. Keep networking, exploring different options, and staying persistent. Sometimes, it takes time to find that unicorn of a job that truly appreciates your skills and dedication. Stay positive, and keep pushing forward. You’ve got this!


Grace Rizza, CEO, Identity Dental Marketing

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