How to plan your locum career

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Here at Total Assist Group, we specialise in finding hospital placements across all the NHS trusts operating in the UK to locate a position that really ticks your boxes. However, we can only do that successfully once you have narrowed down what you want from locum work and how you want to utilise its flexibility to suit your lifestyle and needs. Currently, there is a never ending demand for locum professionals in the UK, which makes right now a very exciting time to be part of the locum market.

Working as a Senior Recruitment Consultant on the busy Medicine desk, I have had plenty of experience guiding and helping doctors choose the right locum situations for them, so here is my advise on how to tackle planning your locum career.

Set the perimetres

Before you begin hunting for placements, it’s essential to establish what you want to gain from your work and what you want to achieve. Analysing your goals and motivations will help make sure we only offer you jobs that you will find rewarding and satisfying.

So, consider:

  • Why do you want to locum? Is it the increased flexibility? The higher rate of pay? The travel? The additional clinical experience?
  • How long do you plan to locum for? Are you switching from a permanent position to locuming full time, or are you picking up ad-hoc work over the weekends whilst you save for something big?
  • Where do you want to locum? Do you need to be near to home, or do you want to experience new places, people and cities?
  • How busy do you want to be? Do you plan to have your foot on the gas to fill your diary, or are you slotting work in around other home, hobby or charitable commitments?
  • Do you have a lifestyle goal? Are you trying to create a better home / work balance and what will help you create this?

You should also think about setting yourself some specific goals as well. The more precise your goal, the more likely you are to achieving it, so you may also want to think about the following to make sure your career stays on the track you want…

  • What is the actual amount you want to earn?
  • What time span do you want to earn this in?
  • Ensure you measure this – you can track it over a year, month or week

busy hospital

Think about your workplace

Whether you are only working somewhere for a night, or for a month, I want you to enjoy it and to get all that you can from it. One way to make sure you achieve this is by thinking beforehand what kinds of hospitals would be appropriate for you and suit your needs.

Have a think about the following:

  • What size hospital would you prefer? This links to how many patients you would be happy to see per day
  • Rural or urban based hospital?
  • Would you be happy to do on call or night shifts?
  • Does already knowing the computer systems matter to you, or are you confident about picking up the know-how you need?
  • Does the hospital’s reputation matter to you?
  • Do you wish to work somewhere to find out more about a certain location? Certain department? Certain hospital?

My top five tips

  • Have a mindset for success and plenty of positive thinking – you are in demand remember
  • Make sure you stand out – present an impeccable work ethic and standard, ensuring you present yourself well
  • Be practical and make sure you send all of your documentation to us so that we can get you booked as soon as possible
  • The quicker you reply to calls and emails from your Recruitment Consultant, the faster we can snap up jobs for you. The easier you are to contact, the more likely you are to receive offers of work
  • Make a good impression, as the easiest way to gain continuing locum work is from clients who you have worked for before

[testimonial name=”Ian Barnett” who=”Senior Recruitment Consultant” imagelinks=”” vertical=”no”]”With over seven years of experience I can assure you that I can get you working in some of the best locum jobs in the UK. I mainly focus on finding Medicine position, so if you work in this specialty, get in touch so that I can find you the perfect placement.”[/testimonial]


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